The humble sedan has also made way for the SUV and dual-cab ute as the favoured stablemates of families across Australia. In August 2020, SUVs made up more than half of all new cars sold. When combined with light commercial vehicles i.e. utes, that figure is over 70%. Gone are the days when the family would be put in a two-tone brown station wagon for yearly beach trips. So, what are the best family haulers on our roads this Spring? Here's the top 10 family cars.
The Santa Fe has recently undergone some pretty big changes, and there is also a seven seat option if you’ve got more family members. Starting at $43,000, the Santa Fe packs a sizeable 547L of boot space with the third row of seats down.
For a touch of upmarket feel, the XC60 is tough to beat. Starting at around $63,000, the XC60 also has the family in mind with a seven seat option. Boot space ranges from 468L to 505L, however this is much lower with the third row in place.
Mazda’s biggest family hauler starts at a relatively modest $45,920, with some updates made fairly recently. With seven seats also available, the CX-9 boasts a lot of boot space, at 810L with the third row flat, or 230L with the third row up.
If you’re getting sick of the SUVs, the Toyota Camry has been a family favourite for decades now. The venerable sedan starts at just $28,990, however the range-topping SL variety starts at around $45,000, and for that you’ll get a more powerful V6 engine plus other goodies. As it’s a sedan, it lacks the handy tailgate of SUVs, but still has a handy 493-524L boot space, but you may just have to try harder to cram everything in there.
As a direct competitor to the Camry, the Sonata is South Korea’s answer to the sedan equation. The base ‘Active’ model starts at just under $31,000, while the ‘Premium’ model has an eight speed auto and starts at $45,490. Boot space on the Sonata is a respectable 510L, but once again lacks the practicality of an SUV’s tailgate.
Want a sedan but want a boot more like an SUV’s? The Kia Stinger could be your answer. Okay, it’s used by Highway Patrol, but can be a very respectable family hauler. It has an all wheel drive option for added safety, and the boot is technically a ‘liftback’ - with 406L capacity - making it easier to put stuff into. The Stinger has a little higher starting price than other sedans at $47,390, though you will pay more for the turbo V6 model.
If you’re more at home on the boat ramp than the shopping centre carpark, the Ford Ranger might be for you. The Ford Ranger ute has a wide array of specifications, but for simplicity’s sake, the Wildtrak X model starts at about $65,000 and has the best towing capacity in the range, at 3,500kg, with a 922kg payload.
A familiar name to many for more than two decades, the Pajero is set to receive a facelift in 2021, but for 2020 is still a very competitive package. At home on the trails and dropping the kids off to school, the Pajero Sport starts at about $47,000, while upper models top $60,000. The Sport model has 673L boot space with the third row down, while the larger models boast up to 1,069L of space.
Another seven seater, the Trailblazer has off-roading pedigree, too, with low range 4x4 available, plus all the safety kit you’ve come to expect over the past few years. Starting at $47,990, the Trailblazer boasts a large 878L of cargo area with the seats down, or 235L with the third row up.
It’s easy to see why the RAV-4 is frequently in the top ten cars sold in any given year. In 2020, there are many variants available, including a hybrid model, which could be attractive given it doesn’t attract too much of a price premium over other models. That said, the base price starts at around $32,000, to a touch over $50,000.
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