Filling in the long gap between the start of the year and spring school breaks, many Canadian provinces have opted for an annual Family Day long weekend in the middle of February. Although we admit our bias, this is an excellent opportunity for a family road trip, whether heading to a destination with more sun, snow or both!
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle to meet your Family Day travel needs or simply deal as a daily driver when you consider room, comfort, safety, technology, cargo capacity, and other factors, here are 10 new vehicles on sale in Canada that can meet your needs.
Most Affordable: 2022 Chevrolet Spark
If your family and car budget are small, the Spark makes an excellent choice for a Family Day ride. With a starting price under $13,000 in Canadian dollars, it’s not only Chevrolet’s cheapest new car but also one of the most affordable new cars on the market. The subcompact Spark is a four-seater, as opposed to the typical arrangement of seating for five. But it has plenty of height, providing generous headroom. The luggage area behind the rear seats measures 314 litres. Its rear seats split and fold in a 60/40 configuration. When folded, the maximum cargo space enlarges to 770 litres.
Subcompact SUV: 2023 Kia Seltos
If you need more room than the small Chevy to get your family to a snowy destination, the Seltos is a well-rounded SUV that gives you the style, and tech features you want with the practicality families need. The base front-wheel drive (FWD) trim is the most affordable Seltos, and all-wheel drive (AWD) is widely available across the range. The interior room in the Kia is impressive, with adult-friendly back seats and a pretty roomy cargo area to boot.
Compact SUV: 2023 Kia Sportage PHEV
The plug-in electric hybrid powertrain is an all-new variant of the latest Sportage generation that’s new for 2023. Because of their bigger batteries, plug-in hybrids lose a little space in the back. That’s the case with the Sportage PHEV. The gasoline-only Sportage has 105 centimetres of rear legroom and 1,121 litres of luggage space behind the rear seats. This plug-in version has 100 cm of rear legroom and 977 litres of cargo area. The thing is, that’s still really good—better than the Toyota RAV4 Prime plug-in.
Station Wagon: 2023 Subaru Outback
Most families know that every Outback has a reassuring AWD system to tackle treacherous February driving in Canada. There are also plenty of safety features included. And if the worst happens, the Outback scores well in crash-testing programs. That’s the usual Subaru philosophy. The five-passenger wagon’s also quite spacious. The rear legroom measures 100 centimetres, which is definitely on the generous side. Split/folding 60/40 rear seats are standard, with 923 litres of luggage area behind them. With the rear seats folded, the maximum cargo volume is a massive 2,141 litres.
Minivan: 2023 Toyota Sienna
Canadian drivers looking for a practical Family Day vehicle can’t go wrong with a minivan, and the Sienna is one of the best. An efficient hybrid powertrain comes standard. Optional AWD further adds to its appeal to Canadians. Three-row seating for seven is standard, and eight-passenger seating is optional. All three rows are roomy and comfortable, and the third row is easy to access. The Sienna has plenty of cargo room even when the whole gang is on board, with 949 litres behind the third-row.
Fullsize SUV: 2023 Ford Expedition
With seats for up to eight, the roomy and versatile Expedition is ready to tackle any Family Day excursion, and the longer Max version is even roomier. Regardless of whether it’s a Max, even tall adults will be fine in the big Ford’s rearmost seats. The Max uses its extra length to provide more cargo space: 1,019 litres behind the third row, compared with 592 in the regular version. This expands to 3,441 litres (Max) or 2,942 (regular) when rows two and three are folded down.
Luxury SUV: 2023 Audi Q7
The Q7 can provide upscale transport for up to seven of your family members. Comfort and tech levels are high, AWD is standard throughout, and that renowned Audi style keeps the Q7 desirable. Legroom for the second row is easy to live with. The third row is tight. Cargo space is limited to 402 litres. Not that great in the midsize three-row SUV class, but at least the second and third rows fold almost flat. Only a few family vehicles offer a 500-horsepower twin-turbocharged V8, as in the SQ7.
Electric SUV: 2023 BMW iX
Made in an eco-friendly factory, the iX all-electric two-row midsize luxury SUV can be an excellent choice for those whose plentiful finances are equal to the desire for responsible Family Day transport. Electric motors generate exceptional torque to all four wheels, allowing the five-passenger iX to tackle uphill stretches as if they didn’t exist while simultaneously creating a sporty feel and maximizing efficiency. Adult passengers in the back shouldn’t find much to complain about. Behind the 40/20/40 split/folding rear seats is an expansive luggage area of 1,005 litres. With those seats folded, cargo volume maxes out at 2,205 litres.
Pickup Truck: 2023 Honda Ridgeline
Sharing a foundation with the excellent Honda Pilot midsize SUV, the Ridgeline pickup has a unibody (or one-piece) construction. Standard AWD, snow/sand/mud modes, and plenty of ground clearance contribute to its off-road ability. The Ridgeline’s classy SUV roots come through in its roomy and refined five-seater cabin. Standard active noise cancellation helps keep it nice and quiet, too. Precious items are kept secure and out of sight in 207 litres of storage area beneath the rear cargo bed.
Electric Truck: 2023 Ford F-150 Lighting
Ford is at the cutting edge with its F-150 Lightning, creating a successful and desirable electric truck. The subdued whoosh of the electric motors will make your Family Day travels nearly silent, and the Super Crew cab is also spacious, with a generous amount of rear legroom. The optional Max Recline front seats fold almost flat—great for getting in a little personal recharging while the Lightning replenishes its battery. There are also domestic 115-volt outlets in various spots, enabling families to plug in coolers or espresso makers when tailgating at the ski hill.