10 Best Values in Family Cars, 2014

Family standing outside house next to car
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The words “safety first” may seem clichéd, but safety is the top factor we consider when we compile our list of family-friendly vehicles.

Our picks must get high scores in our annual rankings for overall value, performance and safety, plus they must earn a Top Safety Pick (opens in new tab) from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Because six airbags, stability control and traction control are standard features on most vehicles now, we’re raising the bar on safety equipment for our winners. They also have to offer either a forward-collision warning system or a rearview camera as standard or optional equipment (see How to Buy a Safe Car for more).

Our selections range from sedans to crossovers with a nod to traditional family haulers, such as minivans and wagons. We list the entry-level trim so you have an idea of what it costs to get the model, and you can add options from there.

Sources: Sticker and invoice price: ©1986-2014 Chrome Data Solutions, LP; Kelley Blue Book (opens in new tab) Fair Purchase Price and resale values (March-April): Kelley Blue Book; fuel economy: FuelEconomy.gov.

Jessica L. Anderson
Associate Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance
Anderson has been with Kiplinger since January 2004, when she joined the staff as a reporter. Since then, she's covered the gamut of personal finance issues—from mortgages and credit to spending wisely—and she heads up Kiplinger's annual automotive rankings. She holds a BA in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She was the 2012 president of the Washington Automotive Press Association and serves on its board of directors. In 2014, she was selected for the North American Car and Truck Of the Year jury. The awards, presented at the Detroit Auto Show, have come to be regarded as the most prestigious of their kind in the U.S. because they involve no commercial tie-ins. The jury is composed of nationally recognized journalists from across the U.S. and Canada, who are selected on the basis of audience reach, experience, expertise, product knowledge, and reputation in the automotive community.