U.S. News: Behold the best family cars of 2012

Honda Fit
Honda Motor America

And the winner of U.S. News & World Report's ranking of the best 2012 family cars is... Ford and Honda.

The automakers' vehicles were each No. 1 in four categories, with editors at the magazine picking winners in 18 categories based on safety, reliability, and cargo and passenger space. Acura, Buick, Subaru, and Toyota all had two winners in today's family-cars list. On its Best Cars website, U.S. news ranks cars against their peers after compiling reviews of each vehicle. Ford also topped the list of an earlier overall best-cars ranking from U.S. News, with winners in five categories.

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"American families need cars that are safe, reliable, and designed to make life easier," said Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars, in a statement. "The winning vehicles provide the best mix of the bells and whistles today's families want with the basics they need. From the rugged towing and foul-weather capabilities of the Toyota Sequoia, to the comfort and space of the Honda Odyssey, to the high-tech features to keep teen drivers safe in the Ford Taurus, this list offers a vehicle for every type of family."

The Honda Fit, praised by reviewers since its introduction roughly a decade ago, was the winner in two categories -- subcompact car and hatchback.

Here is a look U.S. News' full list of 2012 best family cars, by category:

Affordable compact SUV: Honda CR-V

Full-size car: Ford Taurus

Affordable full-size SUV: Toyota Sequoia

Affordable midsize car: Ford Fusion

Midsize SUV (two rows): Ford Edge

Midsize SUV (three rows): Buick Enclave

Compact car: Subaru Impreza

Subcompact car: Honda Fit

Hatchback: Honda Fit

Hybrid car: Ford Fusion Hybrid

Hybrid SUV: Toyota Highlander Hybrid

Luxury compact SUV: BMW X3

Luxury full-size SUV: Cadillac Escalade

Luxury midsize SUV: Acura MDX

Minivan: Honda Odyssey

Upscale midsize car: Buick Regal

Upscale small car: Acura TSX

Wagon: Subaru Outback

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