NEWS

These City-Friendly Cars Also Pull Family Duty

2015_kia_soul_mfr2.jpg 2015 Kia Soul; | Manufacturer image

2015 Kia Soul

The Soul started out as one of those love it or hate it designs, but it has won us, and other urban families, over with its blend of functional cargo space, ease of maneuverability in tight spaces, and most of all, its feature-packed interior.  Want heated front and rear seats and a massive panoramic moonroof? Need enough legroom for growing kids and their backpacks? How about a cargo floor low enough to easily load a double stroller? Check, check and double check.

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2015 Mazda5

If you need seating for six, there is no better compact urban people-mover than the Mazda5. It’s about the same length as a compact sedan, meaning you can slip this puppy into even the tightest of parking spaces, and the sliding side doors make getting your kids in and out (even in those tight spaces) an absolute breeze.  Throw in plenty of creative storage cubbies and you’ve got a winner.

2015_honda_fit_km2.jpg 2015 Honda Fit; | Cars.com photo by Kelsey Mays

2015 Honda Fit

The Honda Fit has been redesigned for 2015, improving upon its best qualities: nimble handling, great visibility and a spacious, functional interior for families hauling both people and stuff.  The Fit’s aptly named Magic Seat has bottom seat cushions that fold up for taller cargo (impromptu find at the flea market?) or folding rear seatbacks for a flat, wide cargo floor with space to rival some small SUVs. Thanks to an overhauled drivetrain, gas mileage leapfrogs most competitors to as high as an EPA-rated 36 mpg combined city/highway with a new continuously variable automatic transmission.

2015_vw_golf_dt.jpg 2015 Volkswagen Golf; | Cars.com photo by David Thomas

2015 Volkswagen Golf

The Golf’s footprint is small, making it great for city use, but it lives big, with comfortable seating for not only kids, but actual full-size adults as well. The 2015 Golf retains the upscale finishes VW devotees expect thanks to soft-touch surfaces and an overall interior quality a step above the class. The Golf’s hatchback isn’t just for looks; it adds to this car’s functionality with a 22.8-cubic-foot cargo area behind the backseat. Driving enthusiasts just itching to get out of the city for some open roads will appreciate the Golf’s optional turbo-diesel and manual transmission, bumping fuel economy to 30/45/36 mpg city/highway/combined.

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2015 Buick Encore

Buick has redefined itself over the past few years. It’s no longer a brand associated with grandparents, but rather a lux option for discerning consumers. Buick’s Encore is an urban-friendly subcompact crossover. Despite its rather adorable proportions, we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the interior’s usability, specifically when it comes to installing child-safety seats.  Got a bulky rear-facing child seat, yet still want to fit an adult in the front passenger seat? The Encore performs. Bravo!

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