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Best new cars for Small Families
More New Cars for Small Families
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Top Picks for Small Families

Small families often look at sedans, hatchbacks, station wagons, SUVs and minivans, so our short list — compiled from a pool that included our Best Bets and all the newer cars we've driven since — included dozens of contenders. Our experts looked at safety features, gas mileage, interior comfort and driving refinement to pick the winners.

 Best New Car for Small Families
2015 Hyundai Santa Fe Sport
Starting MSRP $25,825

Hyundai has been winning over car shoppers with impressive designs teamed to equally impressive lists of features for the money. The Santa Fe Sport checks those boxes and adds impressive utility to the mix with a large cargo area and spacious backseat. It won us over with its composed road manners, luxurious cabin and accessible tech features that any parent (or grandparent) can easily master. A few editors even called it "fun to drive," which is a nice surprise in a class where the driver often isn't the top priority.
   
 
 Best Deal for Small Families
2015 Kia Soul
Starting MSRP $15,900

Kia's quirky box-on-wheels expertly combines substance and style. The Soul may not look like a family vehicle contender, but families will be surprised by its comfort, space and affordable base price. With a high roofline and flat floor, the Soul is easy to get in and out of, and backseat passengers get a generous amount of head- and legroom despite its compact dimensions. Accessible Latch anchors make it child-safety-seat friendly, and the Soul's wide cargo opening, low load floor and competitive cargo space help take the pain out of schlepping strollers and sports gear.
   
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Suggestions for Small Families
2015 Chevrolet Equinox  Recommended for Small Families Chevrolet Equinox (2015)
Starting MSRP $25,395

Good fuel economy and comfortable seats are the Equinox's calling cards, but it's the flexible backseat that gets it on this list. The rear bench slides forward and back with ease to accommodate full-size adults and bulky child-safety seats.
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2015 Chevrolet Impala  Recommended for Small Families Chevrolet Impala (2015)
Starting MSRP $27,885

Small families will have plenty of room in the Impala; it boasts adult-friendly levels of head- and legroom in the cushy backseat, as well as a trunk large enough to swallow all the gear your family can throw in it.
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2015 Mazda CX-5  Recommended for Small Families Mazda CX-5 (2015)
Starting MSRP $22,375

Great looks inside and out, top-notch materials and an easy-to-fold second row make the CX-5 an attractive all-around performer. Families might want the larger 2.5-liter engine to move everyone with more confidence.
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2015 Nissan Rogue  Recommended for Small Families Nissan Rogue (2015)
Starting MSRP $23,675

Flexibility is a Rogue hallmark. The compact crossover has an available third row as well as a handy cargo management system. Add in good looks, great fuel economy and an affordable price and the Rogue is a car that will likely meet any busy family's needs.
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2015 Subaru Forester  Recommended for Small Families Subaru Forester (2015)
Starting MSRP $23,045

This compact crossover works for small families thanks to its affordable all-wheel drive, excellent safety ratings and competitive fuel economy. Despite its compact size, cargo room is generous and the backseat easily has room for two child-safety seats.
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2015 Subaru Impreza  Recommended for Small Families Subaru Impreza (2015)
Starting MSRP $18,990

Few all-wheel-drive cars boast 31 mpg in EPA combined city/highway mileage ratings, which the Impreza does with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Roomy seats and good sightlines distinguish this compact, and the multimedia system's smartphone integration with internet-radio app Aha should keep your crew happy.
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2015 Toyota Prius  Recommended for Small Families Toyota Prius (2015)
Starting MSRP $25,025

The Prius dominates hybrids by providing exceptional mileage at an affordable price. Busy families on the go will appreciate all the green they save at the pump, and the hatchback body style also means it can carry a lot more than you think.
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2015 Volkswagen Passat  Recommended for Small Families Volkswagen Passat (2015)
Starting MSRP $21,940

Not every family needs a utility vehicle to shepherd it to soccer practice or take a short road trip. The Passat's roomy backseat, large trunk and pleasant ride make it a good option.
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