The two dozen cars were selected for more detailed testing from the pool of more than 300 the publication tests every year. These cars were deemed superior to others in the market based on evaluations made by the editorial team along with Kelley Blue Book data on each respective model.
“For two weeks’ time we drove, lived-with, folded-down-seats-of, paired-phones-to and installed-baby-seats-in each and every one of the contenders,”Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com executive editorial director and executive market analyst Jack R. Nerad said in a statement.
“We loaded cargo, contorted ourselves into third rows, watched movies on rear-seat screens, toted rowing teams to marinas – in short, we did everything that you and your family might do with a vehicle day-to-day."
The publication's editors evaluated each vehicle with a focus on safety, comfort, convenience, spaciousness, and child safety seat fit.
In total, 16 vehicles — consisting of six sedans, three minivans, and seven crossover/SUVs — made the final list. The biggest winner was Honda, with six of its models on the top list. Chevrolet also showed well with three cars on the list.
According to Kelley Blue Book, the runners-up include the Toyota Camry, Ford F-150, Ford Explorer, RAM 1500, Hyundai Tuscon, Kia Soul, Toyota Avalon, and Subaru Crosstrek. Here is a closer at the Kelley Blue Book's 16 best family cars for 2016.
The first car on the list is Honda's redesigned 2016 Civic. The compact sedan is KBB.com's Overall Best Buy of 2016. The publication praised the car for its loads of standard equipment, safety features and cool new styling.
The Civic joined by its big brother, the 2016 Honda Accord. KBB praised the Accord for its roomy, high quality interior and rock solid powertrain.
The Kia Optima makes the list as KBB.com's Midsize Car Best Buy of 2016. The publication lauded the Korean sedan for its stylish, family friendly design, as well as its high feature content.
Also on the list is the Hyundai Sonata. The Sonata's presence is buoyed by its value pricing, extensive warranty, solid resale value and refined driving experience.
Chevrolet's 2016 Malibu sedan makes the list for the additional levels of safety, comfort and efficiency afforded the model by its 2016 redesign.
Chevrolet's full-size Impala receives praise for its roomy interior, contemporary styling as well as its high level of connectivity technology.
SUVs and crossovers are all the rage, and they're well represented on the list. Over the years, Honda's CR-V has become the benchmark for the compact crossover segment. This continues in 2016. KBB praised the CR-V for its roominess, versatility, practicality and great resale value.
The CR-V is joined on the list by its little brother, the sub-compact 2016 HR-V crossover. According to KBB, the little Honda features a surprisingly roomy second row seat and makes for a fine city vehicle for families.
The Honda trio is completed by the three-row 2016 Pilot. KBB calls the Pilot the "family-friendliest midsize SUV in existence." The publication lauds the SUV for its quality accommodations and sophisticated suite of driving tech features.
The Toyota Highlander is another 3-row crossover SUV to make an appearance. According to KBB, the Highlander makes the list for its, "Solid combination of comfort, quality, space and convenience features, as well as unsurpassed level of powertrain choice."
The Nissan Pathfinder joins its fellow Japanese 3-row crossovers on this list. The Pathfinder received praise for its stellar driving dynamics and useful surround view camera. In addition, the crossover's EZ Flex and Glide child seat system also garnered praise from the editors.
The 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe is the only truck-based SUV on the list. The big Chevy earned praise from KBB's staff for its rugged off-road and towing capabilities as well as room for nine people. The publication was also impressed with the GM SUV's standard 4G LTE connectivity.
The 2016 Subaru Outback is not quite a wagon and not quite an SUV. However, it's able to offer the cargo and passenger hauling capabilities of a crossover SUV. The Subaru also received plaudits for the solid performance of its AWD system.
Although the minivan segment is not the powerhouse it once was, there are still some very formidable offerings in the market. Leading the way is the 2016 Honda Odyssey. According to KBB, the Honda makes the list due to its "unparalleled combination of flexibility, seating, on-road dynamics and features."
The Odyssey's main rival also makes an appearance on the list. The 2016 Toyota Sienna made the cut due to its versatility, high resale value, and outstanding IIHS crash test performance. It's also the only minivan in the US with available AWD.
The Kia Sedona completes the minivan trio. Although it's not quite as established as its Japanese rivals, the Kia received praise for its style, functionality and modern interior, along with an impressive number of safety features at an affordable price.