Parents Magazine Announces their Picks for Best Family Cars of 2012

Of course when I see anything about cars come up now, my ears/eyes perk up. Partly because of my partnership/relationship with Toyota and partly because I know within the next year or so we’ll be doing some car shopping of our own. And even though our next vehicle will mainly be Andy’s daily driver {AKA racking up the high miles}, it also needs to be family friends. Beacuse, well, have you seen the state of my belly lately!?

So, when I saw the link for Parents Magazines “Best Family Cars of 2012” I had to click through to see what they thought.

They broke it down into 5 categories: High Mileage, Budget Friendly, Crossovers, Sedans and Large Vehicles.

Here’s what Parents Magazine top picks were {with comments from the peanut gallery, because obviously.}…

High Gas Mileage: Toyota Prius V, Honda Civic Hybrid and Chevy Cruz EVO.

Obviously, I was totally stoked to see the Prius V come up. And it was even mentioned first out of the three!

Budget Friendly: Chevy Sonic, Ford Focus and Hyundai Elantra

To be honest, I don’t know much about any of these vehicles but considering they all start right around $15k and all get 26 mpg city (or better!) these will be worth checking out when it does come time for us to get a new commuter car, because with a kid and a baby and 12 acres -and -and -and, we will most definitely be on a budget.

Crossovers: Mazda5, Kia Sorento and Honda CRV

First of all, I think they totally missed out by not including the Venza in their crossover category! Blasphemy. Then again, I’m completely obsessed with that vehicle. But seriously! I’ve driven a Sorento, maybe not the 2012 model, but still. It just felt so…cheap. I’m sort of shocked that the Sorento made the cut over the Venza. Especially because the Venza has the best gas mileage out of all the winners (26 mpg city, in case you were wondering). Maybe price was a deciding factor? It does start out at about $3,000 more than each of the winner. Random funny little side note, I used to work with a guy that had a Mazda5, he called it his teeny-van. {get it!? Smaller than a mini-van…he was super witty like that}

Sedan: Volkswagon Passat, Toyota Camry and Kia Optima

Woot for another Toyota! But after looking at all 3 winners, I’m shocked that sedans don’t get better gas mileage in general. They were all around 21 or 22 mpg city. Me = oblivious. We’re clearly not a “car” family. Toyota at least offers the Hybrid Camry option.

Large: Dodge Durango, Toyota Sienna and Honda Odyssey

I haven’t ridden in or driven the redesigned Durango, but I will say this, mama like. And out of the three, that’d be my top choice simply because it’s not a mini van. I loved seeing that the Sienna made the list though. Out of the three it had the best gas milage and, I mean…it’s the Swagger Wagon remember? {seriously, if you have never watched that video? Go do it right MEOW. I will wait.}

So there you have it…the best family cars according to Parents Magazine. I really wish there was some sort of breakdown/grid as to scoring across the board, you know? Why did the ones that were chosen, actually get chosen? I’d also like there to be callouts on the same topcis on each page. They mention features on all of them which is nice, but then on some they include “raves from an owner”. And and hate-HATE having to click through to see every.single.winner. I wish there was some sort of “quick reference guide” to the winners in each category.

Now I want to know…do you think the panel at Parents Magazine missed the boat on any of these categories? Do you think these are the best family friendly vehicles by category?

You can find out more about my own personal views on the Camry, Prius V and Venza here.

**All images captured from the Parents Magazine online article.**

Disclosure: I was selected for participation in the TWIN community through a program with Clever Girls Collective. I did not receive any compensation for writing this post, or payment in exchange for participating. The opinions expressed herein are mine, and do not reflect the views of the Toyota.

One thought on “Parents Magazine Announces their Picks for Best Family Cars of 2012

  1. Karey

    I think Parent's Magazine did a fine job… for normal sized families. If you have a (freakishly) large family (like we do) and live in the country and tend to have flooding issues (among other things – thus making the infamous "mini-van" sort of a no-go) then gas mileage kind of goes out the window and you have to go for something "extra large" like the Suburban or Yukon XL (what we have) – none of which were mentioned (they are not fuel effecient – 16 mpg anyone?). I LOVE our vehicle – and it fits all of our kids in it (!), but it's no commuter.

    I'm excited for you guys to get to go car shopping – the anticipation of getting something new is almost the most fun part! :)


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