With the number of choices in minivans dwindling and the wagon nearly extinct, the SUV has become the go-to family vehicle. Their increase in popularity among all consumers has also lead to a wider variety of sizes and styles available for anyone looking for a roomy, functional vehicle. This means that while the SUV is a great choice for the family, some are more family-friendly than others are. With the SUV having the ability to appeal to those with children as much as it does to those without, when shopping for one it is always a good idea to do some research to determine which one fits your family’s needs. We have compiled a list of what we think are the top three family friendly SUVs available at your local dealership right now. What is a family friendly SUV? There are many factors to consider when deciding what makes one SUV more family friendly than another one. If you have a large family or young children in car seats or booster seats, having ample space and the ability to accommodate child seats is an important consideration. You also want to look at the accessibility to the cabin so you do not have to be an acrobat to get the kids and their equipment into and out of the vehicle. You also want to consider how safe the vehicle is. While you want to be sure that you keep the kids entertained and yourself happy on long road trips, you also want to be sure that they be protected from the world around them. In compiling this list, we did our best to choose family friendly SUVs from various classes to give you a better idea of what is available and what will provide you with the functionality, safety and the most driving pleasure you can have with or without the kids in tow. #1 - 2015 Honda CR-V The Honda CR-V has been a winner in the compact crossover SUV category since nearly day one. It first appeared in 1997. The CR-V was one of the first compact SUVs that gave consumers all the benefits of an SUV with all the driving comfort of a car. For 2015, the CR-V has received a few updates including better fuel economy, slight styling updates, and even more great features. The 2015 Honda CR-V is a five passenger compact SUV with a long history of practicality. From the layout of the cabin to its long list of user-friendly features such as auto-folding rear seats, the CR-V makes loading and unloading kids and cargo simple. It is also low to the ground making it easier for the kids to climb in and easier for you to install a car seat or booster seat. The CR-V also features child safety LATCH anchor points for all three-rear seat positions. The CR-V also earned a coveted “Good” rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for frontal, side, and frontal-offset crash testing. Its exceptional handling and braking capabilities also add to its superior safety ratings. The 2015 Honda CR-V is available in four versions, the LX, EX, EX-L and Touring. Standard features include a rearview camera, reclining rear seats with trunk mounted release handles, and iPod/USB interface and Pandora internet radio compatibility. Moving up through the trim levels adds additional convenience and safety features including a power liftgate, a variety of driver assist and collision mitigation features and a navigation system. Powered by a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine paired with a CVT, the 2015 CR-V gives you plenty of power and great fuel economy at 29 mpg combined for the front-wheel-drive version and 28 for the all-wheel-drive option. Fuel savings, great functionality and superior safety are what make the 2015 Honda CR-V a very family friendly SUV. #2 - 2015 Ford Edge If you are looking for a family-friendly SUV with extra power and performance, the 2015 Ford Edge is a great option. It has been completely redesigned for 2015 to offer more interior and cargo room and has a variety of updates and improvements in material quality. The Edge is a five passenger midsize crossover SUV is available in four versions with three engine choices and all trims are available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. The 2015 Ford Edge is a family-friendly SUV with the ability to appeal to any consumer. With the back seat now offering more room for three adults, it also means that there is more space to accommodate your children, especially those in car seats or booster seats. The added length of the Edge also means that it has more cargo room for groceries, sports equipment, or all the gear you may need for a family road trip. The 2015 Ford Edge also has some great options available that make any trip with the kids more enjoyable for everyone including a rear seat DVD entertainment system, second-row inflatable seatbelts, and a panoramic sunroof. The Edge also has an improved ride and handling that make driving it a pleasure and the ride a pleasure for passengers of any age. The 2015 Ford Edge is available in four trims, the SE, the SEL, the Titanium, and the Sport with all available with front-wheel or all-wheel-drive. Standard features include a 60/40 split folding rear seat, rearview camera, six-speaker audio system with CD and USB input, and Ford’s Sync system with Bluetooth, 911 assist and Pandora internet radio capability. Moving up through the trims adds additional features including leather seating, the MyFord Touch infotainment system, upgrade audio system, and more driver assist safety equipment. Engine choices range from a 245 horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to a larger 280 horsepower 3.5-liter V6 engine and for the Sport trim, a 315 horsepower turbocharged 2.7-liter V6 engine. Combined fuel economy for the four-cylinder is 24 mpg and 21 mpg for the 6-cylinder. With plenty of great features and conveniences plus the extra power options for you, the 2015 Ford Edge is a family friendly SUV with a bonus. #3 - 2015 Chevrolet Suburban For those with an extra-large family or a particularly active family, a large family-friendly SUV can serve a multitude of purposes. With seating for up to nine passengers and a just as spacious cargo area, the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a large family friendly SUV that has the power to handle a full house, all their gear plus anything you want to tow along behind. While its size can be a bit daunting in tight spaces, the extra room it offers for you family and friends will be much appreciated. Fully redesigned for 2015, the Chevrolet Suburban has received some great updates to make it even more family friendly. One of the much needed convenience updates is the ability to fold the third row seats into the floor instead of having to remove them to accommodate larger cargo. It is also available with more driver assist safety features including a lane departure warning system, blind spot monitor and front collision warning and mitigation system. While these are designed to assist the driver to avoid accidents, with a full house, they help make any trip safer. Other options that the family will appreciate include power-extending running boards for easy entry and exit and various rear passenger entertainment options to make long rides more enjoyable for everyone. The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is available in three versions, the base LS, midlevel LT and luxury LTZ. Standard features include rear privacy glass, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, tri-zone climate control, OnStar emergency communications, Bluetooth, USB/aux/SD audio input, and Bluetooth phone connectivity. As you move up the trim levels, you can enjoy even more features and options including a power liftgate, leather seating, the Chevrolet MyLink infotainment system, navigation, Siri Eyes-Free capability, and power folding third row seats. A 355 horsepower 5.3-liter V8 paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission with the option of rear-wheel or all-wheel-drive powers all versions of the 2015 Chevrolet Suburban. All Suburban trims also come ready to tow and when properly equipped offer you up to an 8,300 lbs. towing capacity. Fuel economy is estimated at 18 mpg combined, which is around the average for a vehicle its size. The 2015 Chevrolet Suburban is a family-friendly SUV that offers immense cabin and cargo space and plenty of power for the family on the go whether it is to soccer practice or a weekend on the lake. Shopping for a family friendly SUV that fits your family does not have to be a chore. By simply narrowing down the choices of SUVs to what will work for your family and your lifestyle it can be easy to find just the one that you will enjoy as much as your family does. Whether you want a fuel-efficient family friendly SUV that is perfect for the city or a full size family friendly SUV that makes weekend adventures a breeze, there is one out there for you. While these are only three of the hundreds of family friendly SUVs on the market, we think that these are some of the best choices to keep you and your family safe and enjoy traveling anywhere for many years to come.
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