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Five Vehicles for Families

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Some of the best people-movers on the market

Whether the goal is safety, cargo or passenger space, entertainment features, cost savings, or some combination of all of the above, the automotive marketplace offers incredible options for vehicle-buying families. Read on to learn about five of the best family vehicles that automakers have to offer, each of which has been recognized as an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety "Top Safety Pick."

Kia Sorento

Looking for cargo and passenger space in a smooth-riding package? The Kia Sorento provides all of that with one of the widest second-row seats in its category and an available third row of seating that raises seating capacity to seven.

Drivers, meanwhile, won't be suffering with the four-cylinder engine of the Sorento, "which provides ample pickup and yields better mileage" and costs less than the optional V-6, according to the website Parents.com.

Chevrolet Sonic

For the budget-minded family, the 2013 Sonic starts at just $14,185 and its 40 highway MPG should mean cost savings after the sale. What's more, it's responsive with a versatile interior.

"If you dread navigating around crowded parking lots, the Sonic's go-cart-like responsiveness might change your outlook," declares Parents.com. "It's safe (with ten standard air bags). It's cheap...And it's versatile: Its rear seats fold down in case you need to haul a soccer goal or a folded crib."

Ford Fusion

For those looking to add a little style to the traditional sedan look and feel, the 2013 Ford Fusion is a good option to check out.

"In addition to its eye-catching exterior, the Fusion stands out with a variety of powertrains that includes two hybrid options and a pair of turbocharged engines, plus available all-wheel-drive and enough tech features to make a geek swoon," KBB.com explains.

In other words, on long family road trips or weekend errands, the Ford Fusion keeps entertainment options close by with Ford Sync. Moreover, Sync's 911 Assist means important peace of mind for families on the go.

Chevrolet Cruze Eco

Fuel economy goes way up with the Chevrolet Cruze Eco, which, in the words of Parents.com, "sips fuel like a hybrid and costs a lot less."

Furthermore, Parents.com states, the Cruze Eco "has a zippy ride and generous interior space, including a deep trunk that won't leave you choosing between groceries and your stroller."

Toyota Sienna

The 2013 Sienna seems to have been designed with families in mind, with seating, storage and seat-moving features that let owners adapt the Sienna to any situation. Moreover, it's a flat-out comfortable ride.

"The Sienna's serene ride will make lengthy drives with your kids a breeze—well, almost," explains Parents.com. "The base model comes with oversize captain's chairs that slide forward and back and recline (an optional second-row bench boosts the capacity to eight), a three-zone climate system, one-touch power windows, deep door pockets, spacious glove boxes, and two rows that fold down when you're transporting furniture and other large objects."

As far as power goes, the Sienna comes standard with a four-cylinder engine, but Parents.com recommends upgrading to the V-6 for "supreme passing power."

No matter which vehicle you wind up choosing, shopping for one and negotiating the best price can be time-consuming. That's why it makes sense to get preapproval on an automobile loan before heading to the dealership—doing so can improve negotiating power.

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