10 of the Best Family Cars in Australia for 2024

  • Family

Buying a family car is no easy task. There are so many factors to consider—size, budget, brand, model, and engine type to name but a few.

Because we know what an overwhelming undertaking searching for the best family cars in Australia can be, we've put in the hard yards, so you don't have to and come up with 10 of the best family cars in Australia. You're welcome!

10 of the Best Family Cars in Australia for 2024

What to Look for in a Family Car

Needless to say, safety is going to be your top priority when looking for a family car.

It's important to consider ANCAP safety ratings—they are the independent voice on vehicle safety for Australia and New Zealand and have been publishing safety ratings for thousands of different vehicle makes and models since 1992.

Other factors to consider include value for money, reliability, petrol consumption, and what your real priorities are in your new family car. Would you prefer a bigger car that has the option for more seats if you need them, or heaps of room for luggage if you don't? Or something smaller that's easier to park in the city but sacrifices boot space? Whatever your priorities, we're confident our list of the best family cars in Australia will point you in the right direction. 

Drive Car of the Year 2024

To recommend the best family cars in Australia in 2024 we've turned to Drive.com.au and their Drive Car of the Year for 2024.

After rigorous months of putting nearly 400 new cars through their paces, Drive have crowned the champs of the family car scene. Whether you're in the market for a swanky medium SUV, a spacious three-row SUV, an eco-friendly hybrid or electric option, a luxe ride, or something that won't break the bank, they've got you covered.

To sort through the massive lineup, the pros divided up a whopping 400 cars into 18 categories based on price and then hit the roads for some real-world testing. The result? A list of the best family cars in Australia that are perfect for everything from school runs to family road trips across the stunning Aussie landscape. So, without further ado, these are the family-friendly winners of 2024.

1. Best Family Car Under $80,000: Kia Carnival

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Kia Carnival

For under $80,000, the Kia Carnival is the dream machine for the family fleet.

With eight seats, room for five child seats, a boot you could live in (627 litres, to be exact), and with prices starting under $50,000 and capped-price servicing for seven years, it's a no-brainer. The SLi model is a steal with a diesel engine, leather trim, powered extras, and three-zone climate control all for $59,780.

2. Best Electric Family Car Under $100,000: Kia EV9

Kia EV9
Kia EV9

For the eco-conscious fam, the Kia EV9 is your pick under $100,000.

It landed in Australia late last year and has quickly become a favourite, even snagging the overall Drive Car of the Year title for 2024. The Kia EV9 boasts a 400km range, fast charging, and can power anything from fairy lights to hair dryers. Plus, it's packed with ISOFIX seats and easy third-row access.

3. Best Small SUV under $80K – Volvo XC40

Volvo XC40
Volvo XC40

The Volvo XC40 sets the bar high as one of the best family cars in 2024, offering exceptional value, top-notch quality, and a blend of practicality, comfort, and drivability. It's also a leader in easy-to-use tech.

In 2018, ANCAP gave the XC40 a five-star safety rating, with stellar scores across the board—97% for adult occupant protection, 84% for child occupant safety, 71% for vulnerable road users, and 78% for safety assist features.

Priced well below the $80K mark, the best model to grab is the Ultimate B4, available in either Bright or Dark. It's the pinnacle of what you can get in the XC40 line, unmatched by any other SUV in this price range.

4. Best Small SUV under $50K – Hyundai Kona

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Hyundai Kona

The latest Hyundai Kona hit the scene in June 2024, sporting a bold, futuristic design and significant upgrades in equipment, safety, and interior space, justifying its $5,100 price hike.

The Hyundai Kona revamp meets the growing consumer appetite for higher specs in even the 'base' model small SUVs, demonstrating that buyers are willing to invest more for premium features.

5. Best Medium Family SUV Under $50,000: Honda CR-V

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Honda CR-V

The latest Honda CR-V model is a standout in the Best Medium Family SUV category, showing off what Honda does best—it's roomier, packed with advanced tech, enhanced safety features, and boosted cabin comfort.

Offering both five and seven-seat configurations for under $50,000, the CR-V lets you choose between petrol or hybrid engines. It boasts a spacious 589-litre trunk that expands to 1,072 litres with the rear seats down, and the safety of 11 airbags.

Additionally, it's economical to maintain—Honda offers one of the lowest servicing costs in the industry, at just $199 annually or every 10,000km.

6. Best Medium Family SUV Under $80,000: Lexus NX

Lexus NX
Lexus NX

If you're on the hunt for a family SUV that elevates your daily drive, check out the Lexus NX range. With models priced under $80,000, you can choose from front-wheel or all-wheel drive, and decide between traditional petrol engines or efficient hybrids.

The NX hybrid is particularly kind to your wallet at the pump, boasting fuel consumption rates of just 5-6L/100km on a combined cycle, while offering the smooth acceleration of electric power in urban settings.

Regardless of the NX model you choose, you'll enjoy premium features like heated seats, dual-zone climate control, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and active cruise control, ensuring a luxurious and comfortable ride.

7. Best Large Family SUV Under $80,000: Toyota Kluger

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Toyota Kluger

The Toyota Kluger has clinched its third Drive Car of the Year award, maintaining its edge in the competitive large SUV market—credit goes to a recent upgrade that enhanced its infotainment system.

The Kluger's substantial exterior houses a spacious interior complete with a convenient third row, perfect for unexpected extra passengers. Despite its size, it handles effortlessly in urban environments, thanks to responsive steering, excellent visibility, and a raised driving position.

Additionally, Toyota's Safety Sense technology comes standard in all models, and the brand offers an attractively priced capped-cost servicing plan, which runs just $265 per year for the first five years. All in all, this is one of the best family cars in Australia for 2024.

8. Best Off-Road SUV under $80K – Ford Everest

Ford Everest
Ford Everest

The Ford Everest, a seven-seat four-wheel drive SUV, is loved for its dual nature: it's not only a comfortable and practical vehicle for family duties, offering clever features for daily use, but it also stands out as a robust and skilled off-roader.

Inside, the Everest effectively accommodates up to seven with a third row that's genuinely usable, thanks to the adjustable and roomy second row.

Driving the Everest offers an exceptional experience among four-wheel drivers, thanks to its ladder chassis and body-on-frame design. The ride is smooth, it handles bumps with ease, and the sophisticated selectable four-wheel drive system performs brilliantly on any terrain, ensuring driver confidence in any conditions.

9. Best Luxury Off-Road SUV under $150K – Land Rover Defender

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Land Rover Defender

From a mechanical perspective, the Land Rover Defender ranks among the most sophisticated and intricate vehicles on the market, which might challenge some mechanics. However, the benefits of its electronically controlled air suspension become clear almost as soon as you start driving.

Given its higher price bracket, the Defender meets - and often exceeds - expectations with its superior refinement and quality, enhancing the experience for both the driver and passengers.

Moreover, its advanced powertrain choices, precise off-road traction control systems, and substantial ground clearance equip the Defender with exceptional off-road capabilities.

10. Best Urban Car under $30K – Volkswagen Polo

Best family cars in Australia 2024
Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo last received a facelift in 2022, nudging its price close to the $30,000 mark. While the exterior updates were subtle, the enhancements in equipment were significant.

The updated Polo now includes automatic LED headlights, LED tail lights, an 8.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and an equally large infotainment screen. Additional upgrades include wireless charging, automatic wipers, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, illuminated vanity mirrors, and both front and rear parking sensors, alongside new safety features. For an entry-level car, the Polo packs a robust set of specs that provide great value.

For more winners, check out the full list of Drive Car of the Year 2024 Winners.

Hero image: carbar.com.au

More Fun Reads

Mechanics Reveal Which Car Brands You Should Avoid Buying
Is Bluey Getting Cancelled? New Details Point to a Big Season Change
New Sydney Restaurant Bans Kids & Parents are Cheers-ing the Vibe

Have you signed up for our newsletter? Join ellaslist to get the best family and kid-friendly events, venues, classes and things to do NEAR YOU!