Edmunds, Parent offer Top-10 family car choices

Utility vehicles still hot but hatchbacks popular for budgetary reasons

Published: June 4, 2015, 7:00 PM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:58 PM

Subaru Impreza - Safety above all, from $19,995 – The Subaru Impreza isn’t the most affordable of compact cars, but it is one of the roomiest. It is also the only one with standard all-wheel-drive, starting at $19,995 for the sedan with manual transmission. As if AWD didn’t already give this classy-driving compact a safety edge, the Impreza is also available with a suite of active-safety aids unequalled at the price.

Parents magazine and car-buying website have released their annual 10 Best Family Cars list, and perhaps not surprisingly utility vehicles are still hot when it comes to families’ transportation needs.

2016 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid

“The car is an extension of home for a family — the place where days are rehashed, on-the-go meals are eaten, and quality time is shared,” says Parents Editor-in-Chief Dana Points. “It’s important that parents feel comforted by their car’s safety features and performance and are confident on the road. This year’s list features a few trusted favorites and first-timers perfect for families looking to get the most out of their cars.”

Parents magazine (which reaches more than 13 million women through print and 8.5 million women online) and Edmunds (which helps nearly 18 million visitors each month with their car shopping needs) have been teaming up for eight years to come up with a definitive list of the ten best vehicles that best serve family needs, according to price, safety, convenience and utility. Hundreds of vehicles are reportedly evaluated in order to come up with the best of the best in seven vehicle categories.

The editors were reportedly especially impressed by the long lists of safety and convenience items in this year’s crop of contenders, singling out features such as backup cameras, hill-start assists, additional standard airbags and Bluetooth connectivity.

Affordable over-achiever, from $14,575 - Now in its third generation, the Fit upholds its tradition of quart-in-a-pint-pot ingenuity. Whether you’re on a modest budget or just want to minimize your footprint, the brilliant packaging of the Fit lets you downsize without sacrificing space and versatility.

“Every family values different features in a car, but safety always remains number one across the board,” said Editor-In-Chief, Scott Oldham. “We hope this year’s list will help parents find the right car for their family that gives them the features they want and the safety assurance they need.”

This year’s winners included four utility vehicles (five if you also include minivans in that general market) and three Honda vehicles, starting with the Fit (the lowest-priced vehicle on the list). Honda also made the list with the Accord (in the sedan category) and CR-V (crossover category).

Crossovers and sport-utilities were best represented on the list, with the Nissan Murano joining the CR-V in Crossovers, the Subaru Outback in the Wagon category, and the Chevrolet Traverse in the SUV class. For those looking for something more traditional and with easier side access, the Toyota Sienna is a recommendation in the Minivan category.

2014 Mazda3 Sport

The Mazda3 joined the Fit as a recommendation in the Budget category, and the Hyundai Sonata was also a recommended Sedan pick. And for families that travel longer distances, there is also a High-Mileage category, which this year was topped by the Volkswagen Golf TDI (diesel).

The Mazda3, Honda Accord, Subaru Outback and Chevrolet Traverse were carryovers from last year’s top 10.