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Buying a new car is one of the most important decisions you'll make for your family. It's also one of the toughest. There are hundreds of models on the market. How do you find a vehicle that's safe, kid-friendly, comfortable, affordable, and cool to drive?
Simple: Read our guide. This year, Parents has joined with Edmunds.com, the leading online resource for car buyers, to make your selection easier. The 15 vehicles on our list cover a range of sizes, styles, and price points. What they share is a commitment to safety: These crossovers, SUVs, minivans, sedans, and best-value cars rank at or near the top in government and industry crash tests*, and all offer cutting-edge technologies to protect you and your kids. Our winners also have a strong track record for reliability and performance. But just to be sure, we asked parents who own these models to weigh in on factors like storage space, ease of car-seat installation, and handling. Ready for your test drive? Check out our slideshow.
Best Crossovers: Honda CR-V
It's easy to see why these versatile models are gaining popularity: They provide a carlike ride, the roominess of a wagon, and impressive standard safety features.
Price: $20,700 to $29,035
Mileage: 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway
Family features: Don't be fooled by its slick styling. This crossover has everything you need for a young, growing family: spacious and reclining rear seats, comfortable captain's chairs, eight cup holders, and more than a dozen storage nooks for your kids' gear (and yours). Stability control, antilock brakes, and side-curtain air bags are standard. Affordable options include a moon roof and a cool cargo organizer in the rear. The perky four-cylinder engine gives you good gas mileage, and the ride is so smooth your kids will fall asleep quickly at naptime.
Owner feedback: "The CR-V drives as crisply as my old Accord did. Putting in car seats is a breeze. And I like that the rear seats shift forward when we need extra storage space in back."
-- Jennifer F.; Houston, Texas
Safety ratings NHTSA: 10 out of 10 frontal, 10 out of 10 side, 4 out of 5 rollover. IIHS: Good frontal, good side; also listed as a Top Safety Pick.
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