The list of vehicles was made including a variety of factors such as warranty, overall costs, comfort, styling, safety ratings and test drives. Acceleration, steering, shifting, handling, braking and fuel economy were also taken into consideration. Let's take a look at the cars to see what could make an appropriate choice.
Chevrolet MalibuAccording to Consumers Digest, Malibu is one of the best-selling cars of its class. Nice styling, a little bit of luxury, satisfying performance, comfort, good pricing, a quiet ride and a roomy cabin make the model a strong choice for a family vehicle. Actually, its key point is that it provides a smooth ride even over rough stretches of pavement so you mustn't worry kids will have an unpleasant travel. As for minuses, the vehicle's interior fails at the shoulder room. The back seat isn't large enough for three adults and this aspect gives the car a sportier feel. Regarding the pricing, Malibu is less expensive than a comparably equipped Accord or Camry.
Ford TaurusThe spacious cabin is probably the best feature of the Taurus, except perhaps the Ford's pretended best safety of the car. In fact, this model is a faithful copy of Five Hundred with the exception of some improved aspects. As for America's safest full-size sedan as Ford claims, experts refrain from giving the final sentence.
One of the weaknesses of the model is represented by the disconcerting amount of tire growl that invades the cabin. Yet, the already impressive ride quality isn't badly disturbed by this aspect. What is more, although the driver has a clear view to the front and sides, another flaw of the vehicle is given by the difficulty to see the trunk of the sedan. But once you get used to the size of the car, this shouldn't be an ever-lasting problem.
The good price, the stunning shape, the smooth engine and the ample space make Taurus one of the most sold cars. So, if you are impressed by the car's singularities and by Consumers Digest statistics, you can simply follow the trend.
Honda AccordOne of the safest models among large family cars (via Euro NCAP), the new Accord may not look extremely different than the previous but, as distinctive features, it comes with more power and less emissions, which is, by the way, excellent if you happen to be among those who want to save the planet.
As for the interior, you should keep in mind that Audi was the target when Accord's cabin was improved. Engineers didn't spare any expenses regarding quality and this tells you everything! Regarding the engine, as Honda claims, BMW was the target. No wonder the Japanese brand wants to compete with premium marques!
Spacious enough, luxurious and extremely safe both for you and for your children, Accord makes a perfect choice for a family car if you want to invest more money in your vehicle as it's rather expensive in comparison with other cars from its class.
Mercury SableAnother Ford creation if you happen to be a fan of the brand. Not as famous or sold as the Taurus but if you are going to take into consideration the trunk, the folding rear seats and the legroom-heavy interior, the model would make a good choice for a larger family.
The Sable is the largest car in the group and is rated as an extremely safe car. Just as the Taurus, the model is built on the same platform as the Volvo S80 luxury sedans with some modifications at the suspension system in order to keep its price in Mercury class.
The new engine is more powerful and provides a much quicker and quieter ride. Yet, what might be of great interest to you is that the new engine and transmission combination help saving up to 10% more fuel. So, more rides for your family and less costs.
Nissan AltimaStrong distinctive styling, praised power, a sporty ride and one of the highest fuel ratings in its class are the key features of new Altima. As for reliability, the model appears as a more powerful option than the category favorites. Being considered a roomy alternative to Honda Accord or Toyota Camry, the model, however, fails when it comes to overall quality in comparison with other affordable mid-size sedans.
Although Altima's performance is not excellent to counteract its competitors, the model excelled at the safety chapter obtaining magnificent results in crash tests. Moreover, the relatively high price would represent a sort of obstacle in being upper on the list of most sold vehicles. So even if it's not the most spacious and comfortable car of its class, the nice interior and the guaranteed safety for your family might attract you in setting your eyes upon this model.
Toyota CamryAttractive, comfortable, safe and fuel saving can represent the incentives to spend more money on Toyota Camry if you are practical and want to invest on long-term.
The model isn't the best performer in its class but it provides a smooth, quiet ride and excellent safety and reliability. Regarding safety, perhaps you remember how last month, US Top Gear Host Eric Stromer' s Camry stopped into a palm tree after being hit from behind and the driver got out of the car a little bit startled but completely uninjured.
While the exterior might a little bit conservative as critics say, the modern interior has received one of the highest points for its class. Whether you want to combine styling with fuel saving and excellent protection for your family, Toyota Camry makes one of the strongest options.
Camry SolaraLast vehicle on Consumers Digest magazine's list of Best Buys for Cars 2009 is another Toyota baby. Camry Solara is available as a midsize coupe or convertible but only the first one would make an appropriate choice for a family vehicle. The model offers a generous space even for tallest drivers, yet the back seats might not be comfortable enough for three adults going on longer trips. A key-point would be the automatic gearbox (with a manual-shift gate for those who insist in selecting their own gears) which makes it perfect both for city traveling and for longer journeys. In spite of the smooth, quiet engine, the car's performance is mediocre because of the handling and surprisingly, the automatic gearbox, that experts find rather slow. You might still give it a chance if you take into consideration the outstanding scores it obtained in the crash tests...
Whether you want a stylish, safe, economic, less expensive or comfortable family car, you might take into consideration the Consumers Digest's list. But irrespective of your choice, remember to make a small compromise: try to establish priorities as you can not have all at top standards!