For years, moms looking for a vehicle with the space, utility and features to transport their families have opted for minivans. These signature mommy mobiles may be convenient, but they usually aren’t stylish. Luckily, modern moms have new options: SUVs, crossovers and fresh redesigns offer the perks of minivans without sacrificing style.
If you transport your family as much as most moms, this important vehicle is an office on wheels. Opt for vehicle you’re proud to drive. You’ll retain your personality and get your kids to school on time.
Big Family: The SUV
Size and comfort. That’s what most moms see when a minivan catches their eyes. SUVs offer similar features, and they are starting to cater to moms. The Ford Flex, for example, is a stylish SUV that seats seven and earns 25 mpg on the highway. It’s the mom-centric features that make this SUV a wise choice, though. A blind spot information system and rear-view camera gives parents a safety boost, and a power liftgate comes in handy when your hands are full. Kids will appreciate the comfort, and parents will appreciate the style. Chapman Ford lists the 2013 Ford Flex in the low $30,000s. With the average price for a new minivan at $29,855, according to Findthebest.com, parents wouldn’t need to stretch their budgets much further for the Ford Flex.
Midsize Family: The Crossover
Families who don’t need to seven-plus seats have more options. The crossover vehicle market is one of the fastest growing in the automobile industry. These sporty vehicles offer more size than a sedan and better gas mileage than SUVs and vans. U.S. News & World Report declared the 2013 Honda CR-V the best compact SUV for families. It earns an EPA estimated 31 mpg on the highway, which includes a backup camera, a rare feature in its class and price range.
Growing Family: The Safe Sedan
For small families with young children, space isn’t always the main concern. Parents are more likely to consider safety and convenience. Parenting tip: It’s easier to strap a baby into a low car than a high one. That fact, along fuel efficiency benefits, leads young families to opts for sedans. Honda and Toyota consistently lead the way, but we like a lesser-known brand. The Subaru Impreza starts at just under $18,000 and has all the benefits of a great family sedan. The Impreza earns 36 mpg on the highway, has two car-seat capacity and earned the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. It’s the ideal vehicle for families with one or two kids in the toddler age range.
Wildcard: The Stylish Second Car
Sometimes a minivan makes too much sense. If you’re stuck behind the wheel of a parenting wagon, splurge on a stylish second car to balance the scale. The Kia Soul starts at less than $15,000 and makes an instant impression. Angular lines give the Soul a distinct look, and satellite radio comes standard. It’s the perfect getaway car when you need to get out of the house, and it won’t break the bank.