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If you have a growing family or are planning to have children in the near future, it's likely that your automotive priorities have shifted and you're looking for one of Australia's best family friendly cars.
Family-friendly cars, contrary to popular belief, aren't just big; they're also packed with smart technology that keeps our family safe, clever interior designs that provide space and practicality, and entertainment options to keep your family entertained on long holiday road trips.
While SUVs are undoubtedly the preferred car of choice for many Australian car buyers, there are also some appealing sedan and wagon options that offer similar family-friendly features and, in some cases, more practicality than a comparable SUV.
To make the best decision, you must be aware of all the potential options available on the market, so with that in mind, let's look at some of the best family cars in Australia in 2022.
Look no further than Mazda's line-up for one of Australia's best family-friendly SUVs, which includes everything from compact SUVs to mid-size and even large SUVs that are perfectly suited to the needs of a growing family.
While the midsize Mazda CX-5 would suit most families, if you have a large or growing family, Mazda's top-of-the-line CX-9 is one of the best family cars currently available in Australia.
The CX-9 offers a large, comfortable platform with seating for seven people, as well as a powerful turbo four-cylinder engine and a slick six-speed automatic transmission, starting at $45,990 in entry-level form.
Mazda's interior designs and clever packaging are among the best in the industry, adding to the sense of refinement and luxury inside without the hefty price tag or concerns about what your children might do to the luxury materials in premium family-movers.
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best options on the market if you don't need seven seats in your next family car, and the RAV4 Hybrid is a particular highlight of the line-up. The RAV4 has established a solid reputation all over the world, with Australians leading the way.
The RAV4 line-up, now in its fifth generation, offers some of the most appealing value for money propositions in the family-friendly SUV segment, and in 2022, a new and refreshed model will be introduced, packed with more equipment despite price drops across the range.
The platform is ideal for growing families, with a plethora of practical features and interior space for children, as well as a large boot and some of the best fuel economy in the segment in hybrid variants.
The base RAV4 GX starts at $34,300, while the entry-level hybrid GX all-wheel drive starts at $39,800, making it one of the most cost-effective hybrid SUVs on the market. Even better, Toyota has updated its infotainment system and included more standard features, even in lower-spec models.
Kia has expanded its SUV line-up significantly in recent years, and 2022 looks to be no exception, with the Sorento line-up being expanded to a total of nine variants for the year.
While there are no major feature upgrades planned for the MY22 model year, Kia has announced plans to introduce a new hybrid Sorento to the line-up, which is known for its family-friendly capabilities, smart safety technology, creature comforts, and enormous amounts of space and practicality inside.
The entry-level Sorento S front-wheel drive is priced at $46,290 and comes standard with a wealth of technology and a full suite of active safety features, which are complemented by the Sorento's strong five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Even better, the Sorento is available in both five and seven-seat configurations, with the five-seat variant offering a massive 616L of boot space, making it ideal for holiday road trips packed to the brim with bags and sports equipment.
The Subaru Outback is a particularly family-friendly wagon that is more than capable of comfortably and safely transporting your family into the great outdoors without opting for a large, and sometimes cumbersome, SUV body shape.
The Outback is a car that was built to be used and isn't afraid to get dirty, making it an ideal companion for active families looking to get away from the city. The Outback also strikes a relatively budget-friendly note, with prices starting at $40,690 for the base model.
Subaru's active safety technology suite, which includes autonomous emergency braking and steering, is standard on all Outback models, and the vehicle has a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
Even better, the Outback provides plenty of room for passengers in the front and rear seats to stretch out and get comfortable on long journeys, as well as a large, family-friendly boot space of 522L. The Outback is well-deserving of a spot on your shortlist if you're looking for a family car that isn't a large SUV.
While Skoda may not be the first choice for many Australian car buyers, the Czech manufacturer produces some truly outstanding cars, particularly in the family-friendly segment.
The Kodiaq is a brand-new seven-seat SUV that has only recently arrived in Australia, where it will compete against some of the industry's biggest names. Skoda, on the other hand, has a slew of tricks up its sleeve to entice buyers, including generous equipment lists, affordable starting prices, and a slew of new safety features for its Kodiaq line-up.
The entry-level Kodiaq Style 4x4 starts at $52,990 and goes up to $74,990 for the performance oriented Kodiaq RS. You'll be happy to know that the entry-level Kodiaq comes with 19-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, two digital displays, adaptive cruise control, an automatic boot lift, and a set of tablet holders for rear passengers.
With three rows of seating, the boot space is 270L, but in a five-seat configuration, it expands to a massive 630L, making it ideal for families.
The Toyota Kluger has quickly become one of Australia's most popular family cars, especially for families who require more space than the midsize RAV4 provides. With hybrid options now available across all three variants, the Kluger provides a large, adaptable, and safe platform for growing families.
The entry-level Kluger GX front-wheel drive starts at $47,650, while the entry-level hybrid variant starts at $54,150 and comes with an all-wheel-drive platform. The hybrid variants have a combined cycle fuel economy of just 5.6L/100km, making them one of the most fuel-efficient options in the large family SUV market.
Alloy wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry, and an 8.0-inch infotainment system are standard on entry-level models, while higher-spec models get a panoramic sunroof, ventilated seats, and leather upholstery.
The amount of space available in the back of the Kluger's cabin, regardless of which variant you choose, has made it a hit with large families and cemented its reputation as one of Australia's best family cars.
The Hyundai Santa Fe is another vehicle that has quickly risen to the top of the family-friendly car rankings. What you might not know is that the Santa Fe is, underneath the skin, the same car as another contender on our list, the Kia Sorento. This is beneficial in more ways than one because the collaboration resulted in the release of two of Australia's best family cars.
With clever interior packaging that maximises interior space and comfort, as well as a large boot that can swallow up to 782L of gear, the platform is ideal for large families. Even better, Hyundai's comfort, entertainment, and safety feature lists are extremely generous, so you won't have to break the bank to get all the features you want in your family-friendly SUV.
The Santa Fe starts at $44,700 for the base model, rising to $65,200 for the top-of-the-line model, which comes with a choice of diesel or petrol engines and automatic transmissions.
Our list ends with a car you might not expect, but one that is perfectly capable in the face of a large family. The Volkswagen Passat is a large, spacious, comfortable, and safe sedan that is ideal for families with two children who do not require the space and comfort of a large SUV.
While the sedan is ideal for families, the Passat wagons are a particular highlight of the line-up for growing families, combining smart interior packaging with a massive SUV-rivalling amount of boot space, all while benefiting from VW's high level of build quality and engineering.
On the road, the Passat is extremely refined and comfortable, and it frequently drives like a car that is far more expensive. The Volkswagen Passat is available in a variety of trim levels, starting at $46,590 for the 140TSI Business and rising to $63,790 for the fast Passat 206TSI R-Line wagon.
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