“Auto makers continue their journey to become friendlier, more approachable, and even more profitable by offering cooler, smarter and more efficient vehicles to the biggest consumer demographic—families.”
The 6 Coolest Family Rides of This Year’s Detroit Auto Show
Last year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) or as most of us call it—the Detroit Auto Show, was a great example of what auto manufacturers are capable of when they allow their creative teams to go wild and design cool stuff. Super cars like the Ford GT, Acura NSX, and purpose-built machines like the Alfa Romeo 4C Spider and Ford GT350R reigned the headlines of last years magazines and websites alike.
2016 seemed to be a bit different, as last years concepts came to life and made room for different vehicles to steal the limelight. That’s why Missi and I put on our comfy shoes (not really) and spent 2 entire days walking the showroom floor, all to bring you the coolest family rides of the 2016 Detroit Auto Show.
2017 Chrysler Pacifica
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) sets out to reinvent the minivan segment by bringing good looks, functional tech, and because it’s a minivan—functionality and versatility!
If you’re wondering why Chrysler dumped the Town & Country nameplate in exchange for the Pacifica name, you’re not the only one, but according to brand representatives it was to give this sweet ride a brand new aura and feel. Whether you agree or not, there is no denying the 2017 Pacifica could easily steal the “Swagger Wagon” title away from the Toyota Sienna, and it’s even set to become the first Hybrid minivan!
This all-new Pacifica offers more than 100 standard safety and security features, like 360-degree surround view camera, park assist, and adaptive cruise control with stop and hold. When it comes to convenience the Pacifica is certainly at the top of its game, with features like triple-pane panoramic sunroof, handsfree sliding side doors and lift gate, and even a built-in vacuum.
2017 Honda Ridgeline
What’s not to love about a conveniently sized pickup truck with superior on-road performance, class-leading space, an In-Bed Trunk, and available all-wheel-drive? Sign me up please!
The 2017 Honda Ridgeline is out to conquer the hearts and pockets of Dad’s like myself, and I love that idea! You know, there are a lot of times when I could really use a truck, but even though I love big trucks—I just couldn’t drive one on the daily. The Ridgeline is all about implementing Honda’s vast and superior knowledge of sedans and SUVs into a pickup package that works, something which I confirmed when I was given the chance to poke around the Ridgeline’s exterior and interior amenities.
Midsize trucks rock. They’re the right size, pack the right features, and offer most of the capabilities that full-size trucks do. With the midsize truck segment booming, Honda has created the right contender to take a big chunk of that market.
The latest and biggest expression of Kodo—the Soul of Motion design comes in the shape of a midsize, 7-passenger, three-row crossover SUV.
Although the CX-9 did not debut at this year’s Detroit Auto Show, it did take center stage at Mazda’s booth, and it was also our first time seeing it in person.
Mazda says the CX-9 remains true to the company’s core values by offering, class-leading torque, fuel-efficiency, indulgent design and craftsmanship, and most importantly—a gratifying driving experience. The CX-9 features an athletic exterior stance, meaning that it looks robust but without looking bulky and oversized, and the 20-inch wheels and tapered fenders push the design to border-line sporty and aggressive. I can’t wait to see more of this one!
I remember my senior high-school friend being ecstatic when she found out her parents bought her a Kia Sportage, as she thought it looked like a “little Jeep“. (That’s what she really wanted)
Needless to say, her Sportage wasn’t just used, but abused, and the literal definition of a POS. Not to mention the doors were 2-inches thick and extremely unsafe. Perhaps it’s a crude story, but it only adds to the success story that is Kia in North America.
I opened the door and jumped behind the wheel of the 2017 Sportage at Kia’s booth in Detroit, and I couldn’t believe just how nice it really was! Flashbacks of hard plastics, rattly body panels and nonexistent insulation were being slowly being erased from my subconscious as I browsed the exterior and interior of the new Sportage.
Kia promises to be a game-changer in the world of compact CUVs (crossover utility vehicles), by packing premium materials, a turbocharged engine, fuel-efficiency, and a variety of trim levels to cater to sub-categories of the same demographic. We will soon get behind the wheel of this little guy, and we’ll tell you just how good it really is!
2017 Ford F-150 Raptor SuperCrew
As if the Ford F-150 Raptor wasn’t already the epitome of cool, Ford managed to give Dads around the world a serious reason to empty their savings accounts, and run to their nearest Ford dealership.
The all-new SuperCrew version of this Baja racer was recently awarded the “coolest and most family friendly truck in the entire world” award. Just kidding, that award doesn’t exist, but if Ford would let borrow a Raptor SuperCrew, I might just invent it.
Featuring a 3.5-liter EcoBoost engine, and all-new 10-speed transmission, the 2017 Ford Raptor aims at not only being the king of the castle of off-road performance, but also at being smooth and easy to drive on normal roads, and maybe even—efficient.
There are few places this truck can’t go, and to know I can explore 97% of the Earth’s surface with my kids in the backseat of a Raptor is pretty darn cool.
Quite the opposite of everything else on this list so far, the Volvo S90 is the cool family car of choice for the refined connoisseur. Or simply someone that likes technology, design and safety…
Having already produced one of the most beautiful, safest and best driving SUVs in the world—the XC90, Volvo is now hoping their S90 wins half the awards the XC90 did, which would still be most awards in the world. But how could it not, just look at it…
For starters, the S90 is the only car that claims to have T-shaped “Thor’s Hammer” lights, and that in itself is super cool. But Volvo’s new flagship sedan is classy, cool, but most of all—safe. Specially with the introduction of the world’s first onboard safety system that recognizes large animals on the road, such as large deer, horses, and even Sasquatches.
World leading safety, Thor’s Hammer, Sasquatch recognizing systems, and a flat-out gorgeous interior and exterior design make the S90 one of the coolest and classiest family rides of 2016.
There you have it. Whatever your personality, preference or budget may be, there is a cool family ride waiting for ya in 2016!