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Best Family Cars of 2015
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Considering purchasing a new ride for your brood in 2015? Feeling overwhelmed by all the choices out there, from minivans to SUVs to crossover vehicles? Yeah, we totally get it. So we did some research for you! We talked to experts to get their recommendations on the safest, most fuel-efficient, and just plain best family cars out there.
But before you get started identifying the right wheels for your needs, consider these tips from Carmax:
- Do your research first, so you can narrow down your options before you test drive.
- Buy a car for quality, not just for the price.
- Don't be afraid to ask questions, no matter how many you may have! Buying a car is a major purchase, after all.
Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book's KBB.com, says the Chevy Suburban is one of the roomiest, best family cars on the market. With a seating capacity of up to nine, this massive SUV has enough cargo room (40 cubic-feet) for baby gear and groceries, with space to spare.
Good to know: The Suburban's third row seats fold flat, and there's nifty hidden storage under the cargo floor.
Coolest New Family Features
So what's KBB's pick for the car that offers the coolest new family features? The Honda Odyssey. From a built-in vacuum (why can't every car have this feature?!) to theater quality rear-seat entertainment, this is one minivan that really understands the modern family.
Good to know: The Odyssey's second row can be reconfigured to accommodate three booster seats at once.
MSRP EX model: $33,000
Best Fuel Efficiency
Kelley Blue Book crowns the Honda CRV compact SUV the winner in the Best Fuel Efficiency category. It boasts 27 miles per gallon in the city and 34 on the highway. And with new upgrades and luxury features, this priced-right family car offers ample room for your entire crew, with seating for five. Pretty sweet, huh?
Good to know: The CRV is the best-selling SUV of the decade.
Hippest Mom Ride
Looking for a bit of luxury while you cart your kiddos around town? Then KBB, suggests taking a look at the Acura MDX. With seating for seven, the MDX blends family-friendly features like one-touch, third-row seating access with posh accents such as leather seats and "Jewel Eye" headlights. You go, chic chauffeur!
Good to know: The Advance Package includes a rear-seat, split-screen display so kids can watch two different family movies at the same time! Um, wow.
Best for Weekend Road Warriors
If your family is the weekend adventure type, the Subaru Outback may be perfect for you. The 2015 Outback boasts all-wheel drive and has features such as button-activated X-MODE for better traction and Hill Descent Control that make it the off-roading ride of choice.
Good to know: The new Outback can carry up to 150 pounds of gear (how many bikes with training wheels is that?), and its roof rack has adjustable crossbars that stow away in the rails when not in use, improving fuel economy.
Honorable mention: The Chevy Tahoe's towing capability also makes it a great pick for road warriors.
Best Ride for City Dwellers
It's a compact car. It's an SUV that seats five. No, it's the Buick Encore, the car Nerad recommends for moms who parallel park before pulling out their prams, aka strollers. According to Kelley Blue Book, the Encore doesn't sacrifice luxury or convenience just because it's mini. For example, it features a mobile hot spot so you can check in with work while you wait in the No Parking zone for a spot to open up near tumbling class.
Good to know: The Encore comes equipped with noise-canceling technology to block out unwanted city sounds. Too bad it doesn't block out unwanted whining from the back seat!
MSRP: $25,000–$35,000, depending on features
The Honda Accord family sedan boasts reliability, impressive standard features and a high resale value, making it KBB's pick for the best value vehicle on the road. Perfect for a family of four, the Accord has been named to Car and Driver's 10 Best List a record 29 times.
Good to know: The Accord is available in a Hybrid version.
According to Nerad, the Toyota Sienna minivan is the best redesign of 2015 in the family car category. Exterior and interior upgrades deliver a more contemporary—some would say stylish—kidmobile that offers even more cargo space for everything from soccer gear to strollers. Our favorite new features: four child-safety-seat LATCH points and the Driver Easy Speak function, which amplifies your voice to the back row. "This is your captain—er, mom—speaking. Stop teasing your brother!"
Good to know: The Sienna is the only minivan to offer all-wheel drive, so it's a great pick if you live in a challenging climate.
Best New Design
The all new Honda HR-V is a five-passenger compact crossover vehicle that features the Magic Seat, which allows for multiple seating configurations. The flexibility the HR-V offers makes it an appealing choice if you use your car for a lot of different purposes, from family to work to weekend.
Good to know: The HR-V is similar to the Honda Fit, so if you like driving one, you'll probably enjoy the other.
MSRP: not yet available
GM promotes the Chevy Tahoe as the safest family car on the road, and auto sites agree. With features like crash imminent braking, side blind zone alert, and a rear backup camera, you can feel confident you are toting your tots securely. Did we mention the Tahoe has the heft of truck? Don't mess with mom!
Good to know: The Tahoe offers Siri Eyes Free technology so you can make a call or tune to a radio station by simply saying a command.