These Are the Best Family Friendly Cars in 2018

  1. Honda Odyssey, Minivan

Ranked #1 of minivans by U.S. News and by Kelly Blue Book, the Honda Odysseyis considered the best minivan in the U.S. because it affords comfortable space for cargo and any size rider. It drives like a car and is equipped with driver assist and safety features such as collision mitigation braking. Inside there is a new infotainment system and even a vacuum for quick cleanups. The redesigned Odyssey with Magic slide seats, five child safety seats, and an in-cabin camera is a reliable vehicle with a high resale value.

  1. Subaru Outback, Crossover

The respected Outback is versatile like an SUV and rated as the best vehicle for the money. Larger and sleeker than other crossovers, it rides like a family car with room for five passengers and a generous cargo area of 35 cubic feet (73 cubic feet with the back seats down). This Subaru accommodates baby seats, small children, teens, and adults without crowding anyone.

  1. Ford Expedition, Large SUV

The Expedition is ranked #1 in its group. The redesigned Expedition has the best third row of all SUVs, and like other SUVs, the Expedition can be purchased as a four-wheel-drive vehicle. (No minivans other than the Toyota Sienna have this capability). With 3.5-liter V6 engines, this SUV has 375 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque so that the family can pull a boat or other things.

  1. Acura MDX, Midsize SUV

Acura MDX is ranked #5 among luxury midsize SUVs by U.S. News. This stylish vehicle is particularly accommodating to older members of the family as entry is much more comfortable than climbing into a van and some SUVs. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now standard equipment. The cushioned seats in the second row slide forward, and the backs tilt to a comfortable angle. Acura has a smooth ride, safety features, and a quiet cabin. With its three rows for seating or storage, along with excellent fuel efficiency, the MDX makes a great family vehicle.

  1. Honda CR-V, Compact SUV

Easy to drive and maneuver, the Honda CR-V is ranked #1 among compact SUVs by Kelley Blue Book and US News as the top vehicle for smaller families and the money. Having earned a rating of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the fuel-efficient CR-V has 40 cubic feet (76 ft. with the seats folded)of storage space, and senior passengers can quickly enter it. Because of its safety/driver assist system, the Honda CR-V is also rated as one of the safest crossovers.

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These Are the Best Family Friendly Cars in 2018

The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

In what is becoming a tradition of sorts, Tesla motors has recently dropped another automotive bombshell with the announcement of an all-new, 100% electric semi truck. The Tesla semi sports some very impressive specifications, including an estimated 500-mile range. The superior torque output of electric vehicles is a natural fit for the commercial trucking industry and the Tesla semi exploits this fact with a payload of over 80,000 lbs and a blistering 0 to 60 acceleration of 20 seconds; 40 seconds faster than comparable diesel semi trucks.

The electric big rig was presented in two styles; a flat top, lower profile standard truck and the high-top aero model, which carries the sleek roofline up and over the cargo. Both versions will be rated as Class 8 with capacity for the heaviest loads, but with a modest range of 500 miles, they are expected to be targeted mostly for regional trucking. Although a long-haul version with a sleeper cab is said to be in the works, the regional trucking between ports and distribution centers accounts for about 80% of routes today, so demand is expected to be high for the Tesla Semi. In fact, PepsiCo recently announced an order for 100 of the first production Tesla Semis.

Tesla plans to follow a similar model to the one used in the development of their world class electric passenger vehicles. The impressive efficiency and class leading range is possible through the help of lightweight materials. The pre-production models introduced are constructed of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, however it is expected that production models will be made from aluminum, just as the passenger Tesla vehicles. Tesla also has revealed plans to launch a network of solar charging stations for the Semi, which will be quick-charge high output chargers capable of providing 400 miles of range with 30 minutes of charge. These charging stations can also be implemented at distribution centers and shipping terminals directly, allowing for virtually continuous use, especially on repeated routes.

The cab of the Tesla Semi is just as high tech and austere as one would expect from Tesla. The driver sits in the center of the vehicle, formula one style. The driver’s display is flanked on either side by large touch screen panels that allow a custom view of trip and vehicle metrics. Operators of these trucks will feel more like Captain Kirk piloting the Starship Enterprise. The Tesla Semi dazzles inside and out; on paper and in person. However, the verdict is still out as to whether the trucking community will welcome or shun the electric workhorse.

The Tesla Semi: Ready or Not, Here it Comes

Apple’s Self-Driving Car

You know the name; you’ve seen their products; you’ve more than likely purchased a few of them at one point or another. They’re one of the most valuable and recognizable companies in the world. The empire that Apple has built is a wonder to behold. And that empire was built on technology and software, but now, the company may be getting into the automotive industry.

 

There have been rumors of Apple entering the automotive industry for quite some time, and for a moment, it had appeared as if nothing would come of it. But just a few months ago, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company is indeed working on a self-driving car; in a manner of speaking.

 

While there have been several documents and files that have led the public to believe that Apple was working on a full-fledged, self-driving vehicle, it turns out, according to Cook himself, that the company is really working on the software side of things. Based on Cook’s description of the project as being “one of the most difficult AI projects to work on,” it is assumed that the company was originally working on creating a complete vehicle, but as the project became much more difficult, they scaled it down and instead chose to focus on software.

 

In essence, this means that Apple will ditch their long-lasting tradition of manufacturing both hardware and software, and instead create only the software. And Apple has already released a similar feature. Apple CarPlay is a software that can be installed into the infotainment system of almost any vehicle. The software acts as something of a conduit for the driver’s existing iPhone. With CarPlay, drivers can play music from their phone, use the iPhone’s built in navigation, and even respond to texts and make use of Apple’s virtual assistant, Siri.

 

Since Apple is no stranger to automobile software, this project should be familiar territory. That is not to say that this project will not be difficult, as creating software to allow for autonomous driving is vastly more complex than creating software for multimedia use.

 

In short, Apple is more than likely going to steer away from developing a self-driving car; they will, however, focus on creating software for cars to drive themselves. And although the prospect of having Apple, who is renowned for their stable software, create self-driving software for vehicles, one can’t help but wonder just how amazing it would have been to get behind the wheel of the Apple Car.

Apple’s Self-Driving Car