Looking for a vehicle to haul around your growing family? While a bigger and roomier car, minivan or SUV is likely a top priority, there’s more to a family’s needs than just “bigger is better.” Certain features can make kid-hauling a lot easier and safer, and focusing on these features can often give you a wider variety of vehicles from which to choose.
Edmunds rounded up 10 SUVs, minivans and cars that offer features it thinks parents will love. Note that the pricing below is for the trim level required to get the highlighted feature.
BMW 3 SERIES
THE FEATURE: Built-in rear window sunshades. After dark-tinted windows, rear door sunshades are the best defense against strong sunlight and prying eyes. The 3 Series’ mesh fabric shades manually clip to the top of the window frames or retract into the door when not in use. Owners will like these a lot more than flimsy aftermarket sunshades that attach with suction cups.
STARTING MSRP: $39,745 (2017 BMW 330i)
THE FEATURE: Multiple USB ports. Traveling families often need to connect or charge more than one device. The problem is that many vehicles have just one USB port. But the all-new 2018 Equinox offers up to six USB ports: two up front, two in the center armrest bin and two charge-only USB ports for rear passengers.
STARTING MSRP: $27,695 (2018 Chevrolet Equinox LT)
THE FEATURE: Stow ‘n Vac vacuum cleaner. You can get the Pacifica with an optional onboard vacuum cleaner. It can easily clean up the typical kid-created detritus and dirt, and it stows away in the side of the vehicle’s interior. The retractable hose has enough length to reach the entire cabin.
STARTING MSRP: $44,790 (2018 Chrysler Pacifica Touring)
THE FEATURE: MyKey. The Explorer, along with many other Ford vehicles, has this special feature. When activated, MyKey primes the Explorer to encourage younger drivers to develop safe habits. Owners can set certain parameters on the vehicle, such as a top-speed limit or maximum volume for the stereo. Perfect for the times when teen drivers get behind the wheel.
STARTING MSRP: $32,105 (2017 Ford Explorer base)
THE FEATURE: CabinWatch. This overhead interior camera shows a detailed view of the all-new 2018 Odyssey’s second- and third-row seating. It’s a surprisingly useful and effective feature for keeping track of what the rear occupants are doing. You can even check in on an…