The Best Family Cars of 2011

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NEW YORK (MainStreet) – Looking for a car that fits your family and needs? KellyBlueBook.com offers some suggestions in its annual list of the top ten family cars for 2011, released Wednesday. 

The vehicle valuation site selected cars that had adequate safety features, a family-sized carrying capacity, an affordable price tag and residual low cost of ownership. It also considered a car’s fuel economy, but on a passenger-by-passenger basis. 

“This year was especially difficult for the kbb.com editors to narrow down the Top 10 Family Cars of 2011 choices, as there is such a variety of new cars on the market today that have appealing features for the American family—capable versatility, value, safety and economical factors, to name a few,” Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book, said.

With so many wheels to choose from, families don’t have to settle for a station wagon.

“All of the vehicles that made the list are a good choice for families,” Nerad told MainStreet, adding that while the selected cars are listed by size, one isn’t necessarily better than another. “The best choice for a particular family will depend on their size and their pricing need.”  

A family of four might get around in the 2011 Volkswagon Golf, a two-door hatchback that for $18,390 carries the lowest price tag on the list.  A Jon-and-Kate-Plus-8 size family, however, may need to spring for the 2011 Chevrolet Traverse, which costs $29,219, but seats up to eight passengers.

Check out the other cars on the list:

2011 Chevrolet Suburban: The four-door large sports utility vehicle seats up to nine passengers, has 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space and tows up to 9,600 pounds. Estimated retail price: $39,781

2011 Honda Odyssey: The four-door minivan has a built-in entertainment system with an extra-wide 16-inch rear video display that can show two movies at once. Estimated retail price: $26,980

2011 Ford Flex: The four-door sports utility vehicle, whose design mimics a station wagon, is “the most fun to drive” according to kbb.com thanks to its powerful 355-horsepower twin-turbo V6 engine. Estimated retail price: 29,316

2011 Ford Explorer: The four-door midsize sports utility vehicle was lauded for its handling and fuel efficiency. The one drawback that Kelley Blue Book cites is that the latest model doesn’t offer all the towing or off-road capabilities of its predecessor. Estimated retail price: $27,487



2011 Jeep Cherokee
: This four-door sports utility has made the list before, but was singled out this year for improvements made to its interior cabin. Estimated retail price: $29,445

2011 Kia Sorrento: This is the first year that the Sorrento, a four-door sports utility with two-and-a-half rows of seating, stood out for its low price tag and fuel efficiency. Estimated retail price: S20, 478

2011 Chrysler 300: The four-door sedan made the list for being one of few sedans on the market priced affordably. Estimated retail price: $27,047

2011 Hyundai Sonata: Another four door sedan, the Sonata (pictured at top of story) is also full of safety features, such as five airbags, child safety locks and traction control. According to KelleyBlueBook, it comes with one of the best warranties on the market. Estimated retail price: $20,145

Photos courtesy of KBB.com.

Family cars are traditionally cheap to insure. Find out which models cost the most in this MainStreet article.

—For the best rates on loans, bank accounts and credit cards, enter your ZIP code at BankingMyWay.com.

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