There are never enough hours in a weekend, but if you’re looking for a car that will help you get the most out of it, look no further. This list brings you a few of the best cars for families who want to explore everything – from taking the kids to the local Friday night footy game, to a camping trip through challenging off-road hinterland trails. These cars stand out on a number of factors including safety, versatility, handling and competitive pricing.
If you’re looking for a large 4wd that does everything, Toyota has the answer. The Landcruiser has been a benchmark for quality and reliability amongst the larger class of family cars. The 4.2L Turbo Diesel is a brilliant choice for those who want to tow a boat, caravan or horse float, and provides plenty of low-down torque perfect for seriously tough 4WD trails. ABS and constant 4WD complement the rigid structure of the car, which will bring peace of mind to those who are safety conscious.
All up, the Landcruiser can comfortably seat 7 people in the spacious interior, or all the seats can be folded or removed if you need to move large bulky items. Available in petrol and diesel forms, the name Landcruiser is synonymous with the capacity to last. Thanks to this unfailing reliability, there is a model for every budget, from older used cars right up to the newest top-of-the line release.
For something a little easier to park around town, consider the Subaru Outback. The Outback is built for adventure, with symmetrical AWD and a raised ground clearance, it’s the perfect balance between off-road ability and on-road agility. Powered by a 2.5L horizontally opposed boxer engine, the Outback also boasts a 5 star ANCAP safety rating and the ability to comfortably tow up to 1500kgs.
The sharp styling, smooth handling and impressive performance of the Outback make it a great choice for the active family. This brilliant family car will give you all the comfort and performance that Subaru is known for, with the added ability to handle challenging off-road adventures.
Suzuki Grand Vitara
In the highly competitive off-road SUV market, it’s easy to see why many test-drivers have a soft spot for the Suzuki Grand Vitara. While many other SUV’s have sacrificed nearly all of their off-road capability, the Vitara boasts a range of features that will keep you and your family on track for adventure. These include selectable low-range gearing, hill-descent control, and 50/50 split 4WD between the front and rear wheels.
The Grand Vitara has been designed to tackle tough off-road trails, and provides a high level of safety for the whole family. However with this in mind, the drive around town is not as smooth as some of its more urban-inspired competitors. If you value functionality and a car that will get the job done with a no-nonsense approach, the Grand Vitara is for you.
With so much choice in both the new and used car markets, every family will be able to find a car that best suits their on and off-road needs. Just remember to be clear about what you need the car to do, as many have been specifically designed for a specific purpose in mind. If you want a heavy-duty 4WD that will tackle absolutely any track in front of it, yet still be smooth enough to take the kids to school, the Landcruiser is the clear winner. If performance and handling is more important, but you still want to be able to take the family camping down some tricky off-road trails, try the Outback. If you want a compact SUV with all the trimmings of a tough 4WD, you can’t go past the value of a Grand Vitara. No matter which car you choose, take the whole family along for the test drive – after all, you’re all in it together!
Written by Alex K.
Alex is a motor enthusiast. He has recently bought a BMW E92 M3, and is going to put his used Mazda for sale to make room for his new ride. Alex loves cruising on the seaside roads in the weekend near his home in Noosa, Queensland.