Best Cars for Families with Young Kids

Last Updated May 6, 2010 3:48 PM EDT

When it comes to hauling around our most precious cargo, we all know safety and reliability are two basic requirements for any family car. If you have small children, automotive website Edmunds.com also recommends you look for a vehicle that allows you to easily install multiple car seats. That means looking for something with ample interior cabin space and large door openings too. Here are Edmunds.com's top five picks:

1. Honda Odyssey
Parents and critics alike adore the Honda Odyssey. One of its most attractive features is that you can reconfigure the second row to provide you with a middle aisle leading to the rear seats, says Karl Brauer, editor of Edmunds.com. This allows Mom or Dad to easily get those car seats in and out of the third row.

2. Mazda MAZDA5
If you're looking for something smaller than the Odyssey, the Mazda 5 may be the right vehicle for you. It's compact but still offers sliding doors. The third row, however, is on the smaller side so this probably isn't the right minivan for families with more than two kids.

3. Ford Flex
The Ford Flex is not your typical mom mobile. It looks a bit like the Mini Cooper but comfortably seats seven adults. But the real reason this crossover vehicle is family pleaser is because of its optional features, including an MP3 player and phone interface and refrigerator. Never again will you have to pack a leaky cooler for a road trip.

4. Chevrolet Traverse
I'll admit this isn't the sexiest vehicle around, but the Traverse is perfect for large families. It's roomy -- with ample cargo space and seating for eight -- and allows parents to reconfigure both the second and third row seats. Brauer also points out that it's based on a car platform so the Traverse is relatively easy to maneuver.

5. Volvo XC90
If prestige is important, Brauer recommends you consider the Volvo XC90. It's definitely a step up from the others on the list. This vehicle also provides parents in the front row easy access to a car seat in the second row. In other words, you won't have to pull over and get out of the car if your little one drops his sippy cup.

Do you agree with Edmunds.com's list. What's your favorite family car?

Little Hands and Little Feet image by Treehouse1977, courtesy CC 2.0.
  • Stacey Bradford

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