Depending what you consider to be a large family, there are a great many vehicles available that are perfect for any family, especially larger ones.
What exactly is a “large family” these days?
I asked a former waitress who knows about these things, and she tells me that a “large family” can be as few as four or five people depending on what they order! Though not an expert she says that it does not really matter how old the children are, just how many, apparently since it is hard to make sure all the different orders come out on time. I would imagine that making one steak, another pasta, and yet another grilled cheese could be a complicated scheduling issue and might make a small family seem much larger.
However when I think of a large family I can only visualize it as being more than six, this is probably due the fact that I grew up with a family of eight, and my mothers family had 11, and my step fathers family was 15 people! I remember how it was a really big deal for nine or ten of us to pile into our huge green 1968 Plymouth Suburban Wagon with the 383 V8 engine, and head up to the Vine Street Drive Inn a few blocks from home! Nowadays when we see four or five people in a car, we tend to think of that as a large family.
Here are my top seven selections of 2011 vehicles which I feel are the most ideal for transporting a large family around town every day. I am more of a traditionalist when it comes to this, and feel that a station wagon can fill almost all of the needs of any large family with room to spare. All of these models offer decent fuel economy for vehicles their size, and most have really large cargo areas!
1) Ford Flex Wagon
This vehicle is a really great version of the original big station wagon which some of us grew up with. There is plenty of passenger space, and a very generous cargo storage area. This is designed to carry up to seven passengers, and offers a most impressive 83 cubic feet of storage area. Mileage is 17 mpg city, and 24 on the highway. This model comes with front wheel drive, and a stout 3.5 Liter V6 engine with 262 horsepower. It is large and stable due to the front wheel drive, and handles like a tank with the engine mounted up there as well. This makes for a fairly decent towing vehicle as well. Family camping trips are no problem with this car! MSRP is running around $29,000.
2) Subaru Outback Wagon
Subaru has been perfecting all wheel drive for quite a long time now, and this model is perfectly balanced with great handling and a smooth ride. The interior is quite roomy, and this model can handle five passengers with ease. It also offers an incredibly large 71 cubic feet of storage space. Highly reliable and very efficient, these are great family wagons for the money. Mileage is 22 in the city and 29 on the highway. All wheel drive. 2.5 Liter 4 cylinder engine with 170 horsepower. MSRP is running around $24,000.
3) Toyota Venza Wagon
This is a really sweet ride which we have come to expect from Toyota. It is effortlessly luxurious, and can manage five passengers easily, and with 70 cubic feet of storage space everyone can take some of their own stuff along for the ride. Mileage is 21 in the city and 27 on the highway. Standard models have front wheel drive, with a rock solid 2.7 Liter 4 cylinder engine with 182 horsepower. MSRP is running around $26,500.
4) VW Jetta Sport Wagon
VW cars are so well built and with the right engine the fuel economy beats some Hybrids with ease! It offers comfortable seating for five passengers, and has a large 67 cubic foot storage capacity. These front wheel drive wagons handle almost any road condition you can imagine. Mileage is exceptional at 30 mpg city and 42 mpg highway due to their fuel pinching 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder turbo diesel engine. Horsepower is a firm 140. MSRP is running around $25,800.
5) Volvo V50 Wagon
Volvo has been making some of the finest automobiles in the world for quite a few years now, and this five passenger front wheel drive wagon is no exception to that rule. I have always seen the Volvo line as a really upscale vehicle, but the price tag on this model makes you rethink that. This car can move your large family and all their gear with ease and style, offering an opulent 63 cubic feet of storage. Mileage is 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway from a stump pulling 2.5 Liter 5 cylinder engine with 227 horsepower. MSRP is running around $29,000.
6) Cadillac CTS Wagon
Hauling your family around in an affordable yet quite luxurious Cadillac is exactly what this car was built to do. Easily accommodating five passengers, and offering a decent area of 58 cubic feet for storage. Fuel mileage is an impressive 18 mpg city and 27 mpg highway, mostly due to the modern engine controls on these 3.0 Liter 6 cylinder engines, this model has 270 brisk horsepower. Surprisingly this car is rear wheel drive which makes it a lot of fun when the light turns green, since those 270 ponies will help you squeal the tires if you desire! MSRP is running around $38,300.
7) Audi A3 Wagon
Audi is one of the sportiest car companies ever, and their five passenger front wheel drive wagon may surprise people with its spacious interior, and its 39 cubic feet of storage. Mileage is a fairly decent 21 mpg city and 30 mpg highway. The Audi 2.0 Liter 4 cylinder engine pounds out 200 of the smoothest horsepower you will ever wrangle with one foot! MSRP is surprisingly affordable at around $27,300.
If it were me buying a new wagon instead of an SUV, it would probably be the All Wheel Drive version of the Ford Flex. This car fits so many situations and yet is not the dreaded “mommy van” that so many people seem to fear owning! Another useful purpose for all of these wagons at the end of their useful life is that you could trick them out and use them at your local demolition derby!
What if there is still not enough room?
Of course there is always that odd trip where you have way more people and gear than you have car, and that is when you should go out and rent a 12 or 15 passenger van. This is the wise choice especially if you do not really need to haul more than five or six people on a regular basis.
Thank you for reading my articles here on Associated Content – Yahoo!
Comparison data was collected by visiting various local dealerships, and from watching Top Gear on cable channel BBC America.
Ford Flex Wagon
Subaru Outback Wagon
Toyota Venza Wagon
VW Jetta Sport Wagon
Volvo V50 Wagon
Cadillac CTS Wagon
Audi A3 Wagon
For detailed specifications and pricing visit: