Buying Guides

Great Vehicles with Available Rear Seat Entertainment

This is how to keep the little ones quiet and occupied

Amos Kwon, Editor-In-Chief

Let's face the facts. If you have kids, you face the challenge of keeping them on the semi-tranquil side in the car, especially on long trips. And though we don't recommend a constant barrage of electronic stimulation, it does help to provide the little ones with some video down time while you're behind the wheel. Not only does it keep their vocal volume in check, it keeps you focused on driving, a safety benefit. Here are some of the best vehicles out there with available rear seat entertainment.

2017 Chevrolet Tahoe

  • PROS: Rear seat entertainment is available on 2 out of 3 trim levels, massive 9-passenger capacity, excellent ride quality, up to six USB ports and six power outlets, body-on-frame ruggedness contributes to good off road skills.
  • CONS: Lackluster throttle response, big turning radius, single entertainment display could be larger, no streaming video capability from your smartphone, package that includes the rear seat entertainment system costs $2,385

The Tahoe isn't just a big, powerful, and beefy SUV that can tackle real life family and hauling tasks, it's a tech dynamo with its onboard Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as the rear seat entertainment that includes a 9" diagonal LCD flip down overhead display with remote control, Auxiliary audio/video input jacks and two, 2-channel, wireless, infrared headphones. With a setup like this, you might not hear the kids at all.

2016 Cadillac CT6

  • PROS: Excellent driving dynamics for a large sedan, big room throughout the cabin, original design language unlike the Japanese and Germans, rear seat entertainment package available on the two lower trims and standard on the top Platinum trim.
  • CONS: Small trunk space for the segment, polarizing interior styling, CUE infotainment system is better but still somewhat frustrating to use, rear seat entertainment package costs $2,700.

The CT6 is America's luxury sedan (for now), and it boasts room, comfort and a solid set of tech, including the ability to keep rear occupants entertained via twin 10-inch retractable screens. Not only do they play Blu-ray DVDs, but they can also stream your videos from your smartphone.

2017 Honda Pilot

  • PROS: Colossal amounts of passenger and cargo room, solid fuel economy, smart storage choices throughout the cabin, comfortable ride, rear entertainment package is standard on the top two trims.
  • CONS: Only a single screen makes kids have to share, Pilot's sheetmetal looks like a minivan, third row access is tight, first three trim levels don't even offer the rear seat entertainment package.

The Pilot has always been a go-to for big families with its 7-passenger capacity and gargantuan cargo hold. The current version offers all that and more with its rear seat entertainment package that comes with a high-res 9-inch screen, a removable remote control, a 115-volt power outlet, and even 2nd-row sunshades to block out the rays that impede continuous visual stimulation.

2017 Lexus RX 450h

  • PROS: Some of the best front seats in the segment, thoroughly modern inside and out, great looks especially in F Sport trim, big twin screens are a pleasure to look at.
  • CONS: Styling can be polarizing, rear cargo space is smaller than the competition, styling without F Sport trim looks a bit strange.

Lexus certainly improved on its best-selling vehicle in a big way. It's far more advanced and even futuristic looking compared to its predecessor, and the interior has been upgraded several echelons. The fact that a midsize luxury crossover can boast twin 11.6-inch high-grade adjustable rear screens, a DVD player, an HDMI port and a 120-volt household-style power outlet means that you and yours will have access to entertainment for however long your trip may be.

2017 Chrysler Pacifica

  • PROS: The best minivan design in perhaps forever, superb Stow 'n' Go seats make adjustments a breeze, plug-in hybrid trim gives it the segment's best mileage, infotainment system is packed with features.
  • CONS: Rear seat entertainment package is only available on the top trim limited as an option for $1,995, rotary shift knob and round audio knob are too close together.

Count on Chrysler to reinvent the segment it invented. It's latest minivan has pretty much everything you could want including a potent V6 engine, solid driving abilities, capacious room and one seriously good rear entertainment package that comes with twin flip-up screens that both second and third row passengers can view. Plus, you can send video and audio from your phone via USB, HDMI and onboard Wi-Fi, as well as watch Blu-ray DVDs. The Pacifica even provides built-in games and apps via Uconnect for when they've run out of things to watch.

2017 Toyota Sienna

  • PROS: Widescreen makes easy viewing from all rows, every seat has ample room, superb ingress and egress, swallows everything you own in the cargo section, the only minivan with available AWD, new powerful V6 is spirited.
  • CONS: Mushy driving dynamics, can get really thirsty with fuel when pushed, seats can be too soft for long drives.

The Sienna is still a minivan at the end of the day, but what a great one it really is. Aside from good driving dynamics, it's pretty much missing nothing. Add all-wheel drive and a V6 engine, and this is the family hauler that can just about do it all. It has easy access to all three rows, a truly spacious cargo section, and one of the best rear entertainment systems around.

Are these systems worth the extra money?

  • Most of them come as part of an entertainment package, which could cost thousands more.
  • It makes long road trips with kids more tolerable.
  • Some systems can stream video/audio or transmit via AUX cables, rather than just play DVDs.