What Type of Family Car is Right For You?

Toyota Highlander Outdoors (1)

Whether you’re a family of two or eight, making sure everyone gets to the right place on time is important! Let’s not forget the gear: laptop, stroller, gym bag, hockey equipment, and everything else in between. What are the go-to options available for a growing family? Let’s talk about general categories to simplify your search.

Crossover vs SUV

Crossover Utility Vehicles (CUVs) are the newest category to enter the vehicle segment, and often there is confusion between CUVs and Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). One general rule is that crossovers are built on a car-based frame and structure, while SUVs are larger and built on a truck-based frame and structure. Crossovers, like the 2021 Toyota CH-R, have become increasingly popular in the Canadian market because they’re smaller than SUVs (which is fitting for urban areas). CUVs handle similarly to a small car, and give you an elevated ride height.

SUVs offer increased cargo capacity and usually have a larger engine than CUVs so they’re capable to tow heavier loads. To put it into perspective, the 2022 Toyota Highlander can tow can tow up to 5000lbs making it the ideal choice for water enthusiasts towing a jet ski or boat to the cottage. SUVs also perform better in severe weather conditions, and if your family frequents rural areas the terrain won’t be a challenge for the SUV.

SUV vs Minivan

Minivans are people-movers with maximum cargo space. They also offer incredible flexibility when it comes to different configurations of seating arrangements so that you can mix and match people with cargo as you need. Both the 2022 Toyota Sienna and the 2022 Toyota Highlander offer a seating capacity of up to 8 people, though you’ll have more cargo room behind the third row in the Toyota Sienna.

Teen Drivers

Maybe you’re not having additional children but your family is growing in another sense… the teen years! You may be mindful that your teen will be driving your vehicle too. Many parents opt to start their teen’s driving years in a smaller vehicle like the 2022 Toyota Corolla so teens can build their driving experience in a car that is easy to handle and park. These vehicles are reliable and safe, with features such as vehicle stability control, anti-lock brake system, and brake assist (part of Toyota’s Star Safety System).

Hybrid vs Non-Hybrid

Many vehicles are now offered with the option of a hybrid system. The hybrid technology has been refined since it was introduced in passenger vehicles over 20 years ago. This technology seamlessly moves between the electric motor and conventional gasoline engine, without a lag or drop in performance. Modern engine designs are definitely fuel-efficient, and when paired with a hybrid system you get the best of both technologies. You’ll have fewer trips to the gas station, which means more time on the road, and you won’t need to worry about plugging in the vehicle because the hybrid battery is recharged as you drive. If you drive a lot in stop-and-go traffic, a hybrid vehicle is worth considering.

There’s definitely a vehicle for every lifestyle and every stage of life for your family. Choosing a vehicle that is the right fit for you, reliable, and fun to drive is part of the journey. Enjoy!


This article is in partnership with In-Powered Auto.


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