Father's Day cars, trucks and SUVs for 2018

If you're an active dad looking for a new ride that meets your family needs while stirring your soul, look no further than these great rides.

Chris Paukert
Following stints in TV news production and as a record company publicist, Chris spent most of his career in automotive publishing. Mentored by Automobile Magazine founder David E. Davis Jr., Paukert succeeded Davis as editor-in-chief of Winding Road, a pioneering e-mag, before serving as Autoblog's executive editor from 2008 to 2015. Chris is a Webby and Telly award-winning video producer and has served on the jury of the North American Car and Truck of the Year awards. He joined the CNET team in 2015, bringing a small cache of odd, underappreciated cars with him.
Chris Paukert
2018 Volvo V90
1 of 33 Nick Miotke/Roadshow

2018 Volvo V90

Station wagons aren't cool, right? Wrong. 

Not only are wagons like this 2018 Volvo V90 capacious, they're also surprisingly stylish and posh inside. 

And with a four-cylinder engine range giving between 250 and 316 horsepower, this Swede can be pleasingly quick, too.

2018 Volvo V90
2 of 33 Nick Miotke/Roadshow

If there's a dad in your life who prefers to go his own way, a svelte wagon could be just the ticket.

You won't see a V90 coming and going -- if ever. It's only available by order at Volvo dealers.

The V90 starts at $49,950 before delivery charges, and a lifted quasi-SUV Cross Country version is available for a few thousand more.

2018 Volvo V90
3 of 33 Nick Miotke/Roadshow

Volvo's latest generation of products feature flat-out excellent interiors, with pleasing designs and materials.

The Roadshow team is a bit split on the merits of Volvo's Sensus Connect infotainment, however, so be sure to spend lots of time with the system to see if you like it before taking one home.

One area which won't be up for debate? Safety. The V90 features an industry-leading array of advanced driver aids, plus the sure handling to avoid accidents in the first place.

2018 Dodge Charger Scat Pack
4 of 33 Dodge

2018 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack

Is your dad someone who is an old-school muscle-car junkie at heart, but still needs a practical car? Allow Roadshow to recommend the 2018 Dodge Charger R/T Scat Pack. 

Yes, there are more powerful Chargers and Challengers available, but the Scat Pack is the sweet spot in the lineup. 

Where else can you get 485 horsepower for around $40,000?

2018 Dodge Charger Scat Pack
5 of 33 Dodge

And with a dual-mode exhaust, it's got plenty of bark to go with its 6.2-liter Hemi bite. Plus, with standard Brembo brakes, it even stops pretty well, too.

At 15 miles per gallon city and 25 highway, this isn't the most frugal vehicle on our list, but when dad buries the accelerator, he won't care.

2018 Dodge Charger SRT - interior
6 of 33 Dodge

The Challenger R/T Scat Pack has a roomy interior with supportive seats, simple-to-use infotainment tech and a large trunk, so it's drivable every day.

2017 Audi A5 Sportback
7 of 33 Audi

2018 Audi A5 Sportback

Audi's A4 compact sedan is excellent, with exceptional in-car tech, poised all-wheel drive handling and top-notch build quality. 

But the 2018 Audi A5 Sportback seen here is all those things, and it's a lot more stylish.

2017 Audi A5 Sportback
8 of 33 Audi

Yes, buyers will give up some rear seat room in some dimensions, but not as much as one might think. And in return, not only does the A5 Sprotback offer a more handsome shape, it's got a much larger trunk, too.

2017 Audi A5 Sportback
9 of 33 Audi

Base 2.0-liter turbo A5 Sportbacks receive a handy 252 horsepower and 272 pound-feet of torque, while uplevel S5 models get a 3.0-liter V6 with a bountiful 354 hp and 369 pound-feet.

Pricing for the A5 Sportback starts $42,600 (plus delivery), and S5 models start at $54,400 but come with more standard equipment, too.

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT
10 of 33 Ford

2018 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor

You didn't really think you'd get through reading a Best Dad's car and truck list without this bad boy, did you?

You're looking at the 2018 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor, the baddest full-size pickup in all the land. 

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT
11 of 33 Ford

From its desert-bashing-ready wide-track suspension to its twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 with 450 horsepower and 510 pound-feet, this truck is ready to play.

2018 Ford F-150 Raptor SVT
12 of 33 Ford

With Ford's much-improved Sync 3 infotainment as the heart of its dashboard, the Raptor offers top-notch connectivity and tons of space.

Starting at around $50,000, this 4WD juggernaut can still tow and haul your favorite powersports gear and sports equipment, and it boasts a surprisingly cushy ride quality.

13 of 33 Tim Stevens/Roadshow

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

Is your Paterfamilias a bit of a technophile? Then he might love this 2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV

We've called this pure-electric five-door hatchback, "The best EV you can buy this side of Tesla," and we mean it. In fact, from a build quality and ease-of-serviceability standpoint, it's likely even better.

14 of 33 Tim Stevens/Roadshow

Chevy's Bolt EV packs a 200-hp, 266 lb-ft of torque electric motor backed by a 60-kW battery pack. 

That combination is good enough for a 0-60 mph run in a brisk 6.5 seconds and 238 miles of range between charges. 

That's Tesla Model 3 territory, without the annoying waitlist. 

2018 Chevrolet Bolt EV
15 of 33 Chevrolet

The Bolt EV may not be particularly sexy to look at on the outside, but its upright proportions yield big dividends inside. The cabin is open, airy, and well laid out. 

Weirdly, you can't get onboard navigation in the otherwise smartly executed infotainment system, but with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it's not as big an inconvenience. 

The Bolt EV starts at $36,620 before delivery, but available federal and state tax incentives take a big chunk off that bottom line. 

Long-Term 2018 Kia Stinger GT
16 of 33 Steven Ewing/Roadshow

2018 Kia Stinger

If you've read Roadshow's pages in the last year, you know we're quite enamored with the 2018 Kia Stinger, particularly the high-power GT variant.

Long-Term 2018 Kia Stinger GT
17 of 33 Steven Ewing/Roadshow

The rear- or all-wheel-drive fastback five-door is available with a plenty-powerful 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, but the GT is the pick of the litter. It features a smooth and eager 365-horsepower 3.3-liter turbocharged V6.

Starting at under $32,000 (plus delivery) for a base four-cylinder model and rocketing to just over $50,000 for a loaded GT2 AWD model before options, the Stinger offers performance that's better than some European luxury offerings that costs tens of thousands more.

Long-Term 2018 Kia Stinger GT
18 of 33 Steven Ewing/Roadshow

With a comfortable, well-designed cabin and plenty of room for four (five in a pinch) and their luggage, the Stinger is a formidable long-distance tourer. 

How much do we at Roadshow like this car? Enough to give it our 2018 Shift Award for Vehicle of the Year.

2018 Honda Accord
19 of 33 Honda

2018 Honda Accord

Now entering its milestone tenth generation, the 2018 Honda Accord is better than ever. 

In base-form LX, it's a comfortable, efficient and exceedingly well-executed daily driver. 

In top-flight Touring spec, it's more luxurious than many entry-level premium cars with much higher price tags.

2018 Honda Accord
20 of 33 Honda

Available with a 1.5-liter or 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder or as a hybrid gas-electric model, the Accord is a remarkably well-mannered family sedan, simultaneously pegging both our fun-to-drive and efficiency meters.

2018 Honda Accord
21 of 33 Honda

With a bushelful of available active safety tech and a well-executed infotainment system (finally!) that features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, there's a lot to love here.

Priced from around $23,500 and on up to nearly $35,000 before options and delivery, the 2018 Honda Accord is even well priced, too.

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
22 of 33 Chris Paukert/Roadshow

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar

Simply put, the 2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar is one of the most stylish and luxurious vehicles we've driven in years. 

With its reductive approach to design, the Velar manages to achieve a minimalist aesthetic inside and out, without coming across as sparse. 

2018 Land Rover Range Rover Velar
23 of 33 Chris Paukert/Roadshow

It also happens to be a supremely capable machine both on- and off-road. Yes, other models in the Land Rover family will ultimately be harder-core off-road, but the Velar has more capability than 99.9 percent of owners will ever ask of it.

A base Velar starts just shy of $50,000 (plus delivery) for the 2.0-liter gas four, but that's just the tip of a very large iceberg. You're going to want to skip over the optional diesel engine and go straight for the 3.0-liter V6, which puts out 380 supercharged horses. Add in a few choice option packages and you're staring down well over $70,000-worth of SUV without even trying.

It's worth it. 

24 of 33 Land Rover

Land Rover models have historically fallen down when it comes to infotainment, but the company's new Touch Pro Duo twin-screen system is leagues better than what's been offered in LR products in the past. 

It could still benefit from Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, but it's snappy, reasonably well laid out, and beautiful to look at.

25 of 33 Ford

2018 Ford Expedition

Sometimes, you just need to haul everything -- the kids, the gear, the family dogs and a big 'ol boat. For those those days, the 2018 Ford Expedition is about as good a solution as you'll find.

2018 Ford Expedition rear
26 of 33 Ford

All-new from the ground-up for 2018 and boasting a lighter and stronger aluminum-intensive architecture, the new Expedition is powered by Ford's 3.5-liter twin-scroll turbocharged EcoBoost V6 generating 375 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. 

That's unless you've splurged on the top-of-the-line Platinum trim, which gooses output to 400 hp and 480 pound-feet, plenty for towing up to 9,300 pounds.

27 of 33

The best part of the Expedition experience may just be its hugely improved cabin, which boasts solid Sync 3 infotainment, plenty of creature comforts and impressive material choices.

Combined with this full-size SUV's good ride quality and commendable noise, vibration and harshness characteristics, you've got the recipe for one monster vacationwagon. 

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata
28 of 33 Mazda

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata

We know what you're thinking. Mazda's Miata has a certain reputation, and it isn't just because it's historically had modest power levels.

But never mind the naysayers. The 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata may only have 155 horsepower to its name, but they're the friskiest, hardest-working fillies you've ever experienced.

No, your dad won't be able to take his whole family out for dinner in the two-seat Miata, but doesn't he deserve a little "me" time?

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata
29 of 33 Mazda

The Miata may not be a particularly fast sports car, but it is among the most pure, communicative and forgiving cars extant, and it's an absolute unbridled joy to drive. 

In fact, some Roadshow staffers swear a box-stock Miata is more fun to drive than far costlier and more powerful roadsters from companies like BMW and Porsche, if only because it's exhilarating to push the car's lower limits more of the time.

If you prefer something with a hardtop, for some additional cash, Mazda will also sell you a Miata RF, which features a power retractable roof and its own unique flying-buttressed look. We'd probably pass on the RF, though, as it doesn't quite deliver the same fully top-down experience.

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata
30 of 33 Mazda

The Miata's tight, driver-focused cabin is purposefully spare. Material choices are much better than in previous generations, but they're still nothing to write home about.

The Miata's interior does get the important things right, though -- pedal placement, short-throw gearbox, just-right steering wheel, and lightweight but comfortable seats. The manual top (remember those?) is a cinch to raise or lower from the driver's seat.

A base Miata Sport starts at $26,645, and a top-trim Grand Touring model starts at $31,270 (all prices sans options and delivery).

2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
31 of 33 Toyota

2018 Toyota Tacoma

Dad plays hard, but he doesn't want a full-size pickup, you say? Allow us to direct you to the 2018 Toyota Tacoma

True, a unibody-based vehicle like the Honda Ridgeline might offer more car-like handling and a more refined ride, but if your Pop likes to get out and hit the trails hardcore, he'll be better off with something like this Tacoma TRD Pro. 

2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
32 of 33 Toyota

With heavy-duty Fox shocks, raised ground clearance and knobby tires, the Taco TRD Pro will be hard to stop off-road.

Lower-end Tacomas come with a 2.7-liter four-cylinder churning out 159 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque. However, the 3.5-liter V6, which delivers 278 hp and 265, is the engine your dad will want if he has more than commuting on his mind.

2018 Toyota Tacoma TRD Pro
33 of 33 Toyota

Simply put, the Tacoma's cabin can be described as "utilitarian." It is not the roomiest, the most tech-rich, nor is it the nicest in the world of midsize trucks, but it is durable and honest.

In fact, the Tacoma's hard-wearing, bulletproof nature is its most endearing characteristic. That same attribute is also what contributes to the Tacoma's unassailably high resale value.

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