A family road trip has different requirements than a road trip did back before we became parents. Safety matters more than speed, and while we still want something stylish, we’re not willing to pack a car seat into a convertible coupe. Maybe you are, but good luck with that. When it comes to budgeting, we actually have one of those things now.
All that being said, don’t think for one minute that a family road trip can’t be a super fun experience with a stylish ride full of the latest features. Here are 5 vehicles that are perfect for taking on a family road trip and cost under $35,000. The best part about all of them is that after the road trip, they’ll be excellent additions to your family’s garage. Don’t forget to pack the essentials after you pick the perfect car.
If you’re looking for a spacious, economical, and ultra-reliable sedan that will be perfect for cruising on a family road trip and also be an excellent family investment beyond your vacation, the Honda Accord is a winner. With a back seat that comfortably fits 2 adult passengers, or 3 kids, and about 30 miles per gallon on average, this car is a budget-friendly family favorite. Additional safety features like a collision warning system and automatic emergency braking will make your trip more safe. All that for just above $22,000 brand new means you’ll have enough money left over in your budget for a second family road trip this summer!
Take a trailer, boat or other toys along with the Durango’s towing capacity of 7,400 pounds. This is about 1,000 pounds more than other SUVs in its class. While your average mpg will drop when towing, you’ll start off at a more than fair average of about 26 mpg on the highway. Seating capacity can fluctuate between 5 or 7 additional passengers, or put the rear seats up for more cargo space. The 2017 model starts at just under $30,000. Traveling in an SUV means more room, comfort, and safety for your entire family, and the Durango is a top choice for thrifty travelers who don’t want to compromise on space and function.
For a smaller SUV, the Sorento is an excellent family road trip choice. You can still tow up to 5,000 pounds depending on the powertrain of the model you choose, and will get an average of 28 mpg on the highway (without towing anything). While seating may be more tight than other SUVs with an optional small third row, the seats that are there are comfortable and roomy, with contouring and padding in all the right places. With a starting cost of only $25,000, this is a smart and economic option for a family road trip SUV and general family vehicle with versatility of space.
If your family plans on hitting the trails and exploring off the main roads, you’re going to want something with all-wheel drive. The Subaru Outback is a safe and fun family vehicle for the outdoorsy family. A higher ground clearance will let you get over rocky terrain easily, while the AWD will keep you moving and able to explore further into the great wide open. Thoughtful safety features like anti-whiplash headrests and overhead airbags will keep your precious cargo safe. Speaking of cargo, you’ll get over 35 square feet of cargo space. For well under $35,000 you can get into an Outback and have plenty of gas money to drive it off into the outback. With an average 32 mpgs on the highway, you won’t even need that much!
If a family road trip means to you that you and up to 8 of your family members, you’re going to need something big. The Sienna is a minivan with maximum perks for a family road trip vehicle. You’ll have an option to tow up to 3,500 pounds if you want to bring along some fun family toys. The just under 300 hp under the hood,will keep you moving and an average of 26 mpg’s on the highway will keep you saving money every mile. An available dual-view entertainment system with Blu-Ray will keep your kids and adults alike entertained while you travel along in comfort and space. Have room enough for everyone and never feel cramped for under $30,000 in the Sienna.