Scouring the market for a family car that doesn’t ask you to hand over your life savings? Look no further. We’ve rounded up some top picks that keep both your wallet and your need for a dependable, safe ride in mind.

How does a car make this list? It has to be reliable, offer great gas mileage, safe, and affordable. We got all of our information from Edmunds.

Whether you’re hauling the kids to soccer practice, packing up for a weekend getaway, or just navigating the daily commute, we’ve got options that tick all the right boxes. And the best part? Every single one of these rides slides in under the $25k mark.

2023 Mazda CX-30

  • Starting Price: $22,950

The Mazda CX-30 offers a perfect blend of fun and functionality for families. It comes with standard all-wheel drive and features like adaptive cruise control. You can expect to get 26 mpg combined with this ride.

It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick, ensuring your family’s safety on the road. If you’re looking for a family car that doesn’t compromise on driving pleasure, the CX-30 is a top choice.

2017 Honda CR-V

  • Price: $17,258

Looking for a ride that’s both reliable and packed with safety features without breaking the bank? The 2017 Honda CR-V might just be your pick. With fuel efficiency that won’t have you wincing at the pump (25 mpg city, 31 mpg highway), it’s as practical as it gets. Plus, it’s got a horsepower of 184 at 6400 RPM, making it peppy enough for your daily needs.

Safety’s a big deal here, with the Honda Sensing suite in all models except the base. This means you’re getting a package that’s watching out for you, with stuff like collision warning and lane-keeping assist. And don’t sweat it if you forgot to switch off your high beams; this CR-V’s got automatic high-beam headlights to do the job for you on dark roads. Oh, and for peace of mind, there’s blind-spot monitoring to cover your back.

2023 Kia Seltos

  • Starting Price: $23,340

If you’re eyeing a ride that’s snagged its fair share of accolades without costing an arm and a leg, the 2023 Kia Seltos should be on your radar. It’s got space to spare – seriously, you’ll be surprised by the cargo room (26.6 cubic feet behind the back seat) and the legroom for your folks in the back (38.0 inches).

This car doesn’t skimp on safety, rocking the Kia’s Drive Wise safety tech and an 8-inch infotainment system that keeps you connected. Expect smooth sailing and fewer gas station stops, thanks to a fuel economy that’s easy on the wallet (up to 35 mpg on the highway). All in all, it’s a solid pick for the practical-minded.

2015 Honda CR-V

  • Price: $13,382

On a tighter budget but still want something dependable? The 2015 Honda CR-V checks a lot of boxes. It’s got decent fuel efficiency (26 mpg city, 33 mpg highway) and doesn’t skimp on power with 185 hp under the hood.

Safety-wise, it’s got you covered with vehicle stability assist and Honda LaneWatch to make lane changes less of a gamble. Plus, there’s the Collision Mitigation Braking System for when things get too close for comfort. It’s a solid choice for those looking for value and safety in a compact package.

2023 Subaru Crosstrek

  • Starting Price: $23,645

For the adventure-loving family that doesn’t want to overspend, the 2023 Subaru Crosstrek is a gem. This vehicle is prepped for the great outdoors, thanks to standard all-wheel drive and significant ground clearance (8.7 inches).

The interior is more than ready for your messy adventures with water-repellent upholstery. And with ample space for passengers and cargo, everyone and everything gets a spot. Fuel efficiency is a highlight, especially for an AWD SUV, netting you 33 mpg on the highway. Plus, the EyeSight safety features keep you secure on your journey.

2022 Kia Seltos

  • Price: $22,590

Looking for something modern and safe without the hefty price tag? The 2022 Kia Seltos brings a lot to the table with its 146 horsepower engine and a combined fuel economy of 29 mpg.

It’s packed with safety features like forward-collision assist and Highway Driving Assist to take the edge off long drives. And with a 4-star crash testing rating, it’s as reliable as it is stylish. If you value tech and safety in a compact package, the Seltos deserves a spot on your shortlist.

2023 Toyota Corolla Cross

  • Starting Price: $23,610

The Toyota Corolla Cross is like the reliable Corolla but raised up for more adventure and space. It’s backed by Toyota’s solid reputation and comes with a suite of safety features under the Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 umbrella.

Space is smartly used inside, providing comfort for passengers and plenty of room for your stuff. Fuel economy is impressive for its class, making it a wise choice for families looking for a mix of practicality and reliability.

2019 Toyota RAV4

  • Price: $21,280

For a ride that balances power, space, and safety, the 2019 Toyota RAV4 stands out. It delivers on performance with 203 horsepower and doesn’t fall short on fuel efficiency (27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway).

Toyota’s suite of safety features is standard, ensuring peace of mind on every trip. Plus, with a spacious interior and a 5-star crash test rating, it’s built for families who don’t want to compromise on safety or comfort.

2023 Honda HR-V

  • Starting Price: $23,800

The all-new 2023 Honda HR-V is bigger, bolder, and ready to take on your family’s adventures. It offers a comfortable ride with plenty of room for passengers and cargo, backed by Honda’s commitment to safety.

The LX trim falls within our budget and includes features like lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. It’s a top safety pick, making it a smart choice for families looking for a reliable and spacious SUV.

2021 Toyota RAV4

  • Price: $24,592

The 2021 Toyota RAV4 is a solid family car with great fuel economy (27 mpg city, 34 mpg highway) and a powerful engine (203 horsepower). It offers a spacious cargo area and comes packed with safety features, including Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 and blind-spot monitoring.

It’s a versatile SUV that delivers on comfort, safety, and performance, making it a great option for families looking for a reliable vehicle.

2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer

  • Starting Price: $22,100

For families prioritizing space and safety on a budget, the 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer is a standout choice. It offers generous legroom and cargo space, excellent fuel economy (up to 33 mpg on the highway), and comes with Chevy Safety Assist for added peace of mind.

It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick+, making it one of the safest options in its class. If you’re looking for a family-friendly SUV that doesn’t skimp on safety or space, the Trailblazer is worth a look.

2020 Kia Telluride

  • Price: $24,858

The 2020 Kia Telluride is a family SUV that doesn’t compromise on power, space, or safety. With seating for 8 and a robust 291 horsepower engine, it’s ready for anything.

It comes loaded with safety features like Highway Driving Assist and Blind-spot Collision Avoidance, making it a secure choice for families. Plus, with a spacious cargo area, it’s ideal for long trips or hauling gear for weekend adventures.

2023 Volkswagen Taos

  • Starting Price: $24,155

The Volkswagen Taos is a subcompact SUV that offers a fantastic balance of style, efficiency, and space. It boasts impressive fuel economy (up to 36 mpg on the highway) and offers ample legroom and cargo space, making it a great all-rounder for families.

Safety features like forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking come standard, ensuring a safe and comfortable ride. If you’re looking for a practical and stylish family car, the Taos is a strong contender.

2023 Honda Civic Hatchback

  • Starting Price: $24,750

Combining family-friendly practicality with a love for driving, the Honda Civic Hatchback offers ample cargo space and excellent fuel efficiency (up to 39 mpg).

It’s an IIHS Top Safety Pick, and with the Honda Sensing suite of safety features standard, it’s as secure as it is fun to drive. If you’re after a car that meets family needs without sacrificing driving enjoyment, the Civic Hatchback ticks all the boxes.

2023 Kia Soul

  • Starting Price: $19,890

The Kia Soul mixes affordability with a spacious and versatile interior, making it a great option for families on the go. Its boxy design maximizes cabin space, and it comes loaded with safety features, including forward collision avoidance and lane-keep assist.

With a starting price that leaves room for upgrades, the Soul offers great value for families looking for a practical and safe vehicle.

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs


Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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