Choosing a family car can be challenging, since most people are looking for one that has enough space, gets decent fuel economy and, most importantly, won’t break the bank. Yet, as vehicles continue to evolve, consumers’ choices for daily transportation have become more expansive and, for some, even a bit confusing. Thankfully, the Greater Atlanta Automotive Media Association (GAAMA) is trying to help in-market shoppers narrow their choices by naming the best family cars in a variety of categories.
For 2019, GAAMA members comprised of metro Atlanta automotive media gathered at the Hotel at Avalon in Alpharetta, Georgia, to evaluate various vehicles from Alfa Romeo, Ford, Nissan, Acura, Mazda, Honda, Ram and Volkswagen, to name a few. Measures taken into consideration included fuel economy, technology, safety ratings, passenger and cargo space, as well as vehicle price. However, in contrast to last year, this year’s top winner ended up being more of what you might expect from a competition highlighting cars for the family.
This year, the Best Family Car Overall Winner is the 2019 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid S, and it’s a recipient that’s as worthy as it is obvious. Besides providing seating for up to seven passengers (non-hybrid models can carry up to eight), the industry’s first electrified minivan delivers class-leading fuel economy in a functional and versatile package that even the most minivan-adverse can appreciate. The Pacifica’s technology is no slouch, either, with rear-seat entertainment, available 4G Wi-Fi and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Safety features include a 360-degree camera and adaptive cruise control with forward-collision warning.
"As the family dynamics are always changing, it is exciting to me to see what vehicles the auto manufacturers will enter into the Family Car Challenge and how the journalists will respond," stated Daryl Killian, President of GAAMA. "A big congratulations goes out to the Chrysler Pacifica for winning Best Overall Family Car, and all of the people behind the scenes at FCA for continuing to listen to the consumer and providing a vehicle that ‘checks all the boxes.’ We can’t wait to see what 2020 will bring."
Other winners include:
Best Value — 2019 Subaru Forester Touring
Best Luxury — 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350
Best Technology — 2019 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
Best 3-Row — 2020 Kia Telluride
Best Green — 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
Replacing last year’s Best Family Pickup Truck winner, the Ram 1500, is the all-new 2020 Jeep Gladiator, a hybrid sort of vehicle in its own right that, with its ability to ford up to 30 inches of water, blends the off-road capability of a Wrangler with a tow rating of almost 7,700 pounds, which is reportedly more than any other midsize pickup truck currently on the market. The inclusion of front and rear cameras, adaptive cruise control, Rear Cross Path detection and a large infotainment screen with fourth-generation Uconnect ensure that drivers and passengers have the information they desire. However, if that’s not enough, the windshield can be lowered and the top and doors removed in true Jeep (read: Wrangler) fashion, providing a one-of-a-kind open-air experience.
Killian added, "With 20 entries this year, ranging from compact sedans to full-size pickup trucks, the 2019 Family Car Challenge did not disappoint. Some of the categories saw vehicle-scoring split by merely one point, which supports my theory that it’s hard to find a ‘bad’ vehicle these days." Find a Chrysler Pacfica Hybrid for sale