Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Kelley Blue Book 12 Best Family Cars of 2017

This post was sponsored, but opinions are 100% my own.

In late 2015 I had the opportunity to visit the Kelley Blue Book headquarters and see how they do things. I was a little surprised at how much I learned. Kelley Blue Book really takes every option into consideration when they are evaluating the cars. They want to recommend the best in each category. Recently they released their picks for the 12 Best Family Cars of 2017.

In this year’s lineup, they focused on SUVs and minivans. This is the first year that there are no sedans chosen. Starting prices for this year’s winners range from about $20,000 to the low $30,000 range, with only one vehicle exceeding a $40,000 starting price. I know personally when I was looking at a new car, under $40,000 was very much preferred.

I have a 14 year old and also a 4 year old, so we still use a car seat. Knowing that Kelley Blue Book took child car safety seats into consideration for this year’s list means a lot to me. editorial staff includes several parents with children spanning a full range of ages from toddler to beyond college. The editors enlisted the help of their families to put this year’s contenders to the real-world test.

Here’s a look at the qualities and characteristics Kelley Blue Book considers when 12 Best Family Cars of 2017:

Safety- every vehicle on this list has earned a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating (except for the Chevrolet Tahoe, which has 4-stars) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Value- Kelley Blue Book has a 5-Year Cost to Own calculator that helps them assess the full cost of a car beyond its price tag. By considering a vehicle’s Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price, the 5-year residual value, insurance, and fuel and maintenance costs, their 5-Year Cost to Own figures make it easy to compare actual vehicle costs over a full buy-own-sell ownership cycle. Quite often, spending a little more on the right car can save you thousands in the long run over going for the big rebate on another car.

Reputation- According to, “Most of the models on this list have been around a long time and have earned strong reputations for durability, reliability and simply treating their owners right. In the case of the only all-new nameplate on the list, the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, its overall appeal helped earn it a spot on the list in lieu of a clear track record.”

Driving Manners- Kelley Blue Book says, “A vehicle that goes, turns and stops smoothly and as expected is more satisfying and less fatiguing than one with acceleration delays or non-linear braking response, for instance. Good outward visibility and parking-lot finesse also contribute to stress reduction for the driver.”
Comfort and Convenience- Who doesn’t like a smooth ride, quiet cabin and comfortable seats to help keep a family happy while on the move? Convenience features also make a big difference in the overall experience. The sliding doors on some Chrysler Pacificas can be opened with a wave of your foot when your hands are full. The second-row seats on some Honda Pilots will fold and slide forward with the push of a button, granting easy access to the third row. The passenger-side second-row seat in the Nissan Pathfinder can provide access to the third row even when there’s a child car seat installed. With all the loading and unloading that happens in a busy family car, the benefits of small touches like these can really add up over the years.
Cargo Versatility- editors suggest, “Minivans and SUVs are the cargo-friendliest vehicles on the road, but some are friendlier than others. Usable volume is a key differentiator, but we’re also looking for advantages like low load floors that ease loading and unloading of bulkier items, as well as second- and third-row seats that fold and redeploy with minimal thought or effort.”

Child Seats- Child car safety seats are very important shoppers with babies, and or small children. Will the seat fit, enough room for the other person to put the seat back, leg room etc. There is so much to think about. Kelley Blue Book strongly recommends taking your child's car and boosters along with you when shopping. This way, you will know for sure how they fit.

Technology- “Technology is an increasingly significant factor in new vehicles, and for many buyers it’s the most exciting part,” says Kelley Blue Book. “This is the fun stuff. Bluetooth phone connectivity and USB ports are almost standard fare at this point, while rearview cameras and keyless entry and pushbutton start are heading in that direction. From the driver’s perspective, we look for capable and easy-to-use infotainment systems, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability leading the way here. Features like adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keep assists are both helpful and comforting in town and on the highway, while backup cameras/sensors and rear cross-traffic alerts greatly enhance parking-lot navigation.”

Now for the part you have been looking for. The list. Here are the :

Best 2-Row SUVs for Families
Listed in order of popularity according to sales volume
2017 Honda CR-V
Totally redesigned for 2017, the CR-V is the best-selling SUV in the country and one of’s most awarded cars every year.

2017 Subaru Outback
Whether you want to see it as a higher-riding wagon or a lower-profile SUV, the Outback is a top choice for go-anywhere, do-anything families.

2017 Kia Sportage
Totally redesigned for 2017, the roomier new Sportage checks all the right boxes for families.

2017 Honda HR-V
The most affordable entry on this list outshines its subcompact SUV competitors in roominess, refinement and flexibility.

Best 3-Row SUVs for Families
Listed in order of popularity according to sales volume
2017 Toyota Highlander
Updated and enhanced for 2017, the clever and reputable Highlander is among the industry standards in three-row transportation.
Midsize SUV

2017 Honda Pilot
Positively minivan-like in family-friendly features and amenities, the Pilot is also Kelley Blue Book’s Midsize SUV Best Buy of 2017.
Midsize SUV
2017 Nissan Pathfinder
Boasting an impressive array of enhancements for 2017, the Pathfinder maintains its position among the most family-oriented SUVs available.
Midsize SUV

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe
The lead workhorse of the active American family, the Tahoe combines available seating for 9 with the ability to tow the family’s biggest toys.
Full-Size SUV
Best Minivans
Listed in order of popularity according to sales volume
2017 Toyota Sienna
The only minivan with available all-wheel drive, the Sienna has been further improved for 2017.

2017 Honda Odyssey
Even in its last model year before a full redesign, the Honda Odyssey remains a slam-dunk minivan standout in almost every aspect.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica
The all-new Pacifica is the best-driving minivan on the road and offers the longest, most impressive list of cool features.

2017 Kia Sedona
Sedona strengths include an attractive, intuitive interior and the peace of mind of the segment’s very best warranty.

Do any of these cars look like a good possibility to you?

Please like us on facebook so you can get updates, new giveaway listings, and more

This post was sponsored and financial compensation was received for this post. The sponsor and any compensation received for this post in no way affected my opinion or any statements presented in this post. Top Notch Material blog always provides honest opinions, beliefs or experiences on products and services reviewed. If you have any questions or would like your product, service or company featured on Top Notch Material, please contact katrina  from Top Notch Material at katrina dot gehman {at} gmail [dot] com. The disclosure is done in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission 10 CFR, Part 255 Guides Concerning the use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.


  1. I love the blue book,it can really help a lot when you're car shopping,and it's been around forever so it can be a trusted source..greatfamily cars here

  2. Ooh what a great list!! I didn't know they do this!! I will have to keep this for when we are interested in purchasing one for our family!!

  3. I need to look up their sedan ratings. Don't need a vehicle this big.

    slehan at juno dot com

  4. We use KBB when we are looking for a car. I trust them. I can't afford anything close to these cars but I am a car person so it's interesting reading to me.

  5. Thank you for sharing. We always look up Kelly blue book prices.

  6. My Dad is a car salesman, so I know about the Kelley Blue Book, lol. That Kia Sportage looks really nice. I like that it has a little uniqueness (is that a word??) to it.

  7. I would love a Tahoe or Pathfinder! The third row would be great seeing as how I have three kiddos. I am not at all surprised to see the Sienna or Odyssey on the list! Those are both great as well, but I think I'd prefer a SUV.

  8. Thanks for the info! A new vehicle is coming for us so this is helpful thanks!

  9. I love seeing the Honda Pilot on the list as I have been thinking about getting one of those.Thanks for the info!

  10. These are nice cars all of them, I was eyeing the Nissan Pathfinder lately. One thing I learned is you really have to test drive a car, and can't make up your mind just looking at the info and data! It can be a big surprise!