Summer is here and that means many people are hitting the highways for either cross-country road trips or weekend getaways. When you’re transporting your family, the most important considerations for your car are safety and space — you have precious cargo, of course! An SUV offers the best of both worlds.
Earlier this year, Kelley Blue Book released a list of the best family cars, and there were a couple of SUVs featured on the list. If you are looking for a safe and reliable car that you can put a lot of miles on, you might want to consider these five leading SUVs:
2014 Nissan Rogue ($23,650)
The all-new 2014 Nissan Rogue has a lot of attention-getting features. It is one of a very few compact SUVs with a third row of seats, so it can accommodate your (growing) family. It drives smoothly and gets great gas mileage. The backup camera is a great safety feature.
The standard features include Bluetooth, a USB port for plugging in an iPod or iPhone, and the Easy Fill Tire Alert feature, which honks the horn when the tires are filled to the right pressure.
In test runs, the Rogue offered sufficient legroom and accommodated a rear-facing booster seat well. The standard Divide-N-Hide cargo management system was also lauded as a handy feature; it allows you to reconfigure the floor to a higher or lower position, or divided into shelves. This feature is great for packing luggage or beach bags.
2014 Honda CR-V ($23,950)
The 2014 Honda CR-V is sleekly designed and sharp looking for a small SUV. The front and rear seats are roomy, it drives comfortably and gets great gas mileage. The base model comes with features like Bluetooth and USB interfaces, a fold-down rear seat and a multi-angle rearview camera. Higher end models have a power moon roof, heated leather seats, dual-zone climate control and other goodies.
Kids will love the rear-seat entertainment system. You will love the simplicity and ease of the folding second row. If you’re loading up the car for a trip to the beach or pool, the second row can quickly fold down to give you greater cargo room.
2014 Ford Flex ($29,910)
The Flex stands out stylistically from competing small SUVs: while others are high and broad, the Flex is longer, lower and leaner. It fits seven people comfortably with lots of legroom, and has ample cargo space behind the third row. The car is very accommodating of car-seats, which is a plus if you have babies or young children.
The Flex offers all-wheel drive for more traction in inclement weather. There are three trim levels of the Ford Flex; the most luxurious has leather seats, blind spot detection, push-button ignition and a navigation system. There are several technology options that range from the Intelligent Access Key to Blind Sport Information System. Consumers also have the option to purchase features like a refrigerator and DVD headrests.
2014 Nissan Pathfinder ($29,970)
Style, safety and space are key elements of the Nissan Pathfinder. The car is equipped with a multi-view rear camera with many angles that help with backing up and parking. It’s roomy enough for car-seats and even offers the LATCH and Glide second-row seat, which enables you to slide the seat forward without unbuckling the LATCH-mounted child seat. This makes it easier if you have a child seat installed in the second row and also want to assist a passenger into the third row.
All in all, it is one of the most family-friendly vehicles Kelley Blue Book looked at. The higher-end trims offer a leather interior, remote start, power lift gate, navigation, heated and cooled seats and nicer tires. All-wheel drive can also be added for an extra cost.
2014 Chevrolet Traverse ($31,695)
What can you expect with the Chevy Traverse? A spacious interior, plenty of cargo space and a smooth ride, for starters. The standard model includes features like a backup camera, Bluetooth, HD Radio and satellite radio. The MyLink infotainment system is optional with a nice display and user-friendly interface.
The Traverse has three rows and can fit up to eight people comfortably. According to US News & World Report, cargo space is among the best of any SUV on the market. Test drivers were also pleased with the steering, easy handling and maneuverability into small parking spaces.
If your family plans on doing a lot of traveling this summer or even throughout the year, make sure they drive in a safe and reliable vehicle. Any of these five family SUVs will make your summer journey safer and more enjoyable.
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