For families with larger hauling needs, passenger and cargo space are paramount. And in those two areas minivans excel, making them the stereotypical mom car. But for some moms — and maybe you're one of them — the idea of driving a minivan holds about as much appeal as buying a new water heater.
10 Best Cars for Moms Who Hate Minivans
Lucky for you, a minivan isn't your only option for transporting your big family (or your carpool, gymnasts or soccer team). In fact, there are many great alternatives that provide plenty of capability and style. And a few even offer some impressive performance. Below are 10 that rose to the top of our list.
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The Acura MDX is based on the Honda Pilot, but it offers more upscale interior accommodations and additional technology features compared to its downmarket relative at a still competitive price. Think of the MDX as luxury-lite, but with a much better value proposition and a good amount of room/storage for people and things alike. And if you're looking to have a little fun, there's even a Type S version with a potent turbocharged V6 underhood!
Everything about the Q7 whispers "smoothness," from its unassuming styling to its excellent road manners and comfortable ride. Inside, passengers will enjoy first-class materials and Audi's minimalist styling, which create a serene cabin. The dual center touchscreens grace the interior with a modern touch, while a wealth of standard driving aids (including adaptive cruise control and front and rear parking sensors) provide peace of mind to moms on shuttle duty.
One of the few SUVs out there that can compete with and even best a minivan when it comes to space and practicality, this full-size behemoth offers a gigantic interior and greater towing capacity than any minivan thanks to its truck-based platform. There's even a diesel engine option for greater efficiency. The Chevrolet Suburban isn't just big — it also offers a surprisingly comfortable ride and the latest safety technology, including General Motors' Super Cruise hands-free driving system.
The Hyundai Palisade is notable for the upscale experience it delivers at a decidedly non-upscale price. Interior design and materials rival those in vehicles that cost tens of thousands of dollars more, while exceptionally comfortable first- and second-row seats deliver abundant support for when you have to take a car full of kids on cross-county soccer tournaments. The third row is big enough for adults and children alike, and there are helpful storage spaces spread throughout the cabin as well. And of course, there's a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty backing it up.
The EV9 brings electrification to the midsize three-row SUV, but that isn't the only thing that we like about the largest electric Kia. Its futuristic styling carries over to the interior, which, beyond looking cool, is also chock full of family-friendly features (like massaging second-row seats) and plenty of space in the back, even in the third row. Adding to the crossover's usefulness is an optional battery pack with an estimated range of over 300 miles. If the Kia EV9 represents the future of the family SUV, it's one that we're very excited for.
The ruggedly styled Kia Telluride looks nothing like a minivan but delivers on utility, technology, and interior niceties in a way that nothing else on this list can. A perennial favorite of ours, the Telluride does nearly everything well and at an appealing price point. The infotainment and driver aids are straightforward and easy to use, so you can keep your eyes on the road and not on the screens (though those are big too). And like the Hyundai, it's got that generous 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty for added confidence.
The CX-90 is a bit of an oddball on this list since it doesn't have the biggest third row and its cargo capacity is lacking. But it is uncommonly fun to drive, more so than even the more expensive vehicles on this list thanks to sharp handling and quick acceleration. If you don't plan on using the third row a lot, or won't need it for longer trips, the CX-90's excellent driving manners and near-luxury interior will hold plenty of appeal.
Setting the bar among the three-row SUVs in many metrics from comfort to technology and luxury, the Mercedes-Benz GLS takes the brand's many niceties and packs them into a plus-size container. The spacious interior can easily fit adults across any of the three rows of seats for an extended journey, and it doesn't skimp on cargo room to do so. With a range of powertrains and an AMG version to boot, finding the GLS to fit your needs is easy — if you're willing to pay for it.
Toyota offers the classic Highlander, but it's too small to be considered for this list. Luckily, the automaker also produces a larger version that's over 6 inches longer and is creatively named the Grand Highlander. There's over 5 inches more third-row legroom in the Grand Highlander, making it usable for adults, and there's also more cargo room behind the third row as well. It's also offered as a hybrid for those looking for more efficiency in this class.
If size is the priority, the embiggened Atlas fits the bill. It's technically a midsize SUV but offers so much room that it rivals the cabin of a full-size like a Ford Expedition. Demerits include a poorly tuned powertrain and some usability issues with the climate controls. But if what you're looking for is a lot of space at a much cheaper price than the Suburbans and Tahoes of the world, the Atlas is worth consideration.