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In today's economy, a new car is probably at the bottom of your family's priority list. But here's a good reason to move it up: Dealers are desperate. So if your old vehicle has seen better days or you need more space (whether it's to accommodate a new baby or a carpool), this is the time to shop for bargains. To steer you toward the smartest picks for families, Parents teamed up with Edmunds.com, the leading online resource for car buyers. Together we test-drove and compared dozens of new models. The 15 that made our list place a premium on safety. All come standard with antilock brakes and side-curtain air bags and most include stability-control technology, which prevents skids by automatically applying braking where it's needed. Each also scored four or five stars on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's frontal and side-impact crash tests and (if tested) received at least a "good" safety rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Our winners also boast numerous fun features to make long rides with kids more manageable. There's no need to spin your wheels researching dozens of models. Just turn the page.
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