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Form and function: The 2015 Best Cars for Families

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From the Golf to the Odyssey and many more in between, the best cars for families this year have the kinds of features and looks to keep owners safe and happy, according to the U.S. News & World Report 2015 Best Cars for Families.

U.S. News evaluated 259 vehicles and named 19 as award winners. The awards are published on the U.S. News Best Cars website at www.usnews.com/cars.

The 2015 Best Cars for Families awards highlight cars, SUVs and minivans that make life a little easier for today's busy families. Award winners have the best combination of high safety and reliability ratings, excellent reviews from professional automotive critics and the space and features important to parents and kids.

"Family cars don't need to be dowdy or boring," says Jamie Page Deaton, managing editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "The 2015 Best Cars for Families help parents identify great cars with features that keep everyone in the family happy, such as roomy cabins, infotainment systems, separate temperature controls and tools for keeping teen drivers safe."

For the fifth year running, the Honda Odyssey wins Best Minivan for Families. Though every minivan is family-friendly, the Odyssey has innovative features, such as a trash bag holder and in-vehicle vacuum, that make it stand out from other minivans. In addition, professional car critics often say the Odyssey has excellent driving dynamics, with nimble handling and direct steering – which is rare praise for a minivan.  

In a change from earlier years, this year's award winners come from a wide range of brands, with no one company winning the lion's share of awards.

Nine brands win one award each, while General Motors takes home the most awards of any car company with its Chevrolet and Cadillac brands winning two awards each. Toyota, Honda and Kia each win two awards as well.

Of the 19 Best Cars for Families winners, 12 are also winners or finalists of the 2015 U.S. News Best Cars for the Money awards, proving that cars with the features and space families are looking for can also be great long-term values.


Compact Cars

2015 Volkswagen Golf

Upscale Small Cars

2015 Mercedes-Benz C-Class


2015 Kia Soul

Midsize Cars

2015 Hyundai Sonata

Upscale Midsize Cars

2015 Cadillac CTS

Large Cars

2015 Chevrolet Impala

Luxury Large Cars

2015 Kia K900

Hybrid Cars

2015 Ford Fusion Hybrid


2015 Subaru Outback

Compact SUVs

2015 Honda CR-V

Luxury Compact SUVs

2015 Volvo XC60

2-Row Midsize SUVs

2015 Nissan Murano

3-Row Midsize SUVs

2015 Toyota Highlander

Luxury 2-Row Midsize SUVs

2015 Lexus RX 350

Luxury 3-Row Midsize SUVs

2015 Land Rover Range Rover Sport

Large SUVs

2015 Chevrolet Suburban

Luxury Large SUVs

2015 Cadillac Escalade

Hybrid SUVs

2015 Toyota Highlander Hybrid


2015 Honda Odyssey

The award methodology combines professional automotive reviews, safety and reliability ratings, seating and cargo volume and the availability of family-friendly features. Within each of the 19 automotive categories, the vehicle with the highest composite score is named the Best Car for Families in that category.

U.S. News Best Cars, the automotive channel of U.S. News & World Report at www.usnews.com/cars, has published rankings for new vehicles sold in America since 2007 and rankings for used vehicles since 2012. U.S. News also publishes the annual Best Cars for the Money awards.

U.S. News Best Cars has grown in popularity and influence each year. In 2014, the site received more than 45 million unique visitors. More than 65 percent of visitors were actively shopping for a car, while 80 percent of those active shoppers reported that the U.S. News Best Cars site influenced their car purchasing decision.


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