Top 10 family cars for 2013
Parents Magazine and Edmunds.com make their picks in several categories. And it's not all about the minivan anymore...
Parents Magazine and the auto site Edmunds.com just released their sixth annual top picks for best family cars. While the minivan and SUV might be the right choice for some families, the list does include vehicles in a broad range of categories since cars are certainly not a one size fits all proposition.
To come up with their choices they started with picking vehicles that had top marks in crash testing. Each vehicle must have electronic stability control, which helps prevent rollovers, and at least six airbags. After that, they judged based on style and standard features.
While minivans aren't nearly as popular as they once were, they are built with the family in mind. Atop the list is the sizable Toyota Sienna, which has a starting list price of $26,585. The Sienna, which can hold eight passengers, is the only minivan that offers an all-wheel drive option -- albeit priced considerably higher than the standard model.
Honda CR-V (starting at $22,795)
The reviewers liked that the Santa Fe has four outlets and a lot of configurations for storage -- plus a hidden trunk compartment. And they raved that "The CR-V has so many practical features, it's like a mini minivan in disguise." The car is filled with storage areas and nooks and now comes with a standard rear view camera. Both seat a maximum of five passengers.
When it comes to SUVs, the reviewers liked the Chevrolet Traverse (starting at $30,510) and the Nissan Pathfinder (starting at $28,650). These vehicles are bigger than the crossovers. The Traverse can seat eight and the Pathfinder seven. The reviewers liked the amount of cargo space in the Traverse, the flexibility of seating options, its touchscreen dashboard and multiple climate control settings. They liked the storage nooks and seating flexibility in the Pathfinder and gave it good marks for handling.
In the budget category, the top choices are the Subaru Impreza (starting at $17,895) and Honda Civic (starting at $18,165). Both seat up to five people. In addition to costing less, both vehicles get good gas mileage. And the Impreza comes with all-wheel drive standard. Reviewers found the Civic to deliver a good, safe ride and have some nice features including an iPod compatible screen and rear view camera.
Ford's Fusion (starting at $21,900) and the Honda Accord (starting at $21,680) were tops in the sedan category. Reviewers like the looks and comfort of the Fusion and the standard features of the Accord -- rear view camera, dual-zone climate control and a few other bells and whistles.
Lastly, reviewers picked the Prius C (starting at $19,080) as best hybrid. "This baby Prius is a terrific bargain for families with up to two kids looking to save at the dealership and the filling station." Plus, all models of Prius come with nine air bags.
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Nothing says family vehicle like a big SUV. When the family is 6 and the smallest is 5'6" (and growing) you need plenty of room. I favor these (love my Expedition) over minivans (I have own the Caravan. Good van but not multi-purposed.) because I can actually tow a large trailer with a RWD SUV. Yes gas prices make it a tough choice. But I live in Texas. Everything is always an hour away! So you adjust. I am surprised that crew cab pickups were not on the list.
As for the Traverse and Pathfinder, they might seat 7 or 8 people, but not nearly as comfortably as a Suburban, Sequoia, Armada or Expedition.
I'll take my Nissan Armada. The gas mileage sucks but I feel better knowing my kids are safer in this tank.
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