Here at FamilyCarGuide, we’re always keen on annual lists of the best family cars, something we know a fair deal about. So, it is with interest that we compare Kelley Blue Book’s recently announced 10 Best Family Cars of 2012 with rankings from our sister publication TheCarConnection.
Best Family Car of 2012: 2012 Volkswagen Passat – This mid-sized family sedan garnered a spot as 2012 Best Car to Buy nominee and a review in TheCarConnection (TCC) summarizes its appeal this way: “A massive rear seat and better-than-hybrid highway fuel economy [in the more expensive TDI] mask the slight loss of refinement and nimble road feel in the 2012 Volkswagen Passat.” With a base price of about $20,000, the new 2012 Passat is larger and less expensive than its predecessor. TCC editors rate the 2012 Passat a 7.6 (out of 10). Another plus is that the Passat is built in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the first Volkswagen to be built in the U.S. since 1985.
2012 Honda Odyssey
2012 Honda Odyssey – Great handling, thoughtful interior touches, the gas mileage of a mid-size sedan and more child-seat positions than other minivans are just some of the reasons why TheCarConnection rates the 2012 Honda Odyssey an overall 8.6 (out of 10). TCC editors further comment that the Odyssey “is the priciest of the minivans, but innovative seating and excellent handling set it apart from all the rest.” The 2012 Honda Odyssey garnered a perfect NHTSA five-star crash test rating and Top Safety Pick status from the IIHS.
2012 Ford Flex
2012 Ford Flex – One of the top-rated vehicles by TheCarConnection, which gives the big, boxy seven-passenger family crossover a 9.2 overall rating (out of 10), the 2012 Ford Flex “has real distinction, along with top-shelf turbo power, great seats and great features.”
2012 Subaru Outback
2012 Subaru Outback – Like all Subaru products, the 2012 Outback five-passenger SUV features Subaru’s Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system, meaning it can go off-road with ease and still handle on-road duties equally well. TCC editors rate the tall wagon/crossover utility a 7.8 (out of 10), and comment: “Like any all-around athlete, the 2012 Subaru Outback blends capable performance and rewarding handling, surprising interior volume and great versatility…and enough high-end options to keep most buyers happy.” The Outback is also a 2012 IIHS Top Safety Pick.
2012 Honda CR-V
2012 Honda CR-V – Another 2012 Best Car to Buy nominee, the 2012 Honda CR-V compact crossover is, in the words of TheCarConnection, “a great family vehicle, with a thoughtfully designed and comfortable interior, and improved refinement, but it lacks the confident and sprightly feel present in past CR-Vs.” TCC editors give the 2012 Honda CR-V an overall rating of 7.6 (out of 10). The 2012 CR-V, another IIHS Top Safety Pick, also comes standard in all trims with the Multi-Angle Rearview Camera.
2012 Kia Sorento
2012 Kia Sorento – TCC thinks highly of the 2012 Kia Sorento, giving it an overall 8.0 rating (out of 10) and saying, “With the right size, the right gas mileage numbers, and the right standard features, the 2012 Kia Sorento is an easy recommendation in the crossover class. Read more about this capable family crossover here.
2012 Chevrolet Suburban
2012 Honda Civic sedan
2012 Honda Civic – Redesigned for 2012, the compact Honda Civic is an affordable (starting price of $15,605) family car that comes in seven different versions: Civic coupe and sedan, Civic Si coupe and sedan, Civic Hybrid, Civic HF, and Civic Natural Gas. Noting that the 2012 Honda Civic was a 2012 Best Car to Buy nominee, TheCarConnection gives the Civic a 6.8 overall rating (out of 10), saying that it’s “a little more spacious, comfortable and economical, but it’s now one of the blandest of the bunch.” The 2012 Civic is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
2012 Chrysler 300 SRT8
2012 Chrysler 300 – Calling the 2012 Chrysler 300 “the most satisfying Chrysler sedan you can buy,” editors of TheCarConnection back their words up with a strong 8.4 (out of 10) overall rating. A new V-6, eight-speed automatic transmission, massive power in the SRT8, new interior, huge trunk and plenty of high-tech and luxury features, the 2012 Chrysler 300 makes for one terrific upscale family sedan.
2012 Toyota Prius V hybrid wagon, test drive in Catskill Mountains, Jan 2012
2012 Toyota Prius V – Another 2012 Best Car to Buy nominee, the 2012 Toyota Prius V wagon doesn’t have a separate score from TheCarConnection, but TCC editors have plenty of praise for it anyway: “The 2012 Toyota V wagon offers all the classic Prius hybrid virtues – low-speed electric running, top-of-class fuel economy, and interior space – in a super-sized package that still offers remarkable gas mileage ratings. We think it will do very well among Prius owners with families who need the extra space for people and stuff.”
To see the Kelley Blue Book report on the 10 Best Family Cars of 2012, click here.