Best Cars For All Types of Moms
By Liz Barth of Consumer Reports
Note: Consumer Reports has no relationship with any advertiser on MSN.
Mother's Day is just around the corner and if a new car is on the wish list, there are many choices from which to select the perfect one. Whether she is a mother with young children or teens, has an outdoorsy or sporty personality, or an empty nester dreaming of retirement, we have test-based recommendations on good, safe, and reliable new cars.
All mothers naturally place a priority on safety, but new moms also need plenty of cargo room to fit all the baby gear. A small SUV can be the ideal choice for carting around your new bundle of joy. Their elevated height means easy-on-your-back installation of the baby seat. The Honda CR-V, Subaru Forester, and Toyota RAV4 all score well in Consumer Reports tests and have excellent safety scores and reliability. Plus, they deliver relatively decent fuel economy.
If you're looking for a fuel-efficient vehicle, it's hard to top the Toyota Prius. It has an average fuel economy of 44 mpg overall, roomy interior, and excellent reliability. However, if you need something a little larger, the Prius V wagon adds even more second-row and cargo space, while delivering a still-excellent 41 mpg overall.
Moms who want a sporty ride, but still need a backseat to tote kids around, may want to look at the BMW X3, Volkswagen Tiguan; sporty wagons such as the Acura TSX or Audi A4; or a hot hatch like the Volkswagen GTI. All are relatively practical, deliver good acceleration, braking, and handling and are fun to drive.
With the warmer weather here and more opportunity for fun in the sun, moms who like to spend time outdoors will need a car that can fit items such as bikes, camping equipment, and beach gear. The Subaru Outback is a rugged wagon with generous cargo space, plus good fuel economy. If mom likes to hit the trails or tow recreational toys, the powerful-and-refined Jeep Grand Cherokee can handle some off-roading adventures, too.
If the mom in your life now has time for herself, a sedan a good choice for everyday outings, vacations, and trips to see the grandkids. The Toyota Camry is comfortable and refined, with a nice interior. Fuel economy is excellent at 27 mpg for the four-cylinder. For more space, consider the roomy Toyota Avalon. If mom wants something sporty, look to the Ford Mustang, or the sporty and luxurious Infiniti G37. They all rate well within their respective categories.
Big family moms
Large families need a vehicle with plenty of room for seating, gear, and entertainment to keep kids occupied and mom sane while driving. The Toyota Sienna minivan offers generous cabin storage that includes large bins, pockets, and open trays. The optional in-vehicle entertainment system includes a large fold-down screen can show videos from two sources at the same time, including the DVD player up front. For a smaller vehicle with better fuel economy and seating for six, check out the Mazda5. It stands out in our testing by combining utility, sportiness, and affordability, making it a practical alternative to a larger minivan or a small SUV.
Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there; we hope you enjoy your ride no matter what vehicle you choose.
See our model pages for road tests, Ratings, and pricing information.
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