Awards Season

U.S. News & World Report releases list of 2020's 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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Research and development

Ford names site for battery development facility

Ford's new facility will house battery research and development.

Ford

Ford is in the news again for its electrification efforts, this time with the confirmation of a Michigan location for a new battery research and development facility in Romulus, Michigan. The facility may eventually help Ford in-source much of its EV supply chain, a shift that could prevent or mitigate the challenges presented by parts and technology shortages.

As part of its electrification initiative, the automaker plans to build a new research and development facility, called Ford Ion Park. The facility will house new tech research, pilot programs for new manufacturing techniques, and will help give Ford more control over its supply chain.


Ford Ion Park Once complete, the facility will initially house 200 engineers.Ford


The price tag for the new facility and related efforts lands at $185 million, which sounds like chump change for a global automaker until we consider that Ford has committed $30 billion to electrification by 2025. The automaker says that its new facility renews its dedication to Michigan as its home base for EV development, a promise it originally made back in 2010. The company's new electric F-150 Lightning pickup truck will be built in Dearborn, which will add 500 jobs. An additional 225 jobs will be retained at Ford's Dyke Electric Powertrain Center.

As part of Phase One of the project, Ford plans to hire 200 engineers within 18 months of the 270,000-square-foot facility's opening. Ironically, the site was previously owned by A123 Systems, a battery manufacturer that closed the facility in 2017 due to low demand for batteries.


Ford Ion Park Ford has committed $185 million to the new facility and related efforts.Ford

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This car's auction price is already well past $100,000.

Bring a Trailer

The Toyota Supra is a car whose legend has grown, thanks in part to an appearance in a cult classic movie. Enthusiasts were already obsessed with the cars before 2001's Fast & Furious, but the Supra's leading role as a world-beating Japanese supercar cemented its place at the top of the automotive pyramid. Prices for the cars have been out of this world for years, but this 1995 Supra Turbo up for auction on Bring a Trailer might just take the cake as one of the most expensive ever sold.

The Renaissance Red Supra is absolutely mint, and shows just 7,000 miles on the clock. This fourth-generation Supra is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six that was rated at 320 horsepower and 315 pound-feet of torque when new. Unlike so many of the unfortunately-optioned cars seen for sale today, this one has a six-speed manual gearbox. The car is rear-wheel drive and features a limited-slip differential.


1995 Toyota Supra The Supra has grown in value significantly in recent years.Bring a Trailer


Inside, this car is every bit as nice as we'd expected a one-owner, 7,000-mile example to be. The ivory leather upholstery looks new, as does the dash and carpeting. The driver-focused center console has a factory CD player – a big deal in 1995 – and a cassette deck.

These cars are great, no doubt about it, but six figures (or likely way more, in this case) is a crazy number for someone to pay. We'll be watching the auction, though, and so should you. There are four days left for the already silly $136,000 bid to grow – substantially.


1995 Toyota Supra The car's ivory leather interior looks brand-new.Bring a Trailer

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