Choosing a Family Car

Updated on October 03, 2011
L.L. asks from Summerville, SC
20 answers

I currently drive a Ford Escort that is on its' last leg. So we are looking to replace it. I LOVE my car - unfortunantly, the ford escort is no longer being made and we are looking for a low milage used car (basically impossible to find a low milage escort now that they are not being made!). So I am looking for recommendations of good cars. I would love to know what kind of car you recommend and WHY you love it!

A little info:
-We are a family of 4 and we are very sure that we are finished having children
-Both of my children are still in car seats (8 months and 2 years old)
-I prefer a 4 door car
-I don't like SUVs (not offence meant by this to SUV drivers, but it is a personal preference)
-We would prefer a fuel effecient car
- I can drive both manual and automatic cars (not sure if that matters)

So any car advice on what works well for a family car would be awesome/

Thanks ladies!!!!

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answers from San Francisco on

Honda accord! even the honda civic is really roomy. Honda's always have really good gas milage, and the manual would get even better milage.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

I absolutely love my Mazda 5 -- It's like a station wagon with the option of having 6 seats and next to no trunk, or a large trunk with 4 seats.

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers


answers from Washington DC on

Honda Civic, or Honda Accord.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I adore my Hyundai Elantra. It's a great car...LOTS of leg room in the back...tons of storage space AND it gets 40mpg HWY!

I did the math on which vehicle would save me the most for the price. I started with the Toyota Prius, but it's a little pricey. So I started looking into alterantives. I drove the Elantra on a whim and was SOOOO surprised about how much I was getting for my money! Instead of a stripped down car, I got a fully loaded vehicle for LESS the cost of a Toyota, Honda or Ford.

Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

My mom drives a Ford Fusion and really likes it. I think it gets decent gas mileage. My husband just bought a Hyundai Elantra. It gets approx. 37-40 miles to the gallon I believe. He used to drive an Infiniti M35 (which is a $55k car brand new) and the Hyundai had every bell and whistle on it that the Infiniti had except without the expensive price tag-and that is even brand new! It is a really cute, sporty thing too. Also check out Honda. I drove them for years. Very dependable cars that hold their value really well. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Nashville on

We have a Kia Rhondo. Not something we had actually considered before this car, we always went with Toyota or Honda - which we love, but were out of the price range.

The Rhondo was listed, by Consumer Reports, as being the best 'unknown' buy. It gets good mileage, has enough room for a family and all the stuff that goes along with that. Sits up a little higher, like a minivan or SUV, but is smaller in size, like a car.
We have thoroughly enjoyed ours!

BTW: I just saw that your question is here in Nashville. Check out Genesis Auto Brokers - we have purchased our last three cars from them. They are honest, helpful and can find just about any kind of car that you want for a great price.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

We have a Honda Civic. Given, it's a coupe, but it's a great little car. Cheap to insure, great on gas. Very reliable.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

I love Honda's. We have an Odyssey, but you wouldn't need that much space. I'd look at a Honda Civic or Accord. They not only have great gas mileage, but they are also super safe.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

We have Ford Fusion and LOVE it!!! We are a family of 5 with 2 booster seats and a forward faceing carseat in the back seat. We all fit nicely and it is very comfortable. It gets better gas mileage than our Ford Focus and it has much more room!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My first car was a Honda and it was fantastic. The Accords are very nice and roomy.

We drive nothing but Mercedes. Love them, they are safe cars. I've driven the C class a couple of times for rentals and they are very nice.

We bought ours new but you can get good deals with full warranties very reasonably priced in the C class. We personally drive CLK class, E class and SL

The Honda accord is similar to hubby's E 350. Very nice!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Here are the top picks for young families.
Remember to actually place the 2 car seats into the cars when you go and look..

We purchased a KIA for the first time and love it. It is a SOUL..

We have always owned Honda's and still think very highly of them..

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

We have a Honda CR-V - manual transmission and love it!! Roomy and great gas mileage!!! Ours is a 2004.

We also have a 2001 Dodge Grand Caravan - love everything about it but the maintenance...we'll be replacing it soon!! Looking at the Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey or a Kia Sedona...

You might want to look at CarMax and see what they have and check around - you might be able to afford a new car...many used cars are priced up because of the Cash for Clunkers programs (it took a ton of used cars off the road!)...


1 mom found this helpful


answers from Memphis on

Hello Lucy,

My husband and I purchased a 2009 Chevy Malibu when I found out I was pregnant with our first child. We LOVE it!!! It is a 4 door and very good on gas. We have a 4 cylinder, automatic. It has a lot of room in the cabin and a very nice size trunk. I would suggest you look into a Malibu and see and what you think.

Good Luck,



answers from Nashville on

I have a Toyota Sienna minivan currently which is AMAZINGLY convenient and drives so smooth. It is a great car for having kids. I also have two. But if I were to buy a 'car' and not an SUV or minivan my first choice would be a Honda Accord. I had one previoulsy and drove it 214k miles. It was still great but we wanted something bigger. They drive smooth and last a long time. Very good cars! Other than that I would say Toyota Camry. Happy shopping!



answers from Boston on

Ford has some new lovely cars, including the 4 door hatchback Ford Focus. They made them the first year, then made only sedans (no hatch) and this year they are making the hatch again. We are looking at that one, as well as Subaru outback station wagons. Everyone I know who has one LOVES it, and they have made them for years so there will be old ones. They last for 200,000+ miles.
My sister drives a Huyndai Elantra and her first one lasted 10 years, came with 100,000 miles road side warranty (that she used 2x to start a dead battery in 10 years, good car), and new they are very cheap. You might be able to afford a new one?
We have had Hondas and while they are great cars we found every time we took them in for service it cost so much more than an american car at the local gas station, so upkeep is more pricey.



answers from Washington DC on

We got out Prius at Carmax and have been looking for a truck, we're just not ready yet.

The Prius is not intended for people with children in car seats, really. But we had great luck with Carmax.



answers from Lexington on

I can vouch for the Subaru Outback. I had one that served me well, and I know my sister and her husband, whose kids are just a little older than yours, are very happy with their Subaru too.



answers from Louisville on

our first "family car" was a toyota camry. LOVED IT it was so comfy the gas mileage was great and 2 kids fit in it perfectly! I actually cried when we traded it in and so did my hubby! we have since moved up to a toyota senna b/c my girls are now having friends over and the carmy wasnt fitting their friends. but as a first starter car thats the way to go... it was actually my second camry i had one when i was in college but it got totaled when a lady ran a red light... i was perfectly fine she was taken to the my camrys!



answers from Chicago on

We have had our Subaru Outback wagon for 10 years and we love it!



answers from Raleigh on

I have a Honda Fit and absolutely love it. It fits our family of 4 fine - even with 2 large car seats for the preschoolers. I can park it ANYWHERE. The groceries fit great in the back and the seats can fold down flat to haul home something big - I brought home a club chair from Goodwill in the back of it, even with one of the kids with me. The gas milage rocks. It's a Honda, so it's gonna last forever. LOVE. IT.

My sister-in-law has a Mazda 5 and loves it. It has all the things about the Fit that I love, except for the parking it anywhere as it's a little bigger. AND when those kids get a little older, you can actually carpool or put more than 2 kids in carseats in the car.

Good Luck!

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