Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020

If you’re a parent, your main concern is keeping your child or children safe in the car when you are driving. Unfortunately, not all cars are built as safely as they could or should be. Driving a larger vehicle, such as an SUV or large car, is often not enough to keep you and your children safe from a collision. wants to help you pick the right family car for 2020! Here is the family cars to buy or avoid in 2020!

Why Are These Good, Bad, or Ugly?

The vehicles that we have chosen are based on their IIHS Safety Ratings. The Good category are cars that have been chosen by the IIHS as their top safety picks in their class. The Bad are vehicles that having ratings below acceptable. They are also missing automated safety features that their competitors may have. The Ugly is just for fun. Cars under The Ugly are 2019 vehicles that are particularly boxy, uninspired, or just plain ugly in our opinion. Being in this category does not discount or take away from their individual positive merits.

The Good

Audi e-tron

Red 2020 Audi e-tron for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 blog by Blog
Audi has shown that they can produce a high-quality vehicle and the e-tron is no exception!

The Audi e-tron is a fantastic, albeit expensive choice for a large family. It is also one of the few all electric large SUVs on the market right now. The 2019 Audi e-tron retails for just under $75,000 for the standard trim level. In defense of its price, the e-tron passed every crash test by the IIHS with flying colors! The e-tron is also the IIHS Safety Pick Plus for the large SUV category! In addition to its safety ratings, the e-tron is just an all-around great vehicle! It received an 8.4 out of 10 by Edmunds. Edmund’s main complaint being about the touchiness of the brakes and the comparatively lower maximum range from the battery. All-in-all, the Audi e-tron seems to be a solid pick that covers reliability, comfort, utility, and safety. It is definitely one of the best family to buy in 2020!

Mazda CX-9

Red 2020 Mazda CX-9 for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
The true comeback kings after a pretty bad year in 2015; the Mazda CX-9!

Next is a vehicle that hasn’t had the best reputation for safety. Despite this, it has more than made up for it with Mazda’s updated models from 2017 and forward; the Mazda CX-9! In 2015, the CX-9 was given a Poor rating by the IIHS. It failed multiple crash tests that would result in extensive injuries or death. This damaged Mazda’s reputation and by the next two years, Mazda had completely revamped the CX-5’s safety features. This resulted in the CX-9 becoming an IIHS Top Pick Plus for 2019!

In addition to being an IIHS Top Pick for 2019, the CX-9 is also a great vehicle to own! It retails right around $35,000 for the Basic trim level. It has superior handling in comparison to many of its competitors, as well as true luxury interior, and is comfortable and quiet to drive! Edmunds gave the CX-9 a 7.9 out of 10; their biggest issue being less cargo space than Mazda’s competitors, and subpar comfort in the third-row seats. It is obvious that Mazda cares about their customers and their feedback and responded by creating one of the best midsized SUVs for families in 2020!

Toyota Avalon

Red 2020 Toyota Avalon for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
A large luxury sedan for the family of 4; the Toyota Avalon!

Toyota is known for dependability, safety, and making an all-around great vehicle and the Avalon is no exception! The Toyota Avalon is part of a dying breed of cars; the large sedan. Many manufacturers are focusing on building more SUVs or mid-sized sedans putting the Avalon in a strange spot. Despite this, it is still a quality vehicle earning its place as an IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus in the large car category!

In addition to being a IIHS Top Safety Pick Plus, the Toyota Avalon has many other advantages! It received a 7.8 out of 10 from Edmunds. Their main complaints being a lack of headroom, no four wheel drive, and no Android auto integration. Despite these drawbacks, the Avalon comes standard with many advanced safety features. It also has a comfortable ride and a quiet and roomy cabin. If you’re looking for a balance between fuel economy, cargo space, and roominess, the Toyota Avalon might be the perfect car for your family!

The Bad

Dodge Grand Caravan

White 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
Dodge has lost their edge of the last few years releasing some less-than-stellar vehicles!

Minivans have always had a reputation for being the vehicle full of kids on their way to soccer practice. Unfortunately, there is a pretty large misconception with minivans and safety as the Dodge Grand Caravan scored the lowest on the IIHS standard small-overlap crash test. Despite this, the Grand Caravan did score well on other crash tests but the small-overlap crash test mentioned above would without a doubt result in death or extensive injury to the driver.

Edmunds did not score the Dodge Grand Caravan like they did the other vehicles mentioned above. They did however mention twice as many cons to the Grand Caravan than pros. The Dodge Grand Caravan does have the iconic Stow n’ Go seats that made it so special. It is also one of the cheapest minivans on the market. But with cheap there comes other issues as well. Other problems with the Grand Caravan include cheap interior materials, an outdated infotainment system, optional Bluetooth and audio connectivity, and no integration with Apple CarPlay or Android auto play. All-in-all, with the vehicles we mentioned above there is no reason to go with the Dodge Grand Caravan.

Dodge Journey

White 2019 Dodge Journey for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
The SUV version of the Grand Caravan, the Dodge Journey is disappointing overall.

Next in our worst family cars is the Dodge Journey. After reading IIHS Safety test results and reviews, it is pretty clear that the Dodge Journey is the SUV version of the Dodge Grand Caravan. This means that the Journey has similar shortcomings to the Grand Caravan, such as failing the small overlap test and outdated technology. The Dodge Journey does not fare well in the Edmunds review either.

Overall, Edmunds gave the Dodge Journey a 5.4 out of 10. Edmunds pointed out how outdated the Dodge Journey felt to its competition. Low horsepower, lack of standard safety features even in higher trim levels, less than decent fuel economy, and the disappointing and outdated drivetrain and engine are some of the reasons cited for such a low score from Edmunds. They also cited the Dodge Journey’s handling and driveability as lagging in comparison to its competitors. It’s obvious that there are better options at this price point that provide better safety and overall driving experience.

Toyota Tundra

Black 2020 Toyota Tundra for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
Toyota is often known for dependability and quality, but the Tundra slips up when it comes to safety.

While not 100% considered a family vehicle, in rural areas where owning a truck is necessary for its utility, there is plenty of room to get a family of four from point A to point B in the Toyota Tundra. Unfortunately, the Toyota Tundra does not provide the greatest safety to its passengers. The Tundra only marginally passed the small overlap test on the driver-side while completely failing the small overlap test on the passenger-side. This can be an issue for family that needs a truck for its utility but is concerned about the safety features of the vehicle.

Edmunds gave the Toyota Tundra a 6.7 out of 10 rating score. The flaws that they specifically pointed out were its below-average fuel economy, stiff ride, few customization options, and its huge presence on the road. The last one could be seen as a benefit to a few, but Edmunds pointed this out as a difficult aspect of the truck to get over. The Toyota Tundra is not a bad vehicle but the safety aspects could use some updates in order to improve its use as a family vehicle.

The Ugly

To preface this section, this is entirely subjective. You may disagree with our opinion of what vehicles we consider “ugly.” We will not spend a lot of time or text discussing the pros and cons of each vehicle, just why we think it’s not a particularly attractive-looking vehicle. This section has nothing to do with the performance or quality of the vehicle, only its design and exterior aesthetics.

Buick Encore

Gold 2019 Buick Encore for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
The Encore isn’t that bad in terms of quality, but it’s like your driving around a potato with wheels.

The Buick Encore is not objectively a bad car, nor is it unsafe. The Encore just isn’t that appealing to look at. It is an extremely basic design that looks like a pear or potato turned sideways and mounted with wheels and a Buick badge. The Buick Encore has become the punchline for multiple jokes on the internet and “Top 10 Ugliest Cars” lists much akin to the Chrysler PT Cruiser, which we’ve discussed at length in a previous article. All-in-all, the Buick Encore isn’t awful to own or drive but there are definitely better options in terms of style and looks at the same price point.

Rolls Royce Cullinan

White 2020 Rolls Royce Cullinan for Family Cars to Buy or Avoid in 2020 by Blog
The Cullinan lacks the styling of the Phantom, which has a near identical price tag!

Rolls Royce are legendary car builders. They build the highest quality ultra-luxury vehicles that are often only accessible to the rich and famous. With that introduction, you might expect a car with style and looks that would match its $325,000 price tag. You’d be wrong. The Rolls Royce Cullinan looks confused, blocky, and unfinished. We’re not sure why someone would choose to spend one third of a million dollars on this Rolls Royce. There are other vehicles like the Rolls Royce Phantom with a similar price tag. It also provides the same utility expected in a family car.

Toyota C-HR

Silver 2020 Toyota C-HR for Family Cars to Buy and Avoid in 2020 by Blog
Edgy or ugly? Toyota definitely tried something different on the C-HR!

If you don’t mind the strangely facial styling of the Toyota C-HR, it’s a safe and dependable choice for a family vehicle. Otherwise, the Toyota C-HR has a robotic face that once you notice it, it is difficult to take the vehicle seriously. There are many articles about the “edgy” styling of the C-HR, not to mention the 2018 model had the option of a white-painted hood and teal-painted body. The Toyota C-HR is Toyota’s attempt to stand out with more innovative styling and no longer be dismissed as “boring.” If one thing’s for sure, you’ll definitely get noticed in the Toyota C-HR.

Starting a Family?

Maybe you’re starting a family and realized that your sports car, subcompact, or two-door truck isn’t going to cut it anymore! It’s time to get one of the vehicles we listed, but what are you going to do with your old pride-and-joy? is the easiest, most convenient and quickest way to sell your used car! We’ll buy any vehicle no matter the make, model, or condition it’s in! Go to and see what you could get for your car!


Check out our previous blog post about the least expensive cars of 2020 and which ones you should have your eye on!

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