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What are the Best Rated Family Cars?

Each year, existing car models are upgraded and improved while new models are introduced with exciting new features and body styles. When families shop for a new car, there are so many models to choose from and it can become overwhelming. Kelly Blue Book and other respectable agencies annually publish lists of the best rated family cars based based on safety, affordability, resale value, fuel efficiency, kid-friendliness, performance and more.

Safety Testing

One of the most important parts of making sure cars are family-safe is crash testing. These types of tests use the now-famous crash-test dummies, and simulate different types of car crashes including rollovers and front-and-side impact crashes. The crash tests have been responsible for identifying weak areas of a car’s structure that contribute to injuries and deaths in accidents. The continuous testing over the years has led to a dramatic and continuing decrease in the number of yearly auto accident fatalities over the past 40 years.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety both perform crash tests. Frontal-impact testing, side-impact, rollover and airbag tests are some of the tests performed, and sophisticated crash test dummies containing accelerometers, motion sensors and load sensors take thousands of different measurements during a crash test. This data, along with data from other simulated crash conditions, helps spots weaknesses such as poor roof and side support structures, headrests that do not provide proper protection and the need for side airbags.

Who is Kelly Blue Book?

Kelly Blue Book, or KBB, is the nation’s largest company focused specifically on valuing vehicles. The company provides online information for new and used car values, as well as publishing the data in its well-known blue book publication. The company was founded in 1918, and for years has been the respected resource for used car values. In 2002, the company introduced the Fair Purchase Price on its website, kbb.com. This service follows new car transactions, averaging the prices actually paid by consumers. This resource helps car shoppers compare the manufacturer’s recommended sticker price, or MSRP, with the amounts actually paid by other consumers.

What are the Top 10 Highest Rated Family Cars

It depends on who you ask and there is no definitive list of the top 10 best rated family cars however there are certainly some which shine at the top of every list. Below are the Top 10 Highest Rated Family Cars according to Kelly Blue Book for 2010 ordered by overall roominess and the ability to accommodate passengers.

1. Chevrolet Suburban

The Chevy suburban has a huge amount of cargo space in the back, even when nine passengers are sitting comfortably inside. The car can also tow up to 9,600 pounds. The interior of the car has many amenities and the Suburban provides a very nice, comfortable ride that both drivers and passengers will enjoy.

2. Honda Odyssey

The Honda Odyssey is a very popular, sophisticated minivan. This car has a refined, sharply styled look and premium features inside and out to go with it. The Odyssey combines versatility with a great package of amenities that make it a pleasure to drive.

3. Chevy Traverse

Chevy’s Traverse is the largest crossover vehicle on the road. It has even more space for cargo than its cousin, the Chevy Tahoe. The Traverse makes the list partly because of its better fuel economy. Its siblings, the GMC Acadia and Buick Enclave are also noteworthy, but the Traverse wins out because of its lower base price.

4. Ford Flex

The Ford Flex is a big favorite for many reasons. It fits up to seven passengers comfortably and drives nicer than some mid-size sedan cars. The car offers a nice list of add-on features, including several entertainment upgrades for the interior. The options list even includes a small refrigerator! The car has a V6 engine option, which KBB suggests checking out. Additionally, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety considers the 2010 Flex a top safety pick in the Midsize SUV category.

5. Subaru Outback

The Subaru Outback has a cult-like following, and the newer sport wagon just keeps getting better. The Outback maintains the look of a wagon, while adding many features of a crossover vehicle. For 2010, the Outback grew in length, width and added other features that make it especially well-suited for the family. With all-wheel-drive and 8.7 inches of clearance off the ground, the Outback can pretty much handle anything. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety added this car to its 2010 top safety picks in the midsize cars category.

6. Chevy Equinox

The Equinox by Chevrolet is one of the standouts in the highly competitive and well-populated crossover category. The car provides true function in a beautiful form. Chevy’s Equinox provides a comfortable interior with upscale features, and bold styling on the car’s exterior. One of the best things about the Equinox? The four-cylinder model gets a whopping 32 miles per gallon on the highway. The 2010 Equinox won a spot on the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety’s top safety picks list for midsize SUVs.

7. Honda Accord Crosstour

Honda’s 2010 Crosstour takes all of the great features from the Accord and enhances them with much more cargo room, thanks to the hatchback. The car has a powerful V6 engine and a generous passenger compartment. The styling is similar to the Accord, with a new updated look.

8. Ford Taurus

Ford’s full-size Taurus sedan has been around for a long time and keeps improving on its past success. The car’s exterior has transformed into a striking body style and the Taurus has also been enhanced with an extra-large trunk, roomy interior and a nimble drive that pleases both family and driver.

9. Ford Fusion Hybrid

Ford’s new Fusion Hybrid is one of the top mid-size, fuel-efficient cars out there. The car is fully enhanced with Ford’s SYNC technology, providing voice-activated controls for the phone and your iPod. The Fusion gets up to 41 miles per gallon for highway driving, which makes it a great car for those family trips or long work commutes. The Ford Fusion also made the top safety picks list in 2010, after being evaluated by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

10. Hyundai Elantra Touring

The Elantra by Hyundai has the ability to satisfy a lot of families with its low base price, outstanding warranty coverage and long list of safety features. Add to that the car’s roomy interior, with flexible cargo space and good fuel efficiency, and you have one great family car.

While this may be the list of top rated family cars for 2010 many of today’s makes and models offer superior performance, safety features and value for comparable prices. When considering the purchase of any new car it’s important to research safety ratings and you can also look at the loss history of certain makes and models. A vehicle’s loss history is a measure of how many claims have been filed for a particular make or model and car insurance companies use this as indicator how to price car insurance rates. Most of the top 20 cheapest cars to insure are minivans and SUV’s due to their safety. How much is car insurance for your particular car? Compare car insurance quotes today from car insurance companies nationwide so you can have a true idea of your total monthly financial obligation for a new car.

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