Family Car Doesn't Equal Minivan

By Alexi Falson on 06 May 2022
image for Family Car Doesn't Equal Minivan Are you a parent looking for a stylish family car, or wanting something that offers minivan, or people-mover levels of space and practicality without the bulky package?

You’re in luck, because today we’ll be unpacking ten of the best options for those looking for a family-friendly package that is more stylish and even easier to drive than a minivan. 

We’ll be looking at some of the most stylish wagons and SUVs that offer people-mover levels of occupant space and practicality, offering a no-compromises approach to family-friendly motoring. 

Let’s jump in. 

Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback is a great option for adventurous families that are looking to head out into the Great Outdoors, and is impressively priced with the range opening from $40,690. 

The large wagon platform offers a heap of space for those in the first and second row of the cabin, while the 522L boot matches the practicality on offer in significantly larger SUVs. 

The Outback is powered by a 2.5-litre four-cylinder that produces 138kW of power and 245Nm of torque, which is more than enough to get you up to speed in a smooth manner thanks to the CVT automatic, while driving stability is exceptional thanks to the all-wheel-drive platform. 

For those looking to escape the city with their family, the Outback is one of the best tools on the market. 

Hyundai Palisade

While the Hyundai Palisade was created with the North American market in mind, it’s found a warm reception here in Australian thanks to its huge, comfortable platform and exceptionally practical package. 

Available in three model grades priced from $55,000, the Palisade offers seating for up to eight people in the cabin, while higher-spec variants receive premium quilted leather upholstery and a panoramic sunroof. 

There’s a choice of two engines, including a V6 petrol and a four-cylinder turbo diesel, while the package handles the worst of Australian road conditions with confidence thanks to its supremely soft suspension package that makes it great for long-distance road trips. 


For buyers looking for a more premium SUV, the BMW X5 remains one of the leading options in the space, and comes packed to the brim with entertainment and safety features that are perfect for any growing family. 

The X5’s platform lends itself perfectly to family duties, offering the driver and rear passengers acres of head and legroom to get comfortable, taking in the view from the exceptionally well-crafted interior. 

Now in its fourth generation, the BMW X5 has been updated with the latest infotainment and safety equipment, including a 12.3-inch high definition display paired with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, atop a huge list of premium features. 

Toyota Kluger

The Toyota Kluger has become a hit with Australian families thanks in part to its practical package, reasonable price tags and comfortable platform that makes light work of family duties. 

The Kluger range kicks off from $47,650 and stretches out to $75,400 for the flagship, with hybrid options added across all trim levels. This means that the entry-level Kluger hybrid is priced at $54,150 and remains an impressive deal for a seven-seat family car. 

In recent years, the Kluger has become a significantly more attractive SUV, while remaining impressive comfortable on all road surfaces thanks to the hardcore underpinnings. 

Volvo V60 Cross Country

For those looking to step away from the SUV body shape, the Volvo V60 Cross Country is a unique and appealing option for fans of Swedish styling and ingenuity. 

The V60 Cross Country features a long body design that sits higher than the sedan it’s based on, enabling some light off-roading and adding to the flexibility of the package. Inside, the cockpit receives a wonderfully-appointed cabin filled with stylish design elements and a 9.0-inch infotainment system. 

In the rear, you’ll find a comfortable bench-seat with a heap of legroom for those in the second row, while the 529L of boot space will surely meet the majority of your family’s needs. 

Mazda CX-5 

The Mazda CX-5 is one of Australia’s favourite midsize SUVs, with buyers celebrating its smart design, practical cabin and sophisticated driving qualities. 

The CX-5 lineup kicks off from $32,190 for the entry-level Maxx, with prices stretching out to $53,680 for the range-topping Akera, meaning there’s a CX-5 for pretty much every family’s budget and equipment requirements. 

Whichever variant you pick, you’ll receive a generous amount of safety and entertainment features, packaged inside a sleek and practical cabin that offers up to 506L of storage in the boot. 


The MG HS makes our list here because of the undeniably attractive asking price, with the entry-level HS Core variant priced at an almost unbelievable $29,990. 

For the money, you’ll receive 17-inch alloys, LED tail lights, adaptive cruise control, a reversing camera with parking sensors and a 10.1-inch infotainment system fitted with Apple CarPlay & Android auto; and that’s just the base model. 

Stepping up the range adds LED headlights, a powered boot lift, a surround-view camera and even a panoramic sunroof, making it one of the best value midsize SUVs you’ll find on the market. 

Better still, the HS’ interior is up to the task of handling your family and its cargo thanks to the spacious cabin filled with practical elements, as well as the 463L of boot space. 

Kia Sportage

The Kia Sportage recently received a major overhaul, and the end result is a family-friendly SUV that is far more exciting than your typical people mover. 

Kicking off from $34,690, the Sportage receives a brand new platform that translates to a sleek set of looks on the outside, and a world of difference when it comes to interior space, comfort and practicality compared to the car it replaces. 

Entry-level models receive 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, as well as a huge amount of safety equipment included as standard, making the Sportage a seriously attractive value proposition within the midsize SUV segment. 

Skoda Kodiaq 

The Skoda Kodiaq is a fairly new entrant to the Australian market, but should not be underestimated when it comes to value, practicality and impressive driving comfort. 

Priced from $52,990, the entry-level Kodiaq Style is a 4x4 SUV that receives a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine paired with a silky-smooth dual-clutch transmission that is a pleasure to drive around town and on long-distance trips. 

The Kodiaq’s large proportions comfortably fit a car-load of seven passengers in comfort, offering a family-friendly package at an extremely reasonable price point. Better still, features like 19-inch alloys, a 10.25-inch digital driver’s display, powered boot lift and 9.2-inch infotainment system come as standard in the entry-level Style. 

In terms of practicality, the Kodiaq offers 630L of cargo space in the rear in a five-seat layout, while seating seven people drops the boot space to 270L, which is still impressive for a seven-seater.  

Lexus NX

For those looking for one of the leading Japanese offerings, look no further than the Lexus NX, which received a major overhaul recently that added some bold styling, as well as more entertainment and safety features as standard. 

Priced from $60,800, the Lexus NX offers buyers a premium midsize SUV that is exceptionally comfortable to drive, while remaining large enough to comfortably transport your family around town. 

Aside from one of the most attractive cabins you’ll find on the market, the entry-level NX receives 18-inch alloys, heated seats, a powered boot lift, 8.0-inch driver’s display and 9.8-inch infotainment system, while higher-spec variants receive a heap more luxury for their money. 

Impressively, the NX comes with a huge amount of safety equipment as standard, and can even be optioned as a hybrid to help cut down on your fuel bills. 

Request a Free Quote 

If our list has got your imagination running, click here to get a free quote on your dream car, or to get in contact with our team of car-buying experts. 


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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