The Best Affordable Family SUVs To Buy In 2022

In the past, cars were more restricted in their respective segments, meaning family cars were mostly large, boring sedans or station wagons with underpowered engines and very few features. Chevrolet started changing this dynamic with the Nomad wagon and Oldsmobile made a truly awesome family car in the form of the Vista Cruiser with the engines from a 4-4-2.
Today, almost every segment within the motoring world must be practical and ergonomic in order to be competitive. This can range from features like how many USB ports are accessible in the back seat, to how large the trunk space is. Even sports cars and some supercars have anchor points available for child seats. This being said, companies like Chrysler, Ford, Jeep, Hyundai, and Kia are still a few automakers that focus solely on producing family-orientated cars. Each of these has at least one family car – either in the form of a minivan or an SUV.
So, while most cars sold today have some sense of practicality in relation to family usage – even if they have a six-figure price tag – these 10 models stand out as the family-orientated affordable SUVs on sale in 2022.

10 Chevrolet Traverse ($34,000)

The Chevrolet Traverse has been updated for the 2022 model year with some new exterior styling, as well as interior upgrades. The 2022 Traverse now gets the optional safety systems from the previous model years as standard, as well as a better touch screen infotainment system – which features wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.

The Traverse is situated in the middle of Chevy’s SUV line-up, sitting above the Equinox and Blazer, but below the Tahoe and Suburban. The 4-cylinder turbo engine was dropped in 2020, leaving the V6 engine as the only option. Other than some cheap-feeling interior plastics, the Traverse is a spacious and capable family hauler which will work great – just try to avoid the light-colored seats if having small children.
Related: Here’s What We Love About The 2021 Chevy Traverse

9 Hyundai Santa Fe ($28,000)

The Hyundai Santa Fe is a pretty good-looking SUV compared to many of its competitors. The exterior follows Hyundai’s current design language but has a slightly softer edge to it. The interior quality is almost in the German’s field and the standard features are truly impressive. All this for a starting price of just $28,000? Well, there is a catch.

The standard engine is a 2.5-liter i4, which has been criticized to be pretty boring and gutless, so upgrading to the turbocharged version would be preferable. Unfortunately, this then jumps the price by almost $10,000, putting the Santa Fe in the German’s territory. Still, the Hyundai is more of a looker.

8 VW Atlas ($35,000)

The VW Atlas is one of the largest vehicles built on VWs MQB platform and is specifically designed for both the North American and Chinese markets. The Atlas has been in production since 2017 and is both larger and cheaper than the discontinued Touareg SUV. The Atlas is fitted with a choice of either a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4, or a 3.6-liter VR6.

The Atlas is a three-row SUV that can be configured to either have a second-row bench seat or two captain’s chairs. An interesting fact about the Atlas is that it has seventeen cup-holders – more than enough for every family member to use twice. Other than the absurd number of places to put your drinks, the Atlas is a great family car with loads of interior space and great fuel economy.

7 Ford Explorer ($34,000)

The Ford Explorer is the mid-size SUV offering from the US’s favorite manufacturer. The Explorer was redesigned in 2020 to have more interior space, more standard safety systems, the standard drivetrain was changed, and a hybrid was added. The 2022 model also saw the twin-turbo V6 becoming available in more trim levels.

The main issue with the Explorer is that while it is a great vehicle overall, the interior quality is low compared to its rivals, as is the comfort of the second and third rows. The Explorer’s standard safety systems include lane-keep assist and automatic high-beams, but it leaves adaptive cruise control and front parking sensors as options. Regardless, the relatively low starting price makes the Explorer a good option for families who like to explore the outdoors.
Related: Here’s Everything You Need To Know Before Buying A Used Ford Explorer

6 Toyota Highlander ($35,000)

The Toyota Highlander was redesigned in 2020 and received LED headlights as standard for all 2022 models. The SUV also features a rather potent V6 as standard, but what it achieves in family comforts, it loses in driving involvement. The Highlander, despite its large engine, has a great fuel economy rating – although not as good as the Highlander Hybrid, which is $4,000 more.

The Highlander has great interior space, although some reviewers have noted the slightly cramped third-row seating. The cabin is well-built and features higher-end materials. The infotainment system comes as standard with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, although upgrading to the higher trim infotainment makes them wireless and adds a wireless charging pad. Like most Toyota products, the Highlander also comes standard with adaptive cruise control, making highway journeys a breeze.

5 Lincoln Corsair ($37,000)

The Lincoln Corsair is the entry-level luxury offering from Ford’s high-end division. Essentially a Ford Escape, the Corsair is a pretty good package. The base model starts at just over $36,000 and has a good blend of Ford reliability and Lincoln luxury to warrant a look. Lincoln’s current design language is a great mixture of attention-seeking and understatement, with luxury being the top priority.

The base engine is not bad, however, the transmission can be a bit clunky and uncooperative – a characteristic which almost disappears completely when upgraded to the higher-performance 2.3-liter turbo-4. Fuel economy is only average for a vehicle such as this, but then again – it is a luxurious SUV.
Related: The 2021 Lincoln Corsair Reserve Is The Best Product Lincoln Makes

4 Jeep Grand Cherokee ($39,000)

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is all-new for the 2022 model year. The styling has departed from the rugged-yet-premium look and has now become more of a smaller Wagoneer. This “fancifying” of the model has led to some disappointment, especially in the cargo capacity and price departments. The Grand Cherokee still has fantastic off-road capabilities for use when the going gets rough, but now it can be done from within a sophisticated cabin.

The new Grand Cherokee has been praised for its easy-to-use and intuitive infotainment system, as well as the high-quality materials in use. The Jeep is also fitted with all the safety and driver-assist features one would need on the road as standard, with more specific off-roading features left as options. The Jeep Grand Cherokee is a great SUV, well suited for families who enjoy driving in the woods as well as in city centers.
Related: 2022 New York Auto Show: Jeep Debuts Grand Cherokee High Altitude 4xe

3 Dodge Durango ($37,000)

The Dodge Durango has been around now for a good number of years, but thanks to Dodge’s constant updates, the model still looks great. Unfortunately for muscle car fans, Dodge has dropped the Hellcat trim but has left the SRT 392 intact. The Durango starts from around $37,000, and for that, it comes as standard with a 3.6-liter V6 with more than enough power for everyday driving.

The Durango also has huge space in the cabin and trunk area for cargo. The two places where the Durango shows its age is the fuel economy (which is a bit on the heavy side) and the list of optional safety and driver-assist features – many of which should be standard. Other than that, the Durango is a great family SUV that easily eats up the miles in comfort.

2 Kia Sorento ($30,000)

The new Kia Sorento is definitely a looker. The redesign of the entire Kia brand has so far been great. The new Sorento has a lot going for it, from its great fuel economy to the high-end cabin materials and connectivity options. Unfortunately, while both Apple Carplay and Android Auto are fitted as standard, both are wired, meaning there will be cables all over the center console. The trunk cargo space is also pretty cramped when the third row is up.

There are some scratchy plastics when looking lower down in the cabin, but it is of very little consequence. The Sorento is cheaper than the Telluride, but then again the latter SUV is larger and is fitted with more features as standard. The Sorento is a brilliant choice for an affordable family SUV, which just so happens to be on the more luxurious side of the spectrum.

1 Volvo XC60 ($43,000)

The Volvo XC60 is a bit more of a luxury SUV than any of the others on this list, but the vehicle has one big aspect going for it – safety. The XC60 is one of the safest SUVs currently on sale, featuring standard equipment such as automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and even cross-traffic alert. The XC60 is a 5-seater only, but this gives ample space in the trunk for cargo.

All versions of the 2022 XC60 are either mild-hybrid or full-hybrid, paired with a 2.0-liter turbocharged or twin-charged engine. All versions can be upgraded to all-wheel-drive and with fuel economy figures in the 20 to 30 MPG range, the XC60 is great for longer journeys. Short journeys can be done on electric power alone. The infotainment has been upgraded to an Android-based system, so it’s easy to use and isn’t disruptive while driving.


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