Awards Season

U.S. News & World Report releases annual list of Best Cars for Families

The Ford Expedition has made the cut, alongside some Toyota, Honda, and Kia models, among others.

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

Families use cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs to get around. Some vehicles do it better than others. U.S. News & World Report has released its latest list of the best new vehicles for families.

To come up with the winners of the 2020 U.S. News Best Cars for Families awards the company evaluated 90 new 2020 model year. vehicles. To come up with the winners, the company looked at a combination of the vehicles's reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume, and family-friendly feature availability.

The awards are distributed in nine classes with the winner being the Best Car for Families in that category. Scroll down to see all nine.

Best 3-Row SUV for Families: 2020 Kia Telluride

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

The three-row 2020 Kia Telluride has family-friendly design front and center. It has a number of features that will make families fall in love with it from its easy-access third row to its USB ports.

Best Compact SUV for Families: 2020 Toyota RAV4

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota completely redesigned the RAV4 for the 2019 model year and added a new trim level for the 2020 model year, the 2020 Toyota RAV4 TRD Off-Road. It remains the most popular SUV sold in the U.S. For the 2021 model year, Toyota is adding a plug-in hybrid version of the RAV4 called the RAV4 Prime.

Best Minivan for Families: 2020 Honda Odyssey

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Odyssey isn't just America's top-selling minivan. It's also one of the most reliable. Recent studies revealed that its one of the top 15 vehicles that owners keep for 15 years or more and one of the few models that frequently reaches 200,000 miles on its odometer. Honda recently announced a host of updates to the van for the 2021 model year.

Best 2-Row SUV for Families: 2020 Honda Passport

Photo courtesy of American Honda Motor Co., Inc

The Honda Passport isn't for large families in the way the Odyssey or Pilot are, but it's a great two-row SUV that is suitable for empty nesters and families of four. How do we know? AutomotiveMap recently took the model on a trip to Yosemite National Park, testing out its on-road prowess and family-hauling capability. We've also put a rooftop tent on it and tested it on a family camping weekend.

Best Hybrid or Electric Car for Families: 2020 Toyota Avalon Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Avalon doesn't get much publicity but that doesn't mean that it's not a good car. The large Toyota is comfortable and capable. It comes in a traditional internal combustion engine model and a hybrid variant. The Avalon Hybrid is a fuel-efficient model that still delivers the space a family needs, and it's one of the most reliable cars on the road today.

Best Hybrid or Electric SUV for Families: 2020 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The redesigned Toyota Highlander Hybrid is the most fuel-efficient model ever. It also has some of the most family-friendly features ever shown in a three-row Toyota SUV. For the 2021 model year, Toyota will be adding a new model, the Highlander XSE, to its lineup.

Best Large Car for Families: 2020 Toyota Avalon

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

Like its hybrid variant, the Toyota Avalon seats four in comfortable accommodations. It's a large car, but that doesn't mean that it drives like a boat. It also doesn't have stodgy design or a lack of high-tech features.

Best Large SUV for Families: 2020 Ford Expedition

Photo courtesy of Ford Motor Company

The three-row Ford Expedition is definitely a truck. It's also an SUV and family hauler. The model isn't as elegant or refined as its sister, the Lincoln Navigator, but it makes up for it with more rugged looks and a lower price tag. Ford recently added King Ranch and Platinum models to the Expedition lineup for the 2020 model year, as well as a new FX4 Off-Road Package.

Best Midsize Car for Families: 2020 Toyota Camry

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc.

The Toyota Camry is one of the best-selling cars in the U.S. year after year because it's a good choice for a wide range of people, from singletons to families. This new generation is more fuel-efficient than ever and it has the largest number of tech features. Toyota has also recently started offering the Camry in an all-wheel drive format.

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Toyota is mobilizing, putting its money where its mouth is to help Texas affected by severe winter weather.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

Winter Storm Uri impacted nearly every single one of Texas's 254 counties. North Texas-based Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has pledged $1 million in relief for those affected by the storm. The aid is slated to serve both Toyota and Lexus customers and a variety of Texas-based non-profit organizations.

Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

"We take our role as community leaders seriously, so when winter storms affected millions right in our back yard, our top priority became helping Texas get back on its feet after this ordeal," said Sean Suggs, group vice president of Social Innovation, TMNA. "Texans have supported our company in myriad ways, and we want to help our neighbors emerge from this storm stronger than ever."

The $1 million relief effort includes:

North Texas/DFW Metroplex

  • United Way of Metropolitan Dallas, in support of North Texas Cares and West Dallas nonprofits to quickly distribute funds to grassroots organizations: $450,000
  • North Texas Food Bank: $100,000
  • The Family Place and Genesis Women's Shelter to fund hotel rooms, food, and transportation for their clients: $30,000
  • Toyota employees will be able to support the needs of four North Texas community partners significantly impacted by the storms by purchasing items from their Amazon Wish Lists.

San Antonio

  • SAWS Community Pipe Repair Fund, through the San Antonio Area Foundation to assist individuals and families stay in their homes safely with funds for plumbing repairs: $100,000
  • Let's Help SA Fund to provide food, water and shelter: $200,000

Houston

  • United Way of Greater Houston to support the Greater Houston 2021 Winter Storm Relief Fund that supports local home repairs: $50,000
  • Houston Food Bank: $50,000
  • CrowdSource Rescue to provide food, water and fuel: $20,000

Additionally, Toyota will match up to $10,000 in individual employee contributions to nonprofit organizations recovering from the storm.

Toyota and Lexus Financial Services customers who are looking for loan and lease payment relief, and were impacted by the storm, may be able to receive assistance under a new Toyota program that has a variety of options for clients.

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Toyota is offering its Lexus and Toyota financial services customers impacted by severe winter weather payment options to ease the burden of recovery.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

Toyota Financial Services (TFS) and Lexus Financial Services (LFS) are offering payment relief options for Texas customers after by Winter Storm Uri. The storm, which struck earlier this month, killed dozens of Texans, left millions without power, and impacted the water supply for over 15 million homes.

Any TFS or LFS customer who lives in the designated disaster area is eligible for relief. Over 60 Texas counties were part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) recent Texas Severe Winter Storms (DR-4586-TX). It is currently categorized as an active disaster.

There are a number of options for those that have leased or purchased vehicles utilizing the financial services and insurance arm of Toyota Motor Company. Some of those options include:

  • extensions and lease deferred payments;
  • redirecting billing statements; and
  • arranging phone or online payments.

Texas icicle sign Icicles hang off the State Highway 195 sign on February 18, 2021 in Killeen, Texas.Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

TFS customers who would like to discuss their account options are encouraged to contact the company by calling 800-874-8822 or contact TFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into ToyotaFinancial.com.

LFS customers may call 800-874-7050 or contact LFS via email using the Mail Center function after logging into LexusFinancial.com.

Houstonians are also able to receive additional relief for disaster-related issues. The Harris County Appraisal District announced that Houstonians whose home saw at least 15 percent damage and who live in a disaster-declared area are entitled to a temporary exemption of a portion of the appraised value of the property, according to CultureMap reporting.

Toyota isn't the only automaker stepping up. Ford has also offered to delay payments for Texans that owe money to its Ford and Lincoln financial services divisions.

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