By Cars.com EditorsJanuary 21, 2011
About the video
Cars.com headed out to Pasadena, California to compare nine of the most popular SUVs for 2011. We were joined by MotorWeek and USAToday, using input from a real family: Joey & Chandie Lawrence.
(upbeat music) Cars.com Auto Reviews. (upbeat music) Hi, this is Kristin Varela, Chief Mom at Cars.com. And I'm Dave Thomas, senior editor at Cars.com.
<v Kristen>We're here in gorgeous, sunny, California [Kristen And Thomas] for the 29,000 dollar SUV shootout. Families everywhere are downsizing, and one car segment that seen of boom is a compact SUV. We have nine of the most popular compact SUVs on the market here for our test today. And they range in price from about 24,000 to $29,000 dollars coming in right under our price cap. All the test cars we have here are 2011s. We have the Kia Sportage, Nissan Rogue, Subaru Forester, Chevy Equinox, Toyota Rav4, Honda CRV, Dodge Journey, Hyundai Tucson, and the Ford Escape. For families considering any of these SUV's, there are a few important things that you need to be looking out for. One is step in height that's easy for all members of the family to get in and out of the car. Seat belts and latch connectors easy to use for the little ones, flexibility between seating and cargo capacity. Also look out for safety features above and beyond the usual, like backup cameras. And last but not least, don't underestimate the importance of comfortable ergonomics and high-tech features because everybody knows that when mom's happy, the whole family's happy. Evaluating the cars during our challenge, our experts from Cars.com, USA Today, Motor Week, and our family. <v Kristen>We asked Joey Lawrence and his wife what's important to their family when buying a car. Accessibility for the kids, getting in and out, right? I mean, function, functionality, you know, making sure that it's got all of the features that, you know, that are pertinent to making a trip or even a 10 minute drive, as easy as possible. Safety of course. Safety, paramount. <v Chandie>And cargo spaces are important too. And cargo space, yeah. And I mean looks and things. You know, that's the, it has to appeal to us too, even though we're parents, we're young parents and you don't want to be, you know, driving something that is it's ugly, you know? Or screams like mom-o-bile. Yeah. You know, if it's a box, you know, just want to have some style. And some of those little bells and whistles that sorta makes, makes you feel cool too. A little LED light here and there, or something cool you know, great tail lights, or cool exhaust tip, or some cool wheels or something that looks cool. I'd say the thing that we couldn't live without when buying our next new car would probably be Bluetooth and um, backup cameras, you know? I mean just cause they're just essential. DVD would be great, but you can live without it. And cargo space in the back because the strollers today... <v Chandie>Are huge. Yeah, they're huge. And they they're, you know, they're like couches. So by the time you put that in there, you got a room for like one, you know, one market bag in the back, it's crazy. <v Chandie>But make sure you can grow with the car because the baby is only going to be an infant for, you know, nine months to a year. And then after that, they're going to start walking crawling and wouldn't get in the car themselves. So make sure that you can grow with the car. For more car related news, go to Cars.com or our blog Kickingtires.net.