Whereas in decades past our parents got to choose between three to five different family sedans, now there are dozens upon dozens from which to choose. And that is before you even begin to consider the possibility of a crossover, SUV, station wagon or flying saucer. (Too bad the last one isnt yet available.)
But what if all the choice is just too much for you? What if you are on a budget and need something relatively fuel efficient? Well, here is a list of five of the best family sedans on the market today based on reliability, style, space, efficiency and that ever elusive "gotta have it" factor. And as everyone knows about the virtues of the Accord and Camry those two industry titans have been left off the list. This way, I cant say anything nasty about the Camry.
Judging by how many of the 2010 models I have seen driving around lately I would wager that the recent redesign of this highly worthy family sedan was very successful. Aside from winning numerous media awards this year, the Fusion also managed to really become a leader in the "Green" automotive movement. From the base 4 cylinder which gets 34 miles per gallon highway (yet pumps out 175 horsepower) to the 41 miles per gallon hybrid, this is one easy car on both your pocketbook and the environment. The best part? The Fusion is also Fords highest ranked car in customer satisfaction and quality according to J.D. Power and Associates.
With the added security of all wheel drive on all of its models, Subaru has always appealed to a core of fans that either live in Snow Belt states or appreciate the benefits of increased traction. The 2010 Subaru moved a bit closer to the mainstream with the Legacy by giving the rear seats more legroom than an NBA basketball player requires and affording the exterior styling none of the occasional Subaru quirks.
The interior, while not exactly an Audi, is well built and pleasingly cohesive from a design perspective. One added bonus is that even with all wheel drive the 170-horsepower Subaru Legacy 2.5i four cylinder gets 29 miles per gallon highway when equipped with the CVT auto. The 2010 Subaru Legacy also became an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Pick after it underwent the usual barrage of crash tests.
Granted, the name may make it sound like a cereal eaten by aging hippies but this is easily the best car Suzuki has ever built. While it is a bit smaller than some of its competition it is also a lot better styled than some sedans I could mention. Powered by a 185-horsepower four-cylinder with a standard six-speed manual this unique ride could also be the stealth sports sedan for the family on a budget. Does everyone need to know you are having this much fun?
Lets just face facts, the Nissan Altima is the better looking sister (the Marcia Brady, if you will) of the top selling family sedans. Smartly styled with a roomy interior, the Altima is also a very sound buy with even the most basic models coming equipped with everything you need. While you can option out a six cylinder Altima to nearly $30,000 why would you when the basic four-cylinder is so good for ten grand less?
How can you top the Prius what with its 51 miles per gallon in city driving and the fact that it is the most reliable family car sold in the United States according to Consumer Reports? Yep, this complicated wonder of science is more reliable than Camry, Accord and everyone else. It makes you wonder how reliable our Toyota flying saucers will be one day.