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Family Car of the Year: 2019 Nominees

2019 chrysler pacifica

2019 chrysler pacifica

chrysler invented the minivan, so it's no surprise that its pacifica is stuffed with innovative creature comforts designed to keep families happy. it excels for its blend of comfort, practicality, refinement and style, from its improved stow 'n go fold-flat second-row seats and cavernous cargo area to its slick available touchscreen rear entertainment system and extra goodies like an optional vacuum cleaner. the 2019 chrysler pacifica even looks less like a minivan, shedding the old town & country's boxy, loaf-of-bread looks for sleek and stylish lines anchored by a classy and polished face.  

but it's not just the features that impress. in terms of road manners, the pacifica delivers here, too, with its combination of refined ride quality and a capable v-6 used engine . it's confident, quiet and — when you opt for the hybrid version — efficient. the first minivan to offer a hybrid version of any kind, the pacifica plug-in hybrid delivers an epa-estimated electric range of up to 32 miles from a 16-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack before shifting to hybrid operation at an estimated 30 mpg combined, a whopping 8 mpg higher than the non-hybrid.

no stranger to our annual awards, the pacifica first wowed us following its 2017 model-year introduction and earned our top honor, the best of 2017. it continued to impress for 2018 and won last year's family car of the year award thanks to newly standard safety features, a price reduction in base models, and updated multimedia systems with apple carplay and android auto. it enters 2019 with few changes but is competitive as ever and remains at the top of the minivan class, besting competitors like the kia sedona, toyota sienna and honda odyssey.

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2019 ford expedition

2019 ford expedition

some people are allergic to minivans, which is a problem if you need to haul around a big family — and all their stuff. while regular three-row suvs can't quite match a minivan's impressive accommodation of people and cargo, a full-size suv can, and the 2019 ford expedition is our pick. large outside and in, the expedition is one of the few full-size suvs that provides the spacious interior suggested by its exterior bulk, with the hands-down roomiest third row even if you don't opt for the extended expedition max. with a maximum seating capacity of eight, it easily accommodates your kids, their friends and the dog while towing the camper ... which happens to include the kitchen sink. 

power comes from ford's twin-turbocharged 3.5-liter ecoboost v-6, which makes 375 horsepower in most trim levels and 400 hp in the top platinum. it's paired with a standard 10-speed automatic transmission and available with either rear- or four-wheel drive. not only is power ample, it's also smooth and delivery is linear for a refined driving experience. 

this may be a truck-based suv, but its interior is anything but crude: there are power ports in every row, the sync 3 multimedia system with an 8-inch touchscreen and apple carplay and android auto integration, a family entertainment system, and in-vehicle wi-fi that can handle up to 10 connections and operate within 50 feet from the truck. 

redesigned for 2018 with more interior space as well as additional comfort and convenience features, the expedition grabbed the crown in our 2018 full-size suv challenge. for 2019, it returns with few significant changes but remains competitive and continues to claim its top spot, making it a strong contender for family car of the year.

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2019 volkswagen atlas

2019 volkswagen atlas

suvs sales are soaring, and volkswagen timed its entry into the three-row segment well with its atlas, the automaker's largest suv. this big family hauler debuted for 2018 and quickly won us over with its cavernous interior, family-friendly features and comfortable road manners. 

inside, there's ample room for seven occupants in three rows of seats, and there isn't a bad one in the house. even the third row is roomy enough for adults, and what's more, getting back there is easier than in most suvs thanks to a tilt-and-slide second row in either bench or captain's chair versions that allows you to keep a child-safety seat installed while moving those second-row seats. the second row also has ample room to fit three car seats across the bench, something some competitors can't do. 

although it's big, the 2019 volkswagen atlas doesn't drive like it. power comes from either a standard turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder or an optional 3.6-liter v-6. even loaded with a full roster of people and stuff, the torquey little four-cylinder holds its own in traffic. it may not be the most athletic-handling suv out there, but that's not its mission — it's a comfortable, quiet and capable people hauler. and to top it all off, the atlas offers one of the most impressive standard warranties in the industry: bumper-to-bumper for six years or 72,000 miles. 

the atlas took top honors in the 2017 three-row suv challenge and later won 's best of 2018 award. it's back for 2019 as a family car of the year award nominee. 

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