These vehicles will help you raise a family of enthusiasts
Being a parent and a car enthusiast can be tough. Whereas once your free time was spent with back road drives or project car wrenching sessions, having a kid or two—or more—can take up any leeway to pursue your passion. But parenthood doesn’t mean a sentence to minivan mediocrity. These 10 cool family cars offer daily practicality and street style so you can enjoy driving the kids to school or soccer practice as much as any other.
Honda Civic Type R
Honda combines hatchback practicality with racetrack capability in the Civic Type R. Despite its compact footprint, there’s seating for five, plus plenty of space in the rear cargo area. The CTR’s duality is what makes it so great—it’s equally ready for school runs and chasing lap records. Expertly tuned suspension makes it equally for a road trip as a circuit, all motivated by a powerful turbocharged VTEC I-4. So long as everyone is happy to drive stick, the Honda Civic Type R might be the best family hot hatchback.
Buick Regal TourX
Prepare for plenty of attention in the Buick Regal TourX—this is an extremely distinctive vehicle. It’s a wagon not quite like any other, especially from an American brand. Good looks aside, it’s practical with generous cargo capacity and comfortably appointed to uphold Buick’s heritage. The Regal TourX is a cool family car that stands out without excessive flair while providing solid versatility for life’s daily needs. You might look at it and think, “This ain’t my daddy’s Buick.” Your kids will look at it and say, “This is my daddy’s Buick.”
Audi A5 Sportback
Love the looks of a coupe but also need space for the ones you love? Check out the Audi A5 Sportback. At a passing glance you might not even notice it has rear doors, but it does, along with a roomy hatchback trunk. Quattro all-wheel drive boosts traction in any weather, and for car enthusiast families it’s available in fire-breathing RS5 trim. Audi crossovers provide more space, but the A5 Sportback is a compelling cool family car alternative with its sleek yet usable styling.
Kia’s new seven-seat SUV will trick everyone into thinking it costs more than it does. Taut, tough exterior styling integrates eye-catching cues, and there’s tons of room in all three rows for kids, teens, and adults alike. With the right options the Telluride offers numerous practical luxuries, like heated and cooled seats in the first two rows, USB ports galore, and a 360-degree parking camera system. No matter what version you pick, it’s clear Kia did its homework on how to make a family SUV look and feel cool without breaking the bank.
If outdoorsy adventures fill up your family’s weekends, the Jeep Gladiator is the truck to choose. Versatility is the name of its game, with a crew cab and ample bed space for camping gear, mountain bikes, or anything else your family uses to enjoy the great outdoors. No doubt the Gladiator likes playing outside, too, with a fully removable roof and doors, and of course Jeep’s legendary trail capability. The Jeep Gladiator puts distant trailheads or secret campsites within reach for you and the fam while being one of the coolest pickup trucks on sale today.
Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe
For those keen on raising speed freaks, the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-Door Coupe might be closest to a family-friendly supercar. Power is supplied by either a twin-turbocharged V-8 or trick hybrid I-6 to keep things moving at race pace. Tech-savvy kids will love all the electronic gizmos to play with, like Mercedes’ awesome widescreen infotainment system. True, the GT 4-Door is only a four-seater, but it still offers solid practicality with its genuine hatchback trunk. This isn’t just one of the coolest family cars—it’s among the best performing, too.
You can’t argue with a Volvo wagon when it comes to practical family cars. The long-roof V90, with elegant styling that’ll look terrific for decades to come, is arguably more attractive than the S90 sedan it’s based on. All that space behind the second row make the V90 versatile, too; loading pets or passengers becomes easier than with a high-riding crossover. If you’re after any-weather sure-footeness, the V90 Cross Country adds a slight lift and all-wheel drive without sacrificing suave.
World-class luxury, turbocharged power, and three-row practicality meet in the Lincoln Aviator. The new midsize SUV is one of the coolest family cars on sale, with handsome sheetmetal and a posh, high-tech interior. A turbocharged V-6 is standard, but the plug-in hybrid version adds all-electric range with a dose of extra horsepower and torque. Its teen driver setting limits speed for learning drivers, but parents will love the swagger it carries for date nights on the town. It’s a luxury family crossover as nice as any European.
The longtime family favorite has been revamped for 2020, with new trims and engines to choose from. All Outbacks are spacious and safe SUVs, but the Onyx Edition XT is the coolest in the lineup. Looks-wise it stands apart with its blacked-out grille and wheels, exclusive paint, and funky green interior stitching. Like other XT Outbacks, the Onyx Edition packs a turbocharged flat-four engine for extra power, with Subaru’s signature all-wheel drive and X-Mode off-road setting to help it perform when the pavement ends.
Somewhere between a sedan and a hatchback, the Kia Stinger offers performance and practicality in equal measure. Based on a rear-drive chassis, power from the standard turbo I-4 or optional twin-turbo V-6 can be routed to all four wheels via available all-wheel drive. Regardless of drivetrain the Stinger fits a spacious boot under the rear cargo door, which also gives the car its distinctive fastback shape. It’s a fun-to-drive crossover alternative that’ll make you and the family look undeniably cool.