When it's time for a new car for the family, the options can be dizzying. Between the sedans, crossovers, SUVs, and minivans available, making a decision can be hard. You've got to find a model that fits not only your family’s needs but also your budget.
To help guide you through the process, we've created a list of the seven best family vehicles under $35,000. With a mixture of sedans, compact SUVs, crossovers, and minivans, you're sure to find something to fit your needs.
A family vehicle must, first and foremost, fit your entire family. If you're a family of three or four, a standard sedan will work fine. However, if your family stretches to five or more, you may need to look into a three-row SUV or minivan to haul everyone comfortably.
On top of space, safety is another critical area. We suggest only considering vehicles with an IIHS Top Safety Pick or Top Safety Pick+ rating. You also want to lean toward vehicles with advanced safety features.
Finally, the vehicle's standard features matter too. From adaptive cruise control to touchscreen infotainment systems with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, these features make long commutes a breeze.
Let's dive in.
Need to haul people and their luggage safely? Here are the seven best vehicles for families for under $35,000.
The 2018 Chevy Malibu does so much so well. It has a sporty and timeless design on the outside, but what really earns it a spot on our list is the technology inside and its 967.7 mm of rear legroom.
The 2018 Malibu LS and higher comes standard with a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Plus, you get 16-inch alloy wheels, a rearview camera, and more.
You may even get lucky and find a model equipped with automatic emergency braking, as this was optional on the LT and standard on the Premier trim.
Make sure to skip the base L trim -- not that you'll find many of these stripped-down rental vehicles on the open market.
With an average asking price that starts at $17,973, the 2018 Malibu is an incredible value. Plus, it was an IIHS Top Safety Pick for 2018.
The 2018 Ford Fusion is an under-the-radar model that suits most families well. Its sleek design has held up well over the years, and if you skip the base model and SE trim, you get a standard 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Unfortunately, it doesn't have Android Auto or Apple CarPlay.
One feather in the Fusion's cap is within the $35,000 budget, you can stretch up to the Platinum Energi plug-in hybrid and get great fuel economy and a 35-km all-electric range.
In the safety department, the 2018 Fusion was an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Plus active lane control, lane-departure warnings forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, and active park assist were all options, so you may find some pre-owned models with these features equipped.
The Subaru Forester is a legend on Canadian streets, so its spot here is well-earned.
The 2018 Forester not only has standard all-wheel drive for snowy conditions, but it also boasts a timeless design that never seems to age. Plus, it comes well equipped with standard Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel controls for the audio system, a 6.2-inch touchscreen, and a rearview camera. Higher-trimmed models get a 7-inch touchscreen and premium audio.
Plus, you can stretch to the range-topping 2.0XT Touring with EyeSight and still pay an average asking price of just $30,909. This model includes blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise, automatic braking, lane-keeping assist, and more. This all nets it an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
On top of all this, this crossover has roomy rear seats and plenty of cargo space.
The Toyota Camry might as well have invented the family car space, so it belongs here. This sedan boasts sleek and sporty styling, especially in the SE and XSE trims. Plus, within a $35,000 budget, you can get into the fully loaded XLE Hybrid model.
Even the base trim is relatively well-equipped with a standard 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay (no Android Auto). It also includes adaptive cruise control, power features, LED headlights, and Bluetooth. Optioning up to the XLE trim adds an 8-inch screen, dual-zone climate control, and more.
On the safety front, the 2019 Camry landed a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. It also features top-line safety features, including standard adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and active lane control.
For all these features, you can expect to shell out an average asking price of just $30,938 for the range-topping XLE Hybrid trim.
The Honda Accord is another stalwart in the family-friendly vehicle segment, so it's no shock to see the 2019 Accord make our list of the best family cars.
The Accord's mature styling makes it a great pick for just about any buyer, but it really shines in its standard equipment. The base LX trim includes Bluetooth connectivity, dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless ignition, a 7-inch infotainment display, and one low-power USB port. One trim level up, you also get standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto installed in an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
The 2019 Accord earned Top Safety Pick honours from the IIHS. Plus, its standard safety equipment is plentiful. It includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, active lane control, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and a rearview camera.
The 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe is a spacious and well-equipped compact crossover with plenty of room in the back seat to stretch your legs and loads of cargo space. It also has unique styling and is sure to grab some attention.
Standard features are plentiful in this small crossover, keeping road-trips exciting. It comes standard with Bluetooth connectivity, cloth upholstery, and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Even the range-topping Ultimate trim will barely fit under the $35,000 cap, and it includes an 8-inch touchscreen, premium audio, a wireless phone charger, and more.
On top of all this, the Santa Fe is a safe crossover, earning a 2019 IIHS Top Safety Pick award. Standard safety and driver-assistance equipment includes forward-collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitors, adaptive cruise control, active lane control, and a rearview camera with rear cross-traffic alert.
The first minivan on our list is the 2019 Honda Odyssey. This model is designed for a large family that doesn't want a midsize SUV or a large SUV, thanks to its three rows of seating that can handle up to eight passengers.
Because you're paying mostly for the real estate, the base LX model is relatively spartan and includes a standard multi-angle rearview camera, 5.0-inch LCD screen, Bluetooth connectivity, 60/40-split “Magic Slide” third-row seating, and USB audio. You'll also sacrifice fuel efficiency in this large van.
You may be able to find an EX trim within your $35,000 budget, but it'll be close. This will add higher-end features like tri-zone automatic climate control, a power 12-way driver's seat, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, and a 160-watt audio system.
There is plenty of room in all three rows too, as the second row has 1,038 mm of legroom and the third row has 967.7 mm.
The EX trim also adds forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, active lane control, road departure mitigation, adaptive cruise control, automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.
Skip the hassle of a traditional car dealership when shopping for the best family vehicle and head to Clutch.ca, Canada's first online vehicle retailer. We allow you to complete the shopping process 100% online, then we bring the vehicle to you.
On top of that convenience, all our vehicles sold online go through a 210-point inspection and reconditioning process and include a 90-day or 6,000-km warranty. We also offer a no-risk 10-day or 750-km test-own period. If you don't love your Clutch vehicle within the first 10 days or 750 km, you can return it for a full refund or exchange it for another.