2010 Volkswagen Golf
Subaru Legacy 2.5i with CVT Auto : ($21,990)
Where else but Subaru can you get this much car, full-time all-wheel drive, a peerless safety record, renowned reliability and only pay $21,990. An automaker like Audi would likely charge much more for a vehicle with this many capabilities. Granted, it would have a fancier interior, softer feeling dash plastics and a damped ashtray lid. But do you care about that stuff ever after you leave the dealership? Didn’t think so.
The 2010 Subaru Legacy 2.5i is also incredibly efficient when equipped with the CVT automatic transmission as it returns 22 city/29 highway. Those are amazing numbers for an all-wheel drive car.
Kia Rondo : (Starting at $17,495)
Okay, the Rondo five door hatchback may look a bit like a malformed Circus Dwarf the first time you lay eyes on it but I promise you that the virtues of this inexpensive 7-passenger capable hatchback will quickly impress. The interior is where the Rondo shines, with plastics and fabrics purpose built for the destructive instincts of children. There is plenty of room, you get all of the features you need/want and it comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. (Note: used Kia/Hyundai models only get 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranties. So it’s important to buy new.)
Also, the cheaper 4-cylinder is the smoother and more refined motor so you don’t need to buy the best Rondo (LX is perfect) to get a great large family car. And you definitely don’t need and SUV or minivan. The Rondo proves that.