Top Cars

10 Fuel-Efficient Family Cars for a Long Holiday Road Trip

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$17,205
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion SE
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$13,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$15,300
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$17,750
RELATED READING
See all Ford Fusion articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro November 2015

If you're going away this holiday season, hundreds or thousands of miles on the road with children, friends, family or other loved ones might test the definition of the word "loved" after a few hours of driving. While there isn't much you can do about road trip sing-alongs, screaming fights or excessive bathroom breaks, you can do something about your car. Consider upgrading your old gas-guzzling family vehicle to a new one before you set off. To help out, we've rounded up 10 family cars boasting affordable pricing, roomy interiors and a fuel-efficient 30 miles per gallon on the highway so you can arrive at your destination faster and cheaper than usual. Unfortunately, we can't make any promises about your sanity along the way.

Ford Fusion

The Ford Fusion is an obvious choice for any family interested in a comfortable, roomy car that can maximize fuel economy. Every single Fusion returns at least 30 mpg hwy, from the base model (34 mpg) to the sporty EcoBoost version (33 mpg) to the impressive Fusion Hybrid (44 mpg in the city/41 mpg hwy). Every single Fusion also offers a comfortable, well-made interior with a large back seat and a big trunk. The Fusion Hybrid is our top choice, as it starts at a reasonable $23,000, cheap for a family-sized hybrid, and offers a lot of standard equipment, including side-curtain airbags, a backup camera, anti-lock brakes, automatic headlights, alloy wheels and a USB port for music.

Find a Ford Fusion for sale

Honda Accord

Few cars boast the all-around capabilities offered by the Honda Accord lineup. For affordability, there's the base-level LX model, which starts at $22,900 with shipping. For luxury, there's the high-end Touring version, which offers a standard forward-collision warning system, lane-keep assist, adaptive cruise control and a navigation system. For dependability and resale value, the Accord is nearly peerless among midsize sedans. The gas mileage is impressive, as well. Virtually every Accord offers excellent fuel economy, with some 4-cylinder versions reaching as high as 36 mpg. We prefer the Accord Hybrid, though, which offers 50 mpg city/45 mpg hwy and a reasonable starting price of around $30,000, a figure including many aforementioned Accord benefits, plus luxurious items such as Honda's LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system, keyless access with push-button starting, an 8-inch center screen and dual-zone automatic climate control.

Find a Honda Accord for sale

Honda CR-V

Although the Honda CR-V hasn't always been appropriately sized for a spot on a list of top family cars, the latest model has grown enough to earn a place on this list. Featuring a roomy interior and a large cargo area, the CR-V is certainly capable of taking your family on a long trip, and it's an affordable way to travel, as the CR-V starts at just $24,500 and returns up to 33 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive or 31 mpg with optional all-wheel drive. We prefer the midlevel EX model, which comes with a power sunroof, keyless access with push-button starting, a 7-in touchscreen, a backup camera, Honda's excellent LaneWatch blind spot monitoring system and heated front seats, all for $26,800 with shipping -- or $28,100 if you'd prefer the year-round security of all-wheel drive.

Find a Honda CR-V for sale

Jeep Cherokee

If you have any memories of the Jeep Cherokee being a boxy, gas-guzzling, trucklike SUV, you'll have to forget them right about now. The latest Cherokee is none of those things, offering sleek styling and an impressive array of technology, making it one of the most advanced compact crossovers on the market. It also boasts excellent fuel economy, with 4-cylinder versions touting 31 mpg hwy. While those numbers aren't as good as some compact-crossover rivals, the Cherokee is larger than some rival compact crossovers, touting a roomier interior and more cargo space than most competitors. We love the reasonable pricing, too. The high-end Cherokee Limited comes standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats, a heated steering wheel, side-curtain airbags, dual-zone automatic climate control and a remote starter, all for around $26,200 with shipping.

Find a Jeep Cherokee for sale

Hyundai Tucson

The latest Hyundai Tucson might be the best compact crossover on the market. If you haven't heard of the SUV, that's no surprise, as earlier models have been largely uncompetitive in the last few years. The all-new 2016 version touts a smooth ride, a roomy interior, high-end cabin materials and, most importantly, excellent fuel economy. The Tucson Eco achieves up to 33 mpg hwy. The Tucson Eco is also surprisingly affordable, boasting a starting price of around $25,200, a figure including Hyundai's excellent 10-year powertrain warranty, a smooth dual-clutch automatic transmission and desirable features such as a 5-in touchscreen, a backup camera, side-curtain airbags, a USB port for music, satellite radio and automatic headlights.

Find a Hyundai Tucson for sale

Kia Optima

Although the Kia Optima has been fully redesigned for the 2016 model year, it offers much of the same handsome styling we enjoyed in its predecessor. It also offers better fuel economy. While gas-powered versions of the outgoing Optima topped out at 23 mpg city/34 mpg hwy, the latest Optima touts an impressive 28 mpg city/39 mpg hwy, thanks to a new 1.6T model offering a special focus on fuel economy. We highly recommend the powertrain, as it comes with the best value in the Optima lineup. For a starting price of around $24,800 with shipping, you'll have keyless access with a push-button starter, a smooth dual-clutch automatic transmission, a roomy, comfortable cabin and Kia's excellent 10-year powertrain warranty.

Find a Kia Optima for sale

Mazda CX-5

The compact Mazda CX-5 is a close competitor to other growing compact SUVs such as the Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, Toyota RAV4 and Hyundai Tucson. We think the CX-5 stands out for its handsome looks, its sharp handling, its long list of available equipment and, above all else, its amazing fuel economy numbers, which reach 35 mpg hwy if you don't mind driving a stick shift. Even if you choose an automatic, you'll still see up to 33 mpg hwy, and that's with the CX-5's surprisingly powerful 184-horsepower 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine. We recommend that engine and the CX-5 Touring model where it comes standard, as the CX-5 Touring starts at just $26,200 and features a long list of standard equipment, including a blind spot monitoring system, rear cross-traffic alert, a push-button starter and a power driver's seat, along with other enticing options (forward-collision alert with automatic braking).

Find a Mazda CX-5 for sale

Nissan Rogue

If you think of the Rogue as a tiny compact crossover with a loud, unrefined engine, the latest model will convince you to think again. Redesigned for the 2014 model year, the Rogue now offers more modern styling, many new features and a surprisingly large interior containing an available third-row seat, the only one in the compact-crossover segment. Despite these changes, the Rogue didn't lose its impressive fuel economy numbers. The crossover still touts up to 33 mpg hwy with front-wheel drive and 32 mpg hwy with all-wheel drive, largely thanks to a fuel-efficient 4-cylinder engine and a gas-saving continuously variable automatic transmission. We especially recommend the Rogue SL, which starts from $29,600 and touts leather upholstery, heated front seats, a navigation system, a 7-in touchscreen and Nissan's excellent Around View camera, which offers a helpful bird's-eye view from above the crossover to help you maneuver in tight spaces.

Find a Nissan Rogue for sale

Subaru Outback

There's a reason why so many drivers interested in an efficient, competent family car choose the Subaru Outback. In fact, there are many reasons. One is the Outback's gas-saving powertrain, which teams up a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine and a miserly continuously variable automatic transmission to return 25 mpg city/33 mpg hwy. Then, there are all the Outback's other benefits, including standard all-wheel drive, a solid road feel and a strong reputation for dependability. We also like the car's roomy interior, its comfortable ride and, most importantly, Subaru's amazing EyeSight safety suite, which adds a long list of desirable high-tech safety features for just $1,695 over the Outback 2.5i Premium's reasonable base price of around $28,300 with shipping.

Find a Subaru Outback for sale

Toyota Camry

Just like it always has, the Toyota Camry offers something for everybody. Drivers interested in a good deal can get the Camry LE, which starts at $24,000 and includes automatic headlights, a 6.1-in touchscreen, a backup camera and the model's well-known reputation for long-term dependability. Drivers interested in luxury can opt for a well-equipped XLE trim, which starts around $31,100 and boasts an available navigation system, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane-departure warning and a pre-collision warning and braking system. The Camry Hybrid starts at a reasonable $27,700 and boasts fuel economy figures of up to 40 mpg city/38 mpg hwy. Even if you don't opt for a hybrid, you'll have no trouble clearing 30 mpg, as the Camry's refined 4-cylinder touts an Environmental Protection Agency-rated 35 mpg hwy.

Find a Toyota Camry for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$17,205
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion SE
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$13,850
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$15,300
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
Used 2016 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium
Used 2016 Ford Fusion
$17,750
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
10 Fuel-Efficient Family Cars for a Long Holiday Road Trip - Autotrader