Thanks to COVID-19, air travel is fraught with uncertainty, but staying inside all summer just isn’t great for one’s psyche. One solution that balances physical and mental health is a socially distant summer road trip to someplace beautiful and remote. According to TrueCar, these eight family vehicles (six SUVs, a truck, and a minivan) currently have the best deals to buy and offer passenger-friendly accommodations perfect for shaking off the quarantine dust and hitting the road.
Just remember, when traveling away from home, be sure to wear a mask whenever out in public, wash your hands frequently, avoid touching your face, and bring some sanitizing wipes for the gas pump and other public surfaces.
Minivan: 2020 Honda Odyssey
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Honda Odyssey
Potential Savings: $3,800
Eligible Trim: EX-L
Among its tiny competitive set, the 2020 Honda Odyssey nonetheless stands out as a stellar family vehicle. With space for up to eight passengers, the EX-L’s leather interior makes it a pretty cushy place to pass the miles too. The Advanced Navi and RES package brings satellite navigation and a BluRay-capable rear seat entertainment system along for the ride. Unfortunately, the EX-L isn’t available with the clever HondaVAC onboard vacuum cleaner – only the Touring and the Elite get that feature. If you've got patience and don't mind missing out on these particular deals, a refreshed Odyssey is coming for the 2021 model year.
Family SUV: 2020 Chevrolet Traverse
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Chevrolet Traverse
Potential Savings: $2,194
Eligible Trim: LS w/ 1LS AWD
The 2020 Chevrolet Traverse is one of the most spacious cars in the entire automotive sector, offering more passenger volume than even the fullsize 2020 Tahoe SUV. The 1LS trim is the cheapest way to get into an all-wheel-drive Traverse. It also offers lots of features, including subscription-based OnStar Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Unfortunately, active safety features like automated emergency braking are not available on the LS, a situation that will be rectified on the refreshed 2021 model.
Family SUV: 2020 Mazda CX-9
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Mazda CX-9
Potential Savings: $2,840
Eligible Trim: Grand Touring FWD
Predictable for a company as enthusiast-driven as Mazda, even the seven-seat CX-9 is fun to drive. Although the third row is more cramped than other midsize SUVs, the CX-9 still offers good room for four or five passengers, with plenty of cargo space for a weekend away from home. The Grand Touring FWD model boasts navigation, heated and ventilated leather seats, six USB chargers (some with data capability), and radar-based cruise control with stop-and-go functionality. A 2.5-liter turbo four-cylinder makes 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet, plenty for the nimble family SUV.
Family SUV: 2020 Nissan Pathfinder
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Nissan Pathfinder
Potential Savings: $2,112
Eligible Trim: S 4WD
The 2020 Nissan Pathfinder is a dated machine, but that doesn’t mean it’s without its charms. A torquey 3.5-liter V6 makes good use of a well-tuned continuously variable transmission, and although it’s a front-drive–biased crossover, available all-wheel drive makes it pretty capable when the road disappears.
Family SUV: 2020 Subaru Ascent
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Subaru Ascent
Potential Savings: $2,825
Eligible Trim: Base
Powered by a standard turbocharged flat-four, the 2020 Subaru Ascent is the largest vehicle ever produced by the automaker. Like all of Subaru’s sedans, hatchbacks, crossovers, and SUVs, the Ascent gets standard four-wheel drive, and it offers seating for up to eight passengers. Standard Subaru EyeSight safety features include automated emergency braking, getting everyone there safe and sound.
Family Crossover: 2020 Subaru Outback
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Subaru Outback
Potential Savings: $2,229
Eligible Trim: 2.5i
Unlike the other CUVs on this list, the 2020 Outback 2.5i is an avowed five-seater, but it’s spacious and comfortable, offering all-wheel drive and plenty of ground clearance for those adventures that require it. There’s also lots of standard safety tech, and the Outback’s recent redesign is handsome, if familiar. Respectable efficiency is paired with performance that’s – shall we say – deliberate, but not necessarily sluggish.
Luxury SUV: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Mercedes-Benz GLE
Potential Savings: $3,511
Eligible Trim: GLE 350 4Matic
Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, the 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLE 350 4Matic is surprisingly powerful and torquey, and it comes with the cachet of that three-pointed star while still getting decent fuel economy. Ample space for five passengers and an optional (though fairly cramped) third-row seat make the GLE-Class a fine luxury option for well-heeled families.
Truck: 2020 Toyota Tundra
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Toyota Tundra
Potential Savings: $2,297
Eligible Trim: SR5 CrewMax 4x2
Although it’s long in the tooth (the original design dates back to 2007), the 2020 Toyota Tundra is spacious and smooth, offering Lexus-like noise levels, a serene ride, and a massive back seat. For 2020, the big Toyota pickup also received Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, improving ergonomics significantly over the obtuse Entune infotainment native to the truck. The SR5 trim level is also available with a front bench seat, increasing passenger capacity to six.