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From Ward's Dealer Business:

Here Are Fifteen for the Family
By Steve Finlay

Ward's Dealer Business, Apr 1, 2006 12:00 PM

Fifteen vehicles make a family-friendly list compiled by AAA and Parents magazine.

“Safety features, performance and value are always important when deciding which vehicle is best for a family,” say Sally Lee, Parents editor.

AAA's John Nielsen says vehicles on the list provide the whole package “with options for every size family.”

The winners and their family features are:

Dodge Charger: Muscle-car looks, anti-lock brakes, stability control, roomy interior, spacious trunk and quiet ride.

Mazda 6: Sporty 5-seater. Conveniences: steering-wheel controls for the radio, a remote that opens windows.

Ford Fusion: Standard features include grocery-bag hooks, a 2-tier armrest and an MP3-capable CD player. Room for five. Agile in crowded parking lots.


Toyota Sienna: An all-wheel-drive option, rear-seat tray table, power windows for sliding doors and lots of storage nooks. Side-curtain airbags for all three rows.

Honda Odyssey: Only mini with standard stability control. Anti-lock brakes, traction control and side-curtain air bags. Second-row bucket seats slide sideways, second and third row seats fold flush.

Chrysler Town & Country: Affordable, spacious and comfortable. Options: Power-sliding doors, heated seats and a rear-park assist.

Crossovers/Station Wagons

Subaru Tribeca: Seating for seven, reclining rear seats (great for naps), lots of cup holders and power outlets for DVD players and gaming systems. Standard: Side-impact and side-curtain air bags.

Nissan Murano: Command seating makes drivers feel in control. Sedan-like handling. Side-impact and side-curtain air bags. Rollover sensors. Rear vents heat and cool the kids too.

Volvo V50: Stylish instrument panel and easy-to-clean upholstery. Front and rear air bags, stability control and anti-lock brakes are standard. Stroller loading is easy.


Ford Explorer: Five-, six- or seven-passenger layout. An anti-rollover system senses when the vehicle might tip and assists at automatically regaining control. Options include power-folding third-row seat.

Chevrolet Equinox: Off-road rugged, minivan comfy. Front passenger seat folds flat as do both halves of the rear seat, so you can load long objects and still get two kids in back.

Jeep Commander: Handles carpooling like a minivan with room for seven. Second- and third-row seats fold to make space for cargo. Standard: Stability control, side-curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes.


Honda Civic: Practical and loaded with safety features. Drives like a full-size sedan. Great gas mileage. Technology reduces the impact of crashes with SUVs.

Mazda 3: Zesty 4-cylinder engine. Stable ride. Standard: Anti-lock brakes and steering-wheel radio controls. Opt for 5-door hatchback for extra cargo space.

Kia Sportage: Durable synthetic interior stands up to youthful spills and thrills. Fits three kids in back, still small enough to squeeze into tight parking spaces. Standard: side-curtain air bags.
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