Big Family, Small Budget: Choosing the best vehicle for your family

Families usually need a reliable, roomy car that can fit everyone. Here are some great options.

As of 2017, more than 15 percent of all households in the United States had three or more family members living in the home. These larger families may find themselves facing some issues which will not be a burden for small for smaller families. One of the biggest hurdles a large family may face is finding transportation for their entire clan. With the holidays coming up, the issues surrounding transportation needs for large families is exacerbated. To that end, there are a few key consideration to keep in mind before moving forward with any vehicle purchase. Below, we will take a look at these points, and go into a few of the most suitable options available on the market today.

Vehicle Viability

Before we go over the makes and models of vehicles befitting a large family, it is essential to highlight some key factors to keep in mind when comparison shopping, especially on the internet.

  • First and foremost, check your credit score before beginning your search. Having this information will drastically cut back on potential time wasted dealing with vehicles and/or dealers which are unsuited to your available financing options due to the status of your credit score. Going into any deal or negotiations with information will lend the upper hand to the buyer, as they will then be able to navigate the conversation to best fit their needs.
  • If you're looking to trade-in or upgrade, comparison shop for quotes on the value of your current vehicle to receive the best price. The more you get for your current car, truck, or van, the more you will be able to spend (or save!) on the purchase of another vehicle.
  • Understand your potential financing options. Many dealerships offer a fairly generic financing policy, though many will also provide more specialized agreements, as well. Depending on your and your family's needs, at least a basic grasp of the points addressed in these types of policies is essential.
  • Look into your state's Lemon Law, if they have one, and understand your rights as a consumer. If the vehicle in question repeatedly fails to meet quality standards, you may be subject to compensation under the current Lemon Law. There are only six states, as of 2017, with Lemon Law regulations, so be sure to check your state's laws.
  • Comparison shop and read as many customer reviews as possible. Skip the reviews with only a few sentences and look for more detailed reviews, both on the positive and negative end of the spectrum. Once you have a better grasp of how a company or facility operates, you will be able to make a clearer choice in your vehicle provider.

Though these points are essential in ascertaining the most painless and hassle-free vehicle-buying process as possible, finding the right vehicle, in itself, presents an entirely new set of issues.

Whether buying new or used, the options for large family vehicles are vast and seemingly endless. As such, it can sometimes be a bit daunting to approach this task. To make it easier, we've compiled some of the best new and used vehicle choices.

Vehicle Options

Ford Explorer:

This vehicle, if bought new and at the lowest price, will run approximately $32,365- whereas purchasing a used Ford Explorer, though still highly functioning version, can be found for almost $10,000 less than the 'new' price. With three rows of seats and professing a roomy 43.9 cubic feet of cargo space, optional rear seat video screens with DVD capability, and a standard power seat setting plus a manual 8-point lumbar system for extra comfort for driver and front passenger seats. Also included is a backup camera, SOS post-crash alert system, and, of course, Bluetooth capabilities. The safety and design of this vehicle are showcased in its advanced features and enhanced technologies.

Nissan Rogue:

Typically built to accommodate 5 passengers, the small, affordable crossover has the unique option to add a third row, thus increasing its carrying capacity to 7 passengers. You will find a cozy 39.3 cubic feet of cargo space, though, if you fold down the rear seats, this measurement can increase to 70 cubic feet. The 2015 Nissan Rogue SV AWD starts at around $25,840, new. Used models can be found, again, nearly $10,000 cheaper.

GMC Terrain:

Of course, no vehicle list would be complete without including a GMC model. Known far and wide for their durability, style, and comfort, GMC holds some of the highest standards in the auto industry. The GMC Terrain is a bit smaller than comparable vehicles (the Acadia, for example, offers 79 cubic feet of cargo space, as opposed to the GMC Terrain's 63 cubic feet), but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in safety and design features. A rearview camera comes standard, and the base model has a sliding rear seat, which allows for bringing little kids in closer, while the bigger kids can have more room to kick each other in the back. The rear seat also reclines, so teens can lie back in the mornings, and dwell in their angst on the way to their oh-so-pretentious school.


Regardless of the make or model you choose, remember to keep in mind the suggestions at the top before purchasing. Take the vehicle for a test drive, both in residential areas and on the highway. Take into account your financial obligations and what you can realistically afford vs. what your family's needs are and you will walk away with the perfect vehicle for your large family!