What are the best family cars? What defines family? And what are the needs of families, small and large? Edmunds.com and Parents magazine have combined for the past seven years to present their combined list.
For 2014, their top-10 list, as usual, is divided into categories, family friendly subcompacts to large sport utility vehicles.
Car experts from both organizations examined hundreds of vehicles and narrowed the selection to choices in each category to those vehicles with features that make daily family journeys easier. The criteria include: reliability, impressive mileage and ample cargo capacity.
“Whether they’re taking a summer road trip or just making a grocery run, families expect a lot from their vehicles,” said Parents Editor-in-Chief Dana Points. “Safety is every parent’s top priority, and we’re excited by how many manufacturers are now offering blind-spot mirrors and collision-avoidance systems in addition to multiple airbags and government-required electronic stability control.”
The list of Best Family Cars includes choices for everyone, budget-conscious environmentalists to big families seeking more space.
“Every year we test drive hundreds of cars, crossovers and SUVs,” says Edmunds.com Editor in Chief Scott Oldham. “We evaluate each vehicle from top to bottom, from safety and fuel economy to its performance, comfort and cup holders. We do this to save parents time during the car-shopping process and make it easier for them to buy the right vehicle to haul their family and their stuff.”
According to Parents and Edmunds.com, “The 10 Best Family Cars of 2014” (with starting prices):
Ford Fiesta ($14,925)
Toyota Prius ($25,010)
Honda Accord ($22,745)
Subaru Outback ($24,320)
Nissan Rogue ($23,650)
SPORT UTILITY VEHICLES
Hyundai Santa Fe ($30,750)
Chevrolet Traverse ($31,670)
Honda Odyssey ($29,655)
Technology made a big impression on Parents and Edmunds.com editors. From lane departure warnings to the Honda Odyssey’s popular built-in vacuum, each vehicle offers an affordable technology upgrade for safety or comfort.
A few technology package highlights include:
Mazda 3- $2,600 technology package includes Smart City Brake Support, which slows or stops your car when its front laser sensor detects a possible collision with a vehicle or object.
Toyota Prius-A $1,500 embedded solar panel roof is an add-on available on most trim levels. It powers a fan to circulate ambient air through the cabin to keep your car cool in the hot sun.
Honda Accord- Honda’s LaneWatch, available on the $25,670 EX trim level, helps you check your right-side blind spot for pedestrians, cars and other objects. When the driver engages the right turn signal, a camera in the passenger side door mirror activates, sending a wide-angle view of the right rear area to your in-vehicle display.
To read additional details of the article, which appears in the July issue of Parents magazine, visit: Top-10 Family Cars.