When you have a small family consisting of Mom and Dad, one or two kids, maybe a dog, you may not want or need a big sport utility or a minivan. Often, a small or mid-size sedan or crossover will suit your needs nicely.
Here we take a look at six the 2012 cars and crossover SUVs that seem to add up to a safe, comfortable, and roomy equation for small families. And, the price isn’t out of this world either.
2012 Toyota Camry
Toyota says the 2012 Camry mid-size sedan is “reinvented” for this model year. It is certainly bigger inside to accommodate passengers and driver in comfort. Equipped with 10 standard airbags and an available Blind Spot Monitor, the five-passenger Camry is also a safe family vehicle. But there’s more to like about the new Camry: standard 60/40 split fold-down rear seat, standard USB port with iPod connectivity, and standard BLU Logic hands-free system. The Camry is available in six models: L, LE, SE, XLE, Hybrid LE and Hybrid XLE. Prices start at $21,955 for the base L, up to $24,725 for XLE, and $25,900 for Hybrid LE, up to $27,400 for Hybrid XLE. Fuel economy is EPA-estimated 25 mpg city/35 mpg highway (L, LE, SE and XLE), while the hybrid models achieve 43/39 mpg and 40/38 mpg, Hybrid LE and Hybrid XLE, respectively.
2012 Subaru Impreza
All-new sheet metal gives the 2012 Subaru Impreza a new exterior look and, while it’s still conservative, it is handsome. Inside, the compact Impreza features a nicely-trimmed interior that’s functional, no-frills and comfortable. Rear passengers benefit from two inches more legroom, and hatch and trunk openings have been expanded. FamilyCarGuide, rating the new Impreza, says that “it’s one of the best possible picks with respect to safety, fuel-efficiency, and value for the money, especially when you consider that all-wheel drive is included.” With seven standard airbags plus standard brake-override system, the 2012 Impreza also rates high in safety. Pricing for the well-equipped Subaru Impreza begins at $17,495.
2012 Volkswagen Passat
2012 Volkswagen PassatEnlarge Photo
2012 Volkswagen Passat
All-new this year, the 2012 Volkswagen Passat mid-size sedan is larger and less expensive than the model it replaces, offering family car buyers a lot of value for the money, especially in the lower trim levels. Pluses include a cavernous trunk and spacious back seat as well as the availability of TDI clean diesel that provides fuel economy rivaling hybrids. The Passat’s rear legroom makes it easy to fit rear-facing car seats as well as give adults or gangly teenagers plenty of room to sit comfortably. Four trims are available, with prices starting at $19,995 for the base 2.5L S.