Because the average new car transaction price right is right around $35,000 these days, when you start talking about the most comfortable family sedans, we've decided to to use that number as a price ceiling benchmark. After all, families shopping in this category are likely trying to do the best they can with what they can afford. So, what follows are our picks of the most comfortable family sedans with starting prices below $35,000. If a given manufacturer has more than one car qualifying for the list, we focused on the most comfortable car in their lineup, but we do give shout outs to the other standouts.
Acura’s TLX delivers just as much driving pleasure as it does comfort, convenience, and sophistication. You'll also find it has a spacious trunk, a roomy back seat, and is easy getting in and out. A host of cutting edge safety tech is incorporated as well. To stay under our $35,000 price cap for the most comfortable family sedans, we had to go with the Acura’s 206-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four, front-drive and a dual-clutch eight-speed automated manual transmission. Pricing starts at $31,695.
Family cars typically mean family vacations, and the 2016 Buick LaCrosse is the perfect coach for the job. Loaded with comfort and convenience features, the LaCrosse is also an exceptionally spacious automobile. Meanwhile Buick’s “Quiet Tuning” goes a long way toward qualifying the LaCrosse for this list of the most comfortable family sedans. Power comes from a 3.6-liter V6 with 304 horsepower and 264 ft-lbs of torque. Front-drive and a six-speed automatic transmission are standard. A 2.4-liter hybrid powertrain is optional, as is all-wheel drive. Lacrosse pricing starts at $32,385. The 2016 Buick Regal is a good family Sedan choice too.
While we’re on the subject of full-size American cars, the most venerable nameplate in the category has to be Chevrolet’s Impala. In fact, the phrases “Chevrolet Impala” and “comfortable family sedan” are practically interchangeable. Further, given the Impala’s price, you can affordably choose between miles per gallon or smiles per gallon. For frugality, go with the 195-horsepower turbo four and revel in 31 miles per gallon. If you prefer power, the Impala’s 305-horsepower V6 will return 28 mpg on the highway. In addition to the roomy interior, the Chevy’s trunk offers 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Pricing starts at $27,095. The 2016 Chevrolet Malibu is a worth a look too.
Inside the 2016 Chrysler 300 you’ll find a wealth of plush materials comprising a very handsome interior design, as well as all-day comfort and legroom. While thoroughly American in style, comfort, and features, the Chrysler flagship attacks the pavement with the spirit of a European sport sedan. The model also offers a slate of the latest active safety features. So, in addition to one of the most comfortable family sedans, you get power, luxury, spaciousness, and an engaging driving experience all in the same package. To stay under budget, you’ll go with the 292-horsepower 3.6-liter V6, rear-drive, and the eight-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts at $31,695.
The 2016 Dodge Charger does pretty much everything the Chrysler 300 does, while costing just under $4,000 less. You’ll forego some of the luxury features and a bit of trunk space, but the mechanical content is largely the same. The Dodge’s more aggressive face means making time on the highway because slower drivers will get out of its way more quickly. You can also get a 370-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 in the Charger while still coming in under the $35,000 price cap. Pricing starts at $27,995. The sporty Dodge Dart deserves a look too.
Ford’s Taurus, introduced back in 1986, led the way to today’s contemporary full-size American sedan. The innovative front-drive four-door sedan brought with it a number of efficiencies. Today’s Taurus is a bit less groundbreaking, but it still serves admirably as one of the most comfortable family sedans. The Ford’s huge 20.1 cubic foot trunk nicely complements the spacious passenger cabin. Plus, you can get a Taurus with all the options—including the 365-horsepower V6 all-wheel drive powertrain—and still be under $35,000. Pricing starts at $27,055. The sophisticated 2016 Ford Fusion is well worth checking out too.
If there’s a "best" list anywhere near the Accord’s category, you’ll find the Honda represented. Freshly updated for the 2016 model year, it really is one of the best cars in production today—period. So yes, it’s one of the most comfortable family sedans too. Accord’s comfort, quiet, and smoothness are really what carry the day for the best-selling Honda sedan. Factor in an outstanding reputation for reliability, along with a strong value story, and it’s pretty easy to see why the car is so popular. The Accord’s mainstay powertrain is a 185-horsepower 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine paired with Honda’s continuously variable transmission. The front-drive powertrain is good for 181 ft-lbs of torque. The option is a 278-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. Pricing starts at $22,105.
Easily one of the most fun to drive models among the most comfortable family sedans, the 2016 Mazda Mazda6 is endowed with a smooth engine capable of delivering admirable acceleration, a nicely crafted interior treatment, and it’s good looking too. Here’s another plus, those desiring a measure of exclusivity can leverage the fact the mainstream hasn’t taken particular note of the Mazda6. A 184-horsepower, 2.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 185 ft-lbs of torque resides just behind the Mazda6’s front wheels delivering good power and outstanding agility. Buyers can choose between a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. Pricing starts at $21,495.
The virtues of the 2016 Nissan Altima are almost too numerous to list. Handsome styling? Check. A spacious interior furnished with quality materials and a generous array of standard features? Check. A solid engine with good power? Check. Quiet and refined, yet fun to drive? Check. Outstanding crash test scores? Check and check (from both NHTSA and the IIHS). For power, the 2016 Nissan Altima uses a 182-horsepower 2.5-liter good for 180 ft-lbs of torque. There’s also a 270-horsepower 3.5-liter V6. The front wheels are driven through a continuously variable transmission. And yes, it is also absolutely one of the most comfortable family sedans. Pricing starts at $22,300. The all-new Maxima is worthy of consideration as well.
The 2016 Subaru Legacy is nicely equipped, handsome, well appointed, and the only car on this list of the most comfortable family sedans to offer all-wheel drive as standard equipment. Of course, if you live in a true four-season climate, you’re probably already aware of the virtues of the Subaru flagship sedan. Even if you don’t, you should still give the hardy little Subaru flagship a look. For the 2016 models, the steering and suspension systems have been slightly revised for more responsive behavior. Further, given the low price of entry, you can choose between the 175-horsepower four-cylinder engine and the 256-horsepower six-cylinder. Both use a continuously variable transmission. Pricing starts at $21,745.
The 2016 Toyota Avalon is proclaimed by many to be Toyota’s “Buick." Truth be told, Avalon does share that marque’s penchant for comfort, luxury, and a relaxed composure. Power comes from a 3.5-liter V6 generating 268 horsepower and 248 ft-lbs of torque. Available features include keyless entry and start, Toyota’s Entune smartphone application integration, rain sensing windshield wipers, a tri-zone automatic climate control system, plus heated and ventilated seats. The trunk is good for 16 cubic feet of cargo, and pricing starts at $32,285. With all of these attributes, of course Avalon is one of the most comfortable family sedans. While you’re at the Toyota showroom, the 2016 Camry also rates considering.
Stylishly sleek and seductively sophisticated, the 2016 Volkswagen CC brings solid German road manners and an abundance of luxury features to your family transportation needs. What’s more the svelte profile of the Volkswagen makes the car look considerably more expensive than it is. And yet, luxuries abound; you’ll get dual-zone climate control, navigation, and a rear-view camera all as standard features. Easily ranked among the most comfortable family sedans, the 2016 Volkswagen CC can also carry 13 cubic feet of cargo in its trunk with four people on board. Pricing starts at $32,995. The all-new Passat is worth checking out too.
Here’s a conundrum; the 2016 Volvo S60 is easily the prettiest car in its category. Further, it’s spacious, outfitted with an amazing array of safety features, performs well, and has a nice slate of standard luxuries. Yet, sales are slow. What’s the problem? Good question. All we know is we’ve enjoyed driving every S60 we’ve ever experienced, and thought of it immediately for this list of the most comfortable family sedans. To stay under the $35,000 ceiling, you’ll go with the 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 240 horsepower and 258 ft-lbs of torque. The front-drive powertrain is fed by an eight-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts at $33,950.