When you were a teenager, you might have dreamed of buying a super fast sports car with a giant engine or a beautiful and luxurious convertible with room for two. But, now that you are a parent, what constitutes a dream car has probably changed a bit. Instead of looking at horsepower and removable tops, you might be more concerned with airbags and enough room for a car seat. Fortunately, many of the vehicles that were produced during 2014 are very safe options for families. Consider the following five suggestions:
The 2014 Mazda 6 offers the perfect combination of safety, roominess and fun, notes Parents. Grandma can ride comfortably in the backseat along with your little one in a car seat, and the rear seats fold up easily for bringing along strollers and other bulky kid items. The vehicle features forward-collision warnings and lane departure warnings for extra safety features. And, the vehicle’s commander knob lets you handle the entertainment and navigation features while keeping your eyes on the road. As a bonus, the Mazda 6 is pretty easy on the wallet—according to Kelley Blue Book, the 2014 models run right around $20,000.
U.S. News and World Report listed the 2014 Subaru Outback as one of the best cars for families. With its spacious interior and smooth ride, it’s a great option for families who are looking to purchase an SUV. It also boasts pretty good gas mileage—about 24 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. As for safety, optional features include a backup camera, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings and pre-collision braking at low speeds.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the 2014 Honda Odyssey a Top Safety Pick+, making it the first minivan ever to earn such a prestigious honor. In order to earn this top ranking, a vehicle has to have a good rating in the moderate overlap front, rollover, side and rear impact tests. One reason the 2014 Odyssey performs so well on its safety tests is due to its frame; it is constructed with extra strong steel, and it also features side-curtain air bags, which are both improvements over previous years.
The Honda Accord was named by Consumer Reports as one of the safest cars for 2014 and was a top pick by the IIHS. The vehicle features antilock brakes, traction and stability control, good performance in crash and rollover tests and airbags in the front, rear and side. The car also is roomy and comfortable. It is a smooth drive, and it even is comfortable to climb into the back seat, which means it is not going to tweak your back each time you place your infant into his or her rear-facing seat.
The 2014 Toyota Sienna also scored very well on the IIHS tests, according to J.D. Power. The Sienna, which features head curtain airbags for all three rows of seats as well as torso airbags up front, earned good ratings in its crash test for the roof strength, side and head restraints and seats. The Sienna also boasts all of the wonderful family-friendly amenities that minivans are known for including fold down rear seats, tons of cargo capacity, cup holders galore and a comfortable and quiet ride that is great for lulling babies to sleep.