Families who are shopping for new cars can look to the U.S News Rankings and Reviews for a comprehensive list of the best vehicles for families. The 2011 U.S. News Best Cars for Families awards choose vehicles in every category that are best-suited for families – based on safety and reliability ratings and long-term ownership costs. They are also chosen for special features and options that cater toward drivers with children, such as media, storage and cargo space.
The 2011 Honda Fit was given the best subcompact and the best hatchback car award, with plenty of room for passengers and enough cargo room left over for luggage and coolers for a comfy family road trip. The 2011 model starts around $15,100 and has a pretty decent fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon on the highway, according to Edmunds.com. The back seat is also roomy enough to accommodate growing children.
In the SUV category, Toyota swept the awards. The Highlander was voted the best midsize SUV with three rows of seating and the hybrid version got best hybrid SUV. The Venza was the best SUV with two rows, and the Sequoia was named the best affordable large SUV. The 2011 Sequoia starts around $40,900, but drivers who are shopping for a family car on a budget can consider an older model, such as the 2007 Sequoia. This model is a bit dated, but for a starting price of $17,700 can be a much better choice for a family buying a car with an auto loan.
U.S. News found that Honda’s 2011 CR-V was the best choice for affordable compact SUVs, and at a starting price of around $22,000, they might be right. The crossover vehicle gets 28u mpg on the highway, and comes equipped with child seat anchors built in, according to Edmunds.com. The CR-V also has an auxiliary MP3 input jack so the kids can easily play their music through the speakers instead of in their headphones so families can bond on their road trips.
Other cars that made the list include the Toyota Prius – which starts around $22,100 – the Honda Civic ($15,600), Ford Fusion ($19,850), Honda Odyssey ($23,100) and Volvo S80 ($37,150). Even if these cars don’t fit into your budget, you can check out used options of these models which often have similar features.