Why Toyota goes 3 for 5 in KBB Best Family Car Awards
Kelly Blue Book’s annual 15 Best Family Cars list is unique in a way. Unlike many lists that are either just the publication’s editors’ picks, or just a survey, KBB melds the two in its 15 Best list. Actual families are used as part of the input and the KBB experienced staff also adds their input. This year, three important Toyotas made the list, but 2 very important family cars from Toyota did not. Here’s why.
Toyota Best Family Car Winners
Of the 15 models KBB named to this year’s Best Family Cars, the Toyota Camry, Highlander, and Sienna earn a spot. What is one thing that all three of these cars have in common? Safety. Each of these three vehicles is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick Plus rated vehicle. That is the highest rating possible in the land of the free and home of the brave. At the end of the day, is there anything more important in a family car than safety?
Toyota Family Cars Not Named
So which important Toyota family cars did KBB’s judges overlook? The RAV 4 and Corolla. Although the Camry is the top family car in terms of total sales in the US, the second largest market segment is the compact sedan and that is the Corolla’s job at Toyota. Compact crossovers are also important family vehicles and the RAV 4 didn’t make the cut. Each of these vehicles has an area or two where the competition is ahead.
For the Corolla, the main issue is safety. The Corolla cannot earn the IIHS TSP+ rating because it does not meet the qualifications in two important areas. Corolla tops most lists for cost of ownership and has best in class fuel economy, but safety matters. The RAV 4 also falls down on safety, but has other issues. Although it is competitive, the RAV 4 is not a fuel economy standout in its class. Also, it does not offer the same level of content that vehicles like the new Honda CRV do in terms of comfort or safety.
Here at Torque News we always highlight the Toyota wins in industry lists and ratings, but feel that it is only fair that we point out the loses as well, and add some perspective on why Toyota did not take home top rankings.