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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Custom SUVs

Ford Bronco to rule SEMA this year

The Bronco RTR features a fun livery and several off-road upgrades.

Ford

The annual Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show is an opportunity for the aftermarket and manufacturers to come together on wildly customized vehicles and to show off the latest parts and tech in the space. Now that the Ford Bronco has finally made its way to the public, it's not surprising to see several wild SEMA takes on the hottest SUV to hit the market in some time.

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods The tracks are said to improve the Bronco's abilities in deep snow and ice.Ford

2021 Bronco by Tucci Hot Rods

The new Bronco is capable and rugged on its own, but Tucci Hot Rods felt it needed more. The shop gave it that boost with a set of tracks in place of wheels, which are said to be great for deep snow and ice. This Bronco features a 2.3-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder engine and a seven-speed manual transmission to go with its Mattracks 88-Series quad tracks.

2021 Bronco RTR Fun-Runner by RTR Vehicles

Vaghn Gittin Jr's RTR Vehicles imagined a Bronco package that could be installed at the dealer. The result is the Fun-Runner, which features several Ford Performance and Ford Licensed Accessories parts. It's based on a 2021 two-door Bronco Badlands, and comes with an eye-catching wrap, an Ultimate Dana 44 front axle, Ultimate Dana 60 semi-float rear axle, RCV Performance CV axles, and a performance intake for its four-cylinder engine.

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions SEMA presents an excellent opportunity for shops to show off their skill and imagination.Ford

2021 Bronco by BDS Supensions

BDS is a subsidiary of Fox Shocks and has worked with Ford for quite some time. The results of that long-running relationship are on display with the BDS Bronco, which features Fox 2.5 PES coilovers, BDS rear adjustable control arms and track bar, swaybar disconnect, and 37-inch BFGoodrich KM3 tires. The Bronco's bumpers have been replaced with CrawlTek Revolution units that feature a recessed winch mount, recovery hooks and more.

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The new Si gets many improvements over the standard Civic.

Honda

The 2022 Civic and Civic Hatchback are just starting to hit our streets, but Honda's already moved on to higher performance versions of the car. The automaker just announced the Civic Si, which lands between the standard cars and the red-hot Type R in the Civic lineup.

2022 Honda Civic Si The Si's manual transmission gets rev-matching from the Civic Type R.Honda

The 2022 Civic Si gets a turbocharged 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. The VTEC unit has been updated with broader power curves and better output at the top of the rev range. It's paired exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission that features the handy rev-matching feature from the Civic Type R. The system can detect downshifts and blips the throttle to perfectly align engine revs with the shift.

Honda tightened up the new Si's body with an 8 percent bump in torsional rigidity and a 13 percent increase in bending rigidity over the previous model. The 2022 Civic Si also rides on a longer wheelbase and has a wider rear track for better stability. Honda says that at 107.7 inches, the Si has the longest wheelbase in its class, which should give the car a stable and comfortable ride.

2022 Honda Civic Si The 2022 Civic Si's interior is clean and sporty. Honda

The Si's cabin borrows heavily from the standard Civic, but the sporty car gets more aggressive front sport seats with stronger bolstering and better thigh and shoulder supports. Honda raised the seats' bottom cushion by half an inch at the front for better thigh support. A 9-inch touchscreen display is standard that runs wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A 12-speaker Bose stereo with Centerpoint 2 tech and SurroundStage digital signal processing are also standard.

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