A car purchase is probably the biggest financial decision parents can make, after the family's accommodation is bought or rented. A good family car needs to be safe and reliable, have a quality interior to handle everything a bunch of kids can throw at it, and be powerful enough to haul a whole family around town and on long trips.
From the votes, it is evident that the Australian family loves their SUV - a great school run and weekender for families.
It was a close call: we had a tie for top place, with second place only a few points behind.
A cult family favourite since 1978, we weren't surprised the Holden Commodore sailed home with first prize for favourite family car. Both sedan and wagon models have proven popular with families looking for a roomy interior and some power under the bonnet. (Learn more about the Holden range here.)
Read what our members love about the Holden Commodore:
- Large enough to fit car seats in the back & prams in the boot, great safety features, easy to drive. Nicoli L. VIC.
- I wanted a SUV/4WD but husband convinced me to get this. Love it. So much more room in the backseat and boot for prams and all the things that go with having children. Jessica J. NSW.
- Big enough to easily fit 3 kids in carseats, lots of space inside without the size of a big 4wd. Trudi D. NSW.
- So much space in front seat back seats and the boot, cheap n easy to fix I can fit 3 car seats if needed fine on the back seat two prams and a elderly walking frame in the boot. Jess T. NSW.
- Great large family car, lots of room, reliable. Kimberley K. NSW.
Hot on the heels of the winner is the Mazda CX-5, Australia's favourite SUV. It's sporty, stylish and zippy, and has captured the hearts of Australian families since it's arrival in 2012. The latest model has been upgraded with new features inside and out, giving a superb level of performance.(Learn more about the Mazda range here.)
Read what our members love about the Mazda CX-5:
- Fits 3 car seats and the double pram and is still small enough to easily park. Naomi B. NSW
- A great car to drive, sits the whole family, economical and has all the features I need in a car. Boot space is large enough for all the gear we need to go on holidays. Patnina P. SA.
- Stylish, comfortable to drive, spacious, can fit three car seats in the back, fuel efficient & has great safety features. Newsha H. WA.
- Great size for a small family, perfect boot space for the pram and groceries. Engine noise is very quiet inside which is helpful for having the baby sleep. Kerensa S. VIC
- Very fuel efficient, sufficient space for family adventures, don't need to bend into the car seat or boot. Ali E. QLD.
The Ford Territory, the first and only Australian-made SUV, was first introduced in 2004. Thanks to its car-like handling and great practicality, it has won numerous awards, including a highly recommended here in the Australian Essential Baby Awards for 2015, proving Australians love their SUVs. (Learn more about the Ford range.)
Read what our members love about the Ford Territory:
- Large family car with tonnes of space for car seats, prams, groceries and anything else. Economical on diesel. Bernadine M. VIC.
- Love our Territory. Very spacious and versatile. There seems to be enough room for everything and the car itself is very economical. Emily L. SA.
- I needed a car big enough to accommodate 3 seats in the second row and this car fits the bill. It has a massive boot, the Diesel engine is fuel efficient and it has nice features and has a 5 start safety rating. Nic S. ACT.
- Great to drive, comfortable and high up with good vision, love the height that back set is to lift kids in and out with no bending. Hayley H. QLD.
- 7 seater and still room for a double pram in the boot! Iona P. VIC.
The Nissan X-TRAIL not only looks sleek and stylish, it's designed to make every day driving a joy. Packed full of practical features, the new X-TRAIL was released last year with a 7-seat option, making it even more of a popular choice with families. (Learn more about the Nissan range.)
Read what our members love about the Nissan X-Trail:
- Doors open to 80 degrees, which makes getting capsule in and out easy. Electric tailgate makes getting around on your own easy. Margaret G. SA
- Its safety features are great. It's roomy without being oversized.We have a capsule and booster seat yet can still fit a 3rd passenger across the back seat. It's not overly priced to maintain and gets great mileage. Carrie C. SA.
- So versatile, big enough for a family, small enough for city living. Sally Mc. VIC.
- We compared several of the popular SUV's, as well as some less popular models. The X-Trail had the most boot space and comfort and safety features combined. The boot is fantastic for quick nappy changes and has enough room to fit a pram and groceries etc. Robyn B. VIC.
- Doors that swing out to 80 degrees makes it super family friendly, ISOFIX friendly and has a boot that can be divided to hide and separate pram from shopping from valuables. Mia C. NSW.
See more 2015 Essential Baby Award Winners
Best Prams/strollers 2015
Best Baby Carriers 2015
Best Nappies (disposable & MCN) 2015
Best Nappy Bags 2015
Best Car Seats 2015
Best High Chairs 2015
Best Cots 2015
Best Swaddles and Baby Sleeping Bags 2015
Best Maternity/Babywear Brands 2015
Essential Baby "Must Haves" 2015