Edmunds and Parents Magazine List Top Family Vehicles for 2012

Chevrolet Sonic

Summer time means the kids are out of school and you’ll be spending a good amount of time driving yourself and your kids from place to place. And then there’s the matter of vacation and visiting family out of town. With all the responsibility you place on your car each day, it’s good to know you’re driving something safe, fuel efficient, and family-friendly.

Edmunds and Parents Magazine got together to choose their Top 15 family vehicles. A lot of Baierl brands made the list!

Check out the selection and comment below if you want to know more about your options.

Top 15 Best Family Vehicles for 2012

Published 6/14/12 by Warren Clarke, Automotive Content Editor

Shoppers looking for family vehicles know that one size definitely does not fit all, figuratively or literally.

For example, if you’re a single parent with one child and a tight budget, fuel economy probably trumps passenger room on your list of priorities. A high-mileage compact like the Chevrolet Sonic likely holds the most appeal. On the other hand, if you’ve got a spouse and three kids, passenger space and cargo capacity assume greater importance. For this kind of shopper, a minivan or a large crossover makes the most sense.

Edmunds.com got together with Parents magazine to pick the 15 vehicles best suited for family transportation. Family-vehicle shoppers have diverse needs, and our picks reflect this diversity.

We’ve listed our top three choices across five segments that pretty much run the gamut: feature-laden family sedans; budget cars priced well under $20,000; roomy yet maneuverable crossovers and compact minivans; fuel sippers that get outstanding gas mileage; and full-size SUVs and minivans for those who need the most room.

To arrive at our choices, experts from both organizations pored over hundreds of vehicles. Safety and reliability were the primary focus. Additionally, performance and availability of family-friendly amenities were taken into account, along with the look and build quality of each model’s cabin and sheet metal. We also spoke with actual parents who use these vehicles for daily family duty.

From smooth-handling family sedans to SUVs with front consoles big enough for diaper bags, our picks offer alternatives for a broad range of shoppers.


  1. Kia OptimaKia Optima
  2. Toyota CamryToyota Camry
  3. Volkswagen PassatVolkswagen Passat


  1. Chevrolet SonicChevrolet Sonic
  2. Ford FocusFord Focus
  3. Hyundai ElantraHyundai Elantra

Crossovers/Compact Minivans

  1. Kia SorentoKia Sorento
  2. Honda CR-VHonda CR-V
  3. Mazda 5Mazda 5

Fuel Sippers

  1. Chevrolet Cruze EcoChevrolet Cruze Eco
  2. Honda Civic HybridHonda Civic Hybrid
  3. Toyota Prius VToyota Prius V

Big Haulers

  1. Dodge DurangoDodge Durango
  2. Honda OdysseyHonda Odyssey
  3. Toyota SiennaToyota Sienna
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