Whether you’re a family of four or five or more and your clan is returning from a mountaintop camping trip or you’re just two dads back from the honeymoon and getting ready for the daily-but-delightful grind of parenthood, there is a vehicle out there for you. Here are some of our faves for the family man in all of us!
The Joint-Checking Family: 2011 Ford Edge You and your groom are complete opposites in almost every way. Your friends never expected you two to last two months, let alone make the big leap—DOMA begone! And while your courtship was not without its bumps in the road, you both prove that opposites truly attract. Now as your assets merge, so do your expenses. You’ll need a new car for your new family—something light on the wallet, high on cool and, most importantly, something you can agree on. Starting under $30,000, the lineup of 2011 Ford Edges has that rare quality that has sustained many gay love lives: versatility.
Dressed down with a piano-key-black grille and with the most powerful V-6 in the lineup, the Edge Sport will appeal to the thrill-seeker of your pairing. A ratcheted-down suspension gives you permission to chirp your summer tires down that twisty canyon. And if there is confusion as to which one of you is the thrill-seeker, it’s whoever suggested going to Koreatown for more “authentic” cuisine.
The yin to your yang, the throb in your heart and the more sensible one of your partnership will appreciate the vast amenities of the Edge Limited. Twin LCD screens on the dash monitor Edge’s vitals, while a center-mounted touch screen adjusts the Sony HD radio and other creature comforts. The MyFord Touch system with SYNC recognizes over 10,000 speech commands, which makes getting turn-by-turn directions super easy. It’s just getting a certain someone to ask the system for directions that remains the problem.
The Big Love Family: 2011 Nissan Quest “Uncoventional” is how most people tend to describe your family. But whether it consists of a bio mom and a sperm-donor dad, two dads and a surrogate/best friend, an ex-wife, three stepkids and a husband or any mix of the above, one thing is for sure: Your octo-family needs a lot of seats and requires more configurations than an Olympic figure-skating team.
Being practical is not a way of life for you, it’s a survival instinct. With your arms full of groceries and a 2-year-old clinging to your leg, you’ll appreciate the one-touch power sliding doors. When your seasons are marked by changes in the kids’ sports equipment, the fold-flat seats and permanent storage bin are lifesavers. And you love your kids, no question, but they can, well, stink. Be it from mud, gunk, grass, sand, a questionable sticky substance or the all-too-familiar “blame it on the dog” moment, you’ll love Nissan’s proprietary air filtration system for reducing allergens and other eye-watering particles in the cabin.
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But just for a moment, turn off that part of your brain that maintains checklists and indulge in some good old-fashioned superficiality. Nissan has designed a minivan that is, dare I say, cool. The blacked-out B-, C-, & D-pillars give the tinted glass a serene flow. Strong character lines and a slightly rising beltline reduce the visual height and make Quest appear agile. A low front lip and contoured hood add a touch of aggression, and the chrome accents a touch of luxury. Combining all of Quest’s features results in a minivan that is practical and cool. How unconventional.
The Off-Roadington Family: 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser The ideal vacation for you and your partner has always required four-wheel drive. Your garage is a museum of sports paraphernalia, and you have a closet in your house designated specifically for harnesses. In your family, bungee jumping is a perfectly acceptable birthday present. And no SUV more clearly expresses your passion for adventure than the 2011 Toyota FJ Cruiser. It’s the cross-eyed mug only a parent could love, paired with impeccable off-road credentials.
Now, many may see an empty nest as a new chapter in one’s life. I choose to see it as additional covered parking. Not the most luxurious thing on four wheels, and weekdays you’ll want to park it next to whatever alphanumeric German sedan you already own. But take this thing out to some barren government-owned land on the weekends, and the FJ Cruiser will make you gigglefart for hours.
If your needs run a little more extreme than some minor federal trespassing, Toyota has two tricked-out FJs just for you. The TRD (Toyota Racing Development) package adds BFGoodrich all-terrain tires and sporttuned Bilstein speed-tuned shocks. As an annual competitor in the Baja 1000, the TRD team knows how to cross desert terrain faster than an ousted Middle Eastern dictator. The TT (Trail Teams) package comes only in army green and adds active traction control and an electronically controlled locking rear differential. This package gives you and your navigator an awesome boulder assault vehicle, because by now we know we’re all heading to the same place eventually, and it’s not so much about when you get there as it is about how much fun you have on the way that really counts.