These are the Best Sporty Family Cars
July 27, 2022
Family cars should offer plenty of space for everyone and also have cargo room for any gear, groceries, and sporting equipment. Some car buyers who are on the hunt for a new family car might want a sportier option, without sacrificing safety or fuel efficiency.
Modern family cars come in many iterations—SUVs, sedans, minivans and even trucks. The newest models include sportier designs and unique trims, too. These are the best sporty family cars that offer maximum space for the entire family, decent fuel efficiency and top safety ratings.
- Honda Odyssey
- Kia Sorento Hybrid
- Subaru Ascent
- Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab Pickup
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Genesis GV80
- Volvo XC90 Recharge
Families Have Lots of Options
Families have an extensive list of options when shopping for a sporty new vehicle. Every buyer’s parameters might be different, though. Some might want a luxury vehicle, but others need to stay within a tighter budget.
Many families also want the safest vehicles. To find out how well a model performed in safety/crash tests, car shoppers can visit the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s website to look up any vehicle and review the safety report. Cars that earned a Top Safety Pick+ or Top Safety Pick award/rating will have the honor denoted at the top of the report.
While the list of sporty car recommendations primarily includes trucks, SUVs and even one minivan, some buyers might even choose a sports car for a family car. Again, every buyer is different; however, those who want a traditional sports car could choose an adjacent family car option like the Mustang Mach-E (it’s electric). The Mach-E has space for a family and leans into the iconic sporty design of the Mustang.
About the Sport Family Car Options
Every site will offer different recommendations for sporty family cars. Since many buyers focus on price, safety and fuel efficiency, many of the recommended models favor these preferences. A few luxury models are included for buyers with more to spend on their new family car.
Yes, the Odyssey is a minivan. Traditionally, minivans aren’t known as sporty vehicles. Yet, the more modern models do include a sleeker design. The Odyssey offers 144.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the first row (when the second and third rows are folded); it offers 32.8 cubic feet of space behind the third row.
What makes minivans such an ideal vehicle for families, though, is their passenger space. All minivan models on the market offer three rows of seating. The Odyssey can fit seven or eight passengers, depending on how the buyer configures the second row (captain’s chairs or a bench seat).
While the Odyssey is spacious, it could be a bit expensive for some buyers. The 2022 Odyssey starts at $37,340. Its fuel efficiency is decent for its size–19 MPG in the city and 28 MPG on the highway. It also received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS.
However, the hybrid Toyota Sienna offers better fuel efficiency, albeit less space. In addition, the Chrysler Pacifica also is offered in a hybrid, but it’s much more expensive than the Odyssey—the hybrid Pacifica starts at $46,978.
The Kia Sorento Hybrid combines a sporty design with lots of space and decent fuel efficiency. The Sorento is priced moderately—it starts at 29,590. The Sorento Hybrid offers a third row and has space to fit up to six passengers. It offers 12.6 cubic feet of space behind the third row and 75.5 cubic feet behind the front row.
The Sorento Hybrid offers up to 26 MPG combined (city and highway). The Kia Sorento (the hybrid wasn’t separately noted) also received a Top Safety Pick (with specific headlights) rating/award from the IIHS.
The Subaru Ascent is a larger SUV with space for up to eight passengers. The Ascent starts at $32,795. It offers decent fuel efficiency and can get 21 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway.
The Ascent offers 17.6 to 17.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row and 86 to 86.5 cubic feet behind the front seat. The 2022 Subaru Ascent received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS.
The Dodge Ram is the second most popular vehicle in the country, and it has a starting MSRP of $36,500. The Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab pickup is designed to fit the entire crew. The Ram offers 23 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. Families can use the full cab to store gear or other necessities.
The Dodge Ram 1500 Crew Cab Pickup received a Top Safety Pick award/rating (with certain headlights).
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander has three rows of seating and space for seven. It’s also affordable for a larger SUV—it starts at $26,095. The Outlander offers 27 MPG combined–24 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway. It offers 33.5 cubic feet of cargo space, too.
The 2022 Mitsubishi Outlander received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS.
Genesis is Hyundai’s luxury brand. The Genesis GV80 offers three rows of seating and space for seven. It has a starting price of $50,200 and offers decent fuel efficiency—21 MPG in the city and 25 MPG on the highway.
The GV80 provides 84 cubic feet of cargo space behind the front row. In addition, the GV80 received a Top Safety Pick+ rating/award from the IIHS.
The Volvo XC90 Recharge is a plug-in hybrid that offers up to 66 MPGe (combined); the XC90 gets 25 MPG in the city and 27 MPG on the highway. The XC90 is a luxury automobile and has a starting price of $64,800.
Like most of the vehicles on the list, the XC90 includes three rows of seating and space for up to seven and offers 85.7 cubic feet of cargo space. The 2022 Volvo XC90 Recharge received a Top Safety Pick+ award/rating from the IIHS.
What to Consider When Shopping for a Family Vehicle
Every car shopper will have a list of what they want in their ideal automobile. Families might need specific features like entertainment screens for children sitting in the back. Some might upgrade to captain’s chairs in the second row to separate children.
While vehicles include the starting MSRP, buyers need to understand that this is the price without any options or upgrades. Need a towing package? That’s likely going to be an extra cost.
In addition, buyers also could find it difficult to find what they want when (and if) vehicle supply is low. Dealerships might only have few choices for specific models available on the lot. Certain vehicles could be impossible to order; in fact, Ford stopped accepting orders for its electric pickup the Ford F-150 Lightning and its hybrid Maverick pickup.
Buyers also might look to 2023 models and either place orders for these new models or make reservations for upcoming popular models. While Lightning models are no longer available for new buyers, those who placed a reservation likely secured a truck.
If buyers want a specific sporty model for their family and it happens to be a very popular model, placing an order for an upcoming model year could be an option. Again, though, dealerships all have different inventory. Some could have 2022 models that are available.
Explore All the Options with RelayCars
Some buyers might not know what vehicle is ideal for their family. Should they purchase a pickup truck or just a large SUV? The budget and other factors could impact choice, but some buyers simply don’t know what type of car they like or which vehicle would best suit their needs.
RelayCars offers unique and interactive experiences for buyers to preview vehicles. Download the RelayCars app to explore vehicles via 3D interactive models or in virtual reality (with Google Cardboard). Car shoppers also could visit the RelayCars website using their mobile device (tablet or smartphone) to explore cars in augmented reality or using 3D interactive models.
With RelayCars, buyers can use a fingertip to interact with the 3D car imagery (on the website or the app). Turn the car around to see all the unique design features of the exterior or look around the interior.
The RelayCars website also lets buyers explore cars via augmented reality. This experience uses the camera from a mobile device to capture the real environment, and a 3D model of the car will appear in this space. With this tool, buyers can view any car in their garage, driveway or anywhere they want. Use the camera to navigate the experience and walk around the car.
Both the RelayCars app and the website also include vehicle specs and pricing information to help buyers research all their options. With RelayCars, the car shopping experience can begin anywhere. Bring the dealership experience into the home via augmented reality or virtual reality experiences or using 3D on-page imagery. Explore thousands of vehicles and enjoy the hunt for a new vehicle.