The Right Features Can Help You Be a Better Parent
What makes a two-row crossover family-friendly? Three things: cost, cupholders, and tech-friendliness. Many families considering the popular two-row crossover segment will be on a budget, so we’ll cap the starting MSRP at $30,000 USD. Cupholders are a reasonable measure of a vehicle’s family-friendly nature because they provide a handy place to stash the myriad of things needed to entertain young children (not to mention actual cups and bottles). Finally, as the children grow up, tech-friendliness counts even more as the devices multiply, and buyers should consider the availability of Wi-Fi onboard, USB/DC outlets for charging devices, and so on. Here are 10 of the most family-friendly new two-row crossovers on the market.
The refreshed 2016 Toyota RAV4 starts at an MSRP of $25,235 USD (including destination), within the price range of many families shopping the segment. As a perennial strong seller, the RAV4 is a solid choice and comes with eight cup/bottle holders. Notably, it has three 12-volt power outlets, two in front and one in back. The kiddos might have to take turns and you’ll need a car adapter to charge those devices, but the RAV4 has got you covered. Plus, learning to share is always a valuable lesson.
The 2016 Ford Escape starts at $23,995 USD (including destination), though stepping up a level to the SE for just $2,200 USD more nets you the far better turbocharged, 1.6-liter EcoBoost I-4. With eight cupholders and a 110-volt power outlet on the rear of the center console that can charge pretty much anything with a standard wall plug, the Escape has hit the mark on our tech-friendliness scale.
The base price of a front-wheel-drive 2016 Jeep Cherokee is $24,390 USD (including destination), though if you can afford it, you should fork over more for the 4WD Latitude model ($28,290 USD). It is a Jeep, after all. The Latitude comes with a tech-friendly 110-volt outlet for the rear passengers to charge all manner of mobile devices. Cupholders toe the line at a segment-standard eight, making the Cherokee a solid family-friendly choice for those who might occasionally take less-than-stellar roads.
For those bargain shopping, the base 2016 Mazda CX-5 Sport starts at just $21,795 USD (including destination). If you can afford it, the Touring trim, which starts at $25,215 USD, comes with a more powerful 184-hp, 2.5-liter inline-four (the Grand Touring is pictured here). We like the extra power especially since the CX-5 is fun to drive fast. Fun driving is only half the battle, though. The CX-5 comes with eight cupholders in all the usual places, but the lack of rear-seat power means the kids will have to be entertained by the scenery if the batteries die on their mobile devices.
Speccing the 2016 Subaru Forester with a six-speed manual and the Premium trim gets families plenty of cupholders (eight, the usual number), but power is sequestered to the front seat, meaning the $26,145 USD price (including destination) might not be the best way you could spend your hard-earned pennies.
If you want the confidence that all-wheel drive imparts, along with Subaru‘s reputation for reliability, the Forester is a solid choice.
With a full complement of cupholders (eight, the segment standard) and an MSRP of $25,395 USD (including destination), the 2016 Honda CR-V is off to a great start as a family-friendly two-row crossover. As a plus, the CR-V also features climate control vents for the second row. But the lack of rear seat power means the kids will be clamoring for the chargers in the front center console.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
At $20,445 USD (including destination) the 2016 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport is the cheapest family-friendly two-row crossover on this list, and with the usual number of cupholders (eight), it will work nicely for those on a budget with young children. When the kids begin to grow up and start wanting an iPad of their own, you might want to remind them of the value of silent introspection if you plan to keep the Outlander Sport since the Mitsubishi has just two power outlets located by the front seats.
With a grand total of, you guessed it, eight cupholders, the 2016 Nissan Rogue is on track with the competition. An MSRP of $24,140 USD (including destination) puts it toward the bottom of the pack in price. Its integrated climate-control vents in the center console are a thoughtful touch, and though the Rogue has three power outlets, they all sit in the front passenger area. Better get ready to have charging cables draped like spaghetti across the center console.
The Hyundai Tucson is one of the more stylish two-row crossovers in the segment, and at $23,595 USD (including destination), it’s fairly affordable too. The Tucson is also available as an EV with a hydrogen fuel cell. Family friendliness is about standard, with plenty of power outlets up front and none in the back.
The Chevrolet Equinox is a pretty darn good family-friendly two-row crossover. Just look at these specs: It stickers at $23,495 USD (with destination); it has four 12-volt power outlets (one in front, one in the console, one in the second row, and one in the cargo area); the second row slides back and forth; and it has eight cupholders and built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi. With the Wi-Fi you can keep the kids glued to their screens instead of screaming at each other. The drive could be absolutely blissful; just buy them headphones too.
At $23,045 USD, the 2016 Kia Sportage is one of the more affordable options in the segment though not the cheapest. Cupholders (eight) and power (only up front) are lock step with the Hyundai Tucson, which is also on this list and also a solid choice.