Best minivan for road trips

Fading memories

A family road trip is a rite of passage. It can be a great bonding experience for making lifelong memories, but if families are cramped and uncomfortable on the long drive, the experience can be miserable.

Nobody runs out to buy a vehicle simply because of an upcoming road trip. But if you’re considering a new vehicle, and your vacations frequently take you, your spouse, and your kids (pets too!) to the open road rather than the friendly skies, road-trip-worthiness should factor into your buying decision. After all, you’re going to be spending a lot of time together in this vehicle.

Consumer Reports’ auto experts have compiled a list of eight suggested vehicles for families—large and small—with an eye to long-distance travel. These are models that have done excelled in our road tests; performed well in government crash and safety crash-tests, if evaluated; and have average or better predicted reliability.

These cars (Toyota Camry Hybrid, Honda Accord, and Chevrolet Impala), SUVs (Subaru Outback, Kia Sorento, Dodge Durango, and Audi Q7), and vans (Toyota Sienna) represent the different needs families have for a trip vehicle, and span a wide range of prices. We've focused on cars that are comfortable, quiet, ride well, and have plenty of space for people and luggage, yet attain reasonable fuel economy.

Sure, it might seem vanilla, but the Toyota Camry Hybrid truly delivers what shoppers want in a midsize sedan. And vanilla happens to be the best-selling flavor of ice cream. The no-fuss driving experience—great outward visibility, controls that fall easily to hand, a roomy interior—may not be the most thrilling in its class, but it's far from its undeserved boring reputation. A quiet cabin, slick hybrid powertrain, a comfortable ride, and sound handling make it pleasant and capable. The spacious rear seat has sufficient shoulder, head, and leg room to seat three comfortably. Year after year this sedan delivers outstanding reliability and solid owner satisfaction. The Camry also scored impressive crash-test results, and fuel economy for the Hybrid is 38 mpg overall.

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