There was a time when the only real vehicle option for a growing family was either a conversion van, minivan, or station wagon. Each offered the practicality people were looking for in a family car: rear-seat room, storage capacity, and a relatively easy-to-clean interior.
Now, however, the selection has grown — if not largely replaced by — the family-friendly SUV. Vehicles like Ford Expedition and Ford Explorer have become some of the most popular on the market. Much like the minivan, SUVs provide the rear-seat room, storage capacity, and other features but with an arguably more aesthetically pleasing appearance. Besides that, SUVs — even family-friendly SUVs — are just fun to drive.
While the list of family-friendly SUVs can probably fill an entire book, we here at Chaparral Ford are partial to both the Ford Expedition and the Ford Explorer for families. So, let’s see what makes these vehicles the best SUVs for kids.
The 2022 Ford Expedition XLT seats up to eight, with its power-folding and reclining third-row seats. If you’ve got a big family, this may just be the vehicle for you. It also comes with tri-zone automatic climate control, an 8-inch infotainment screen, Wi-Fi, second-row smart-charging USB ports, and satellite radio.
Then, of course, there are those other features your kids won’t care as much about, like driver-assistance aids, heated side mirrors, lane-keeping system, 4-wheel drive upgrade, and so on. If you really want to splurge, the Platinum model features massaging, multi-contour front seats, and a 400-horsepower engine, too.
Smaller families can always opt for one of the recent additions to the Ford Expedition lineup: the XL or XL STX. Being an entry-level model, you won’t find the third-row seats. But there’s still plenty of room to seat five and lots of features your kids will enjoy: tri-zone automatic climate control, 8-inch infotainment screen, second-row smart-charging USB ports, and satellite radio — if that sounds familiar, they’re almost the same as the XLT.
Regardless of which model you choose, safety comes standard. The Ford Expedition comes with front and side-impact airbags, rear-door child-safety locks, a rearview camera, a reverse sensing system, three-point safety belts in all the seating positions, and a post-crash alert system.
A couple of years back, Car and Driver rated the 2020 Ford Explorer as one of the best SUVs for kids — due in no small part to its size and features. The 2022 model doesn’t stray too far from the path, however. It still amply seats seven, with three rows of seating. Admittedly, most of the comfort can be found in the first two rows, but the third-row seats are still comfortable.
The entertainment options are somewhat similar to that of the Ford Expedition: satellite radio, 8″ LCD touchscreen, Wi-Fi, USB ports, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. You’re also looking at tri-zone automatic climate control, a lane-keeping system, and both front and rear door-sill scuff plates (a must with kids, especially young ones).
Upgrading to the Platinum brings all the bells and whistles. For one, you’ve got a power-folding third row of seats. You’re also adding a 10″ LCD portrait touchscreen in the center stack, Bang & Olufsen speakers, and a voice-activated navigation system.
If you’re concerned about safety, don’t be. Much like the Ford Expedition, the Ford Explorer comes with front and side-impact airbags, rear-door child-safety locks, a rearview camera, a reverse sensing system, and three-point safety belts in all the seating positions, and a post-crash alert system.
We also know that having a family can be expensive and shopping for a car to fit your family’s needs while staying within budget can be difficult. If you are interested in the Ford Expedition or the Ford Explorer but are worried about cost, shop our used car inventory and scroll through great-quality cars that are a little more budget-friendly.
As with any vehicle purchase, your choice of a family-friendly SUV should make sense for your needs and budget. The Ford Expedition starts at $53,000 for the base model. As you add features, it can get upwards of $82,000 or more. With the Ford Explorer, prices generally start at right around $34,000 and can hit $52,000 or more depending on the model and features.
Take a look at what you need and what you want to spend. If you have questions or want more information, our team would be more than happy to help you out. Get in touch today!