Top 10 Best Family Cars for Under $30,000

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Although crossovers and SUVs are starting to dominate the market when it comes to family cars, there are still a few minivans available that deserve your attention.

It’s not easy shopping for a family car and keeping your budget under $30,000, but you might be surprised at how many options there are out there. Also, it’s worth noting that a couple great family cars miss the mark for costing more than $30,000 including destination – like the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. They’re both worth a look if you’re willing to go slightly over the budget.

SEE ALSO: Best Three-Row Vehicles of 2017: Consumer Reports

Since most three-row crossovers and SUVs cost over $30,000, we decided to take a look at certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles as well. You can probably grab yourself a good deal on the used market for one of these family cars if you’re not adamant about getting a brand new model.

10. Hyundai Santa Fe Sport (New)

Unfortunately, the larger Hyundai Santa Fe starts at $31,750, but if you don’t need the extra room, the Santa Fe Sport is a great option with a starting price of $26,245. That also makes it one of the most affordable vehicles on the list.

Read our Hyundai Santa Fe Review

9. Acura MDX (Used)

If you want to hop into a brand new Acura MDX, you’ll be shelling out around $45,000. But shop on Acura’s CPO website and you can find used ones for under $30,000. In fact, you might even manage to get your hands on a 2015 model year, although it will have around 50,000 miles.

Read our Acura MDX Review

8. Nissan Rogue

As one of the most popular crossovers available, the Nissan Rogue is priced from $25,380, making it the cheapest brand new car on the list. If you’re looking to add a third row, it is available on the Family Package for $1,190 additional, which still keeps it well under $30,000. There’s even a hybrid variant available with a starting price of $27,600.

Read our Nissan Rogue Review

7. Chrysler Pacifica* (New)

The Chrysler Pacifica cheats a little to get on the list. That’s because the minivan starts from $30,090 including destination, and while that barely puts it over the $30,000 threshold, the Pacifica is too good of a family car to leave off the list. It heralds from the same automaker that brought years of minivan expertise to the market with the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country, and it shows with how complete of a package the Pacifica is.

Read our Chrysler Pacifica Review

6. Chevrolet Tahoe (Used)

For decades, the full-sized Chevrolet Tahoe has transported families all across North America. A brand new model will set you back $48,510, which means your best bet is to search the used car market if you want one. There are plenty of 2013 model year units available for under $30,000 and if you’re lucky, you might be able to find a 2014 model.

Read our Chevrolet Tahoe Review

5. Kia Sedona (New)

Priced from $27,850, the Kia Sedona is one of the most affordable new minivans available in today’s market. The Korean automaker also has a variety of crossovers and SUVs available, including the Kia Sorento that starts from $26,740.

Read our Kia Sedona Review

4. 2017 Chevrolet Traverse / 2017 GMC Acadia (New)

There’s a new 2018 Chevrolet Traverse getting ready to hit the market, which means you can likely find a good deal on a 2017 model year as dealers look to clear them off the lot. If you don’t absolutely need the latest and greatest, the 2017 Chevrolet Traverse starts from $29,595. The new 2018 model year has a starting price of $30,875.

There’s also the GMC Acadia that’s all-new for the 2017 model year with a starting price of $29,995 – barely sneaking in.

Read our GMC Acadia Review

3. Mazda CX-9 (Used)

A brand new Mazda CX-9 is a bit off the $30,000 mark with a starting price of $32,460. But that means it’s not too difficult to find a used or CPO model for under $30,000 or even in the low-$20,000 range.

Read our Mazda CX-9 Review

2. Toyota Highlander (Used)

A brand new 2017 Toyota Highlander will set you back $31,590, but given that Toyota’s known for its reliability, it’s not a bad choice to purchase used. CPO models are available between $20,000 to $30,000 depending on model year and mileage.

Read our Toyota Highlander Review

1. Ford Expedition (Used)

A new 2017 Ford Expedition will set you back $48,320 (including destination), but there are quite a few gems on the used car market. You can even get yourself a 2016 model for under $30,000 through Ford’s CPO program by searching its website.

Read our Ford Expedition Review

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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