topspeed 039 s top automotive picks for moms – DOC675052
It’s Mother’s Day, and we here at wanna show our love and gratitude to all those hardworking mamas out there. But you know, we’re not exactly big on the whole flowers and breakfast in bed thing, so instead, we’ve put together a list of our top seven automotive picks for moms. In this list, we look at a variety of price points and cover all the major family-oriented segments, including minivans, hatchbacks, compact crossovers, mid-size SUVs, full-size SUVs, wagons, and even something for moms with a craving for velocity. We also talk about features and what makes each pick stand out from the crowd when it comes to things moms might want.
What do you think of our picks? Are we missing a model? What’s your choice for the best mom-mobile? Let us know in the comments section. And don’t forget to call your mom!
Minivans – Chrysler Pacifica
This was a clear winner for us. Chrysler just replaced the Town & Country with the Pacifica for the 2017 model year, and it’s a vastly improved vehicle in pretty much every single way.
For starters, it looks fantastic, handily dismantling the notion of what a minivan should look like with slick styling front to back, plus available 20-inch wheels. Inside, you’ll find enough space for eight passengers, as well as copious entertainment options, including an available UConnect Theater that gives the youngsters twin 10.1-inch screens mounted into the seatbacks for games, movies, and apps. The rear screens also provide access to the GPS system to help quell the endless stream of “are we there yet?” questioning.
The Stow ‘n Go storage system was also improved, and there’s more refinement in front for the adults.
Hatchbacks – Kia Soul
You could call it a crossover if you really wanted, but for the purpose of this list, we’re calling it a hatchback. The Soul offers tidy dimensions, which is great for city-dwellers, plus a little extra height where you need it most. This sub-compact five-door is definitely the most affordable option on the list, but don’t think it skimps on refinement or features. Standard on the base model is SiriusXM audio, Bluetooth connectivity, a USB jack, adjustable driving modes, and soft-touch materials for the dash and upper door panels. It also looks funky and cool – traits not often associated with a family car.
Engine options include a 1.6-liter four-cylinder and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder, with a six-speed manual as standard and a six-speed automatic as an available option. There’s even an all-electric Soul, if that’s your thing.
Most importantly, the Soul is safe, especially for a sub-compact, earning top marks from both the NHTSA and the IIHS.
Compact Crossovers – Honda CR-V
Honda CR-V – Driven
The CR-V stands tall in a segment that’s positively overflowing with competition. Why? Simply put, it has an innate ability to play into the crossover mentality of ultimate versatility, offering the space and seating position of an SUV, while maintaining the easy driving dynamics and ride of a sedan.
It makes sense, given the CR-V was built on the same platform as the Civic. The cabin is quiet, the suspension soaks up bumps with ease, and the drivetrain is both economical and reliable. Standard spec includes FWD, while AWD is optional. All models get a CVT.
If you’re looking for the quintessential crossover, this it.
Mid-Size SUVs – Volvo XC90
As our content director Simona points out, “Volvo is by definition a mom’s car,” so you just know we had to include from the Swedes on this list. She thinks the XC90 is the way to go in this segment, and Mark agrees, saying, “Heck, it’s got a built-in car seat! Though it might not be as kid-friendly as the Pacifica, well-to-do moms looking for something classy will find the XC90 to their liking. The interior is absolutely immaculate!”
In true Volvo form, the XC90 is also quite safe, with a slew of high-tech features (automatic braking, lane departure warning, lane-keep assist, cross traffic alert, etc.) to keep you and yours out of harm’s way. It even looks pretty good.
Full-Size SUVs – Chevrolet Tahoe
Need a lot of space? The Tahoe has it, with three-row seating, plus a cavernous cargo area. Fold the seats, and you’ll get nearly 100 cubic feet for things, making this Bow Tie quite the hauler if you’ve got a big family. And, if you happen to be a mom with toys of her own, it’ll tow up to 8,600 pounds with a hitch.
Just don’t expect it to be frugal at the pump. Making the Tahoe move is a 5.3-liter V-8, which sends 355 horsepower and 383 pound-feet of torque to the ground through an optional 4WD system. That means 22 mpg on the highway and 16 mpg in the city, but that’s just how it goes in this segment, and it’ll be tough to get the same level of capability by burning less dino juice.
Meanwhile, the cabin gets lots of acoustic enhancements to hush the road, as well as 4G LTE Wi-Fi for up to seven devices to hush the kids.
Wagons – Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback – Driven
So, you’re an active family, with after-school sports on weekdays, and trips to the mountains on weekends. The thing is, you don’t want a crossover or SUV. What you need is a wagon, specifically one equipped to handle it all.
The Outback has you covered. In back is 35.5 cubic feet of cargo room, which expands to 73.3 cubic feet with the rear seats folded, plus there’s nearly nine inches of ground clearance to get you to the trailhead without issue. Tough cladding keeps lower exterior surfaces scratch-free, while low-grip surfaces are no match for Subaru’s ubiquitous AWD system.
If you’re looking for a viable alternative to the endless parade of high-stance utility vehicles, plus some legitimate off-roading chops, this is the one to get.
Hot Mama – Dodge Durango R/T
Dodge Durango R/T
Hey – this is . We gotta throw in a little something for the speed lovers out there, right?
Combining the practicality of an SUV with the fun of a 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, the R/T makes for one very impressive family mover. Three rows of grins will be found inside when you lay into the loud pedal, sending 360 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque to an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF. It’s a big bruiser of a vehicle, but properly applied, that thumping Hemi will propel the Durango R/T to 60 mph in the low six-second range. Complementing the go is a sport-tuned suspension and “who you calling a soccer mom?” styling.