After judging hundreds of vehicles for performance, reliability, safety, and family-friendly features, they narrowed it down to 15 vehicles in five categories.
Parents Editor in Chief Dana Points showcased three of them on "The Early Show on Saturday Morning."
And we have the complete list for you, as well.
All the cars on the list are budget-friendly: Five start at less than $20,000 and one starts at just $13,300. The Best Family Cars of 2010 feature will appear in the June 2010 issue of Parents magazine, which hits newsstands on May 15.
SEEN ON THE SHOW
From the Crossover category:
Starts at $21,545
MPG: 21 city/28 highway
Call it a compromise free crossover. The CR-V has a breezy, carlike feel and excellent handling. Its cozy cabin has two glove boxes and handy under-seat compartments to keep all your kids' stuff organized. The rear seats fold down in various configurations, with minimal effort, to fit double strollers and science projects, and loading bulky gear is less laborious thanks to the superlight lift gate and low rear deck. We also like that even the base model comes with a folding center storage tray, front and rear power outlets, and a conversation mirror (which lets you see what's going on in the backseat without having to turn around).
•One of the best choices available in the all important areas of on-road drivability and practicality
•Breezy, carlike feel and excellent handling
•Our readers love the way it drives in all weather conditions
•Cozy cabin with two glove boxes and handy under-seat compartments to keep all the kids' stuff organized
•Rear seats fold down in various configurations with minimal effort. Perfect to fit double strollers and other bulky gear.
•Even the base model has: folding rear storage tray, front and rear power outlets and a conversation mirror which lets you see what's going on in the backseat without turning around
From the Big Car Category:
Starts at $29,224
MPG: 16 city/24 highway
It's just as versatile as a minivan, but this sporty SUV has way more street cred. The Traverse is remarkably spacious, with seating for up to eight passengers and a third row that's comfy even for grownups. The second row seats slide forward (perfect positioning for handing your kid his sippy) and back (for tweens who need more legroom). You can get a week's vacation worth of luggage into the rear cargo well, and with the seats folded down this vehicle could almost double as a delivery van. Still, the sure handling will make you forget all about its size.
•Its nimble handling almost makes you forget how big it is, until you realize that it's….
•Remarkably spacious with seating for up to 8 and a third row that's comfortable enough for grown ups
•The second row slides forward to put kids in perfect position for moms to easily hand back sippy cups or toys
•If you're heading out on a road trip, you could easily fit a week's vacation worth of luggage into the rear cargo area
•Base LS models come with OnStar, satellite radio, a six-speaker CD/MP3 player with an auxiliary audio jack and folding second and third row seats
From the Hybrid category:
Ford Fusion Hybrid
Starts at $27,625
MPG: 41 city/36 highway
Looking for a larger, plusher hybrid? Try the new Fusion, which was named 2010 North American Car of the Year at the Detroit auto show. The ride is luxurious, and the snazzy cabin has power seats and soft ambient lighting. Your kids will love the voice activated Sync audio system, which plays music on command. You'll appreciate the capless gas tank, which keeps your hands clean when you refuel. If you want to spend less, the non-hybrid Fusion starts at an affordable $20,000.
•Great for green minded families who don't want to sacrifice style, comfort or safety
•Sportier than you expect a hybrid sedan to be
•Can run on battery power alone up to 47 mph
•Comfortable power seats
•Soft ambient interior lighting
•Keyless entry pad
•Kids and parents will love the voice activated Sync system which plays music on command (this is a standard feature)
•Smart Perk: Capless gap tank that lets you keep your hands clean while you refuel
•Honda Accord, Price Starts at $21,055, MPG 19 city/31 highway
•Subaru Legacy, Price Starts at $19,995, MPG 18 city/31 highway
•Volkswagen Jetta TDI, Price Starts at $22,830, MPG 30 city/41 highway
•Honda Fit, Price Starts at $14,900, MPG 27 city/35 highway
•Mazda 5, Price Starts at $18,510, MPG 21 city/28 highway
•Kia Soul, Price Starts at $13,300, MPG 24 city/31 highway
•Chevrolet Equinox, Price Starts at $22,615, MPG 17 city/32 highway
•Honda CR-V, Price Starts at $21,545, MPG 21 city/28 highway
•Toyota RAV4, Price Starts at $21,675, MPG 19 city/28 highway
*Toyota has addressed the accelerator problem (which resulted in a recall for this model last January) in all new RAV4s being sold; we feel comfortable recommending it.
•Toyota Prius, Price Starts at $22,800, MPG 51 city/48 highway
•Honda Insight, Price Starts at $19,800, MPG 40 city/43 highway
•Ford Fusion Hybrid, Price Starts at $27,950, MPG 41 city/36 highway
* Toyota has addressed the braking problem (which resulted in a recall in February) in all new Prius models being sold; we feel comfortable recommending it.
•Ford Flex, Price Starts at $28,950, MPG 16 city/24 highway
•Honda Odyssey, Price Starts at $26,805, MPG 16 city/24 highway
•Chevrolet Traverse, Price Starts at $29,224, MPG 16 city
To see the Parents magazine article, click here.
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