An SUV can make a good family car
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Family Car

What makes a good family car? Certainly, lots of room for people and their stuff, a durable interior and excellent reliability are necessities, but these days, so is a solid dose of style.

Of course, what's stylish today isn't necessarily what was stylish a decade or two ago, and that means automakers most recent family mobiles are a lot different than they used to be.

Scroll through this list of cool old family cars of the past, along with the modern equivalents.

Volkswagen Kombi van
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Volkswagen Type II

Volkswagen's seminal van is remembered for lots of things: Lots of space inside despite small dimensions outside, cheap running costs and relatively meager maintenance requirements.

Thing is, it was also one of the slowest vehicles on the road, and lacked pretty much any creature comforts or safety features to speak of. Good thing it looks so darn cool...

It's a collector's item now, but the next car on this list could be seen as a perfect replacement for the old VW van, without any of the compromises.

Mercedes Sprinter
  • Image Credit: Mercedes-Benz

Mercedes Sprinter

The Mercedes Sprinter may be the most perfect van ever created. It's got plenty of power, reasonable efficiency and enough space inside to live in. No, really.

Echoing some of the merits of the old VW Bus we're comparing it with, the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter is offered in lots of different configurations in cargo- and passenger-carrying variants. It's now offered with all-wheel drive (which VW added later in its Vanagon range), and, in case you need more convincing, both come from Germany.

1960 Ford Country Squire wagon
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Country Squire

As much as we might like them at Autoblog, the truth is that wagons just don't sell in America.

We're not totally sure why, because they offer generally superior driving dynamics to anything else with as much cargo space, and a well-designed wagon can look really cool. Like this 1960 Country Squire from Ford, for example.

Ford Flex
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Flex

The Ford Flex could be considered a spiritual successor to cool old wagons like the Country Squire. No, it doesn't sport wood panelling down the side, but it's got interesting boxy looks, and it drives better than most of the big SUVs that the majority moms and dads choose to drive.
Ford Taurus SHO
  • Image Credit: Ford

Ford Taurus SHO

Ford shocked the motoring masses in the early 1990s with the SHO, a high-performance version of its hot-selling Taurus sedan. With seating for five and a drivetrain powerful enough to keep up with European sports sedans costing more than twice as much, the Ford Taurus SHO was a standout performer that put smiles on the faces of lots of parents across the United States.
Chevy SS
  • Image Credit: Chevrolet

Chevy SS

Yes, Ford does indeed offer a Taurus SHO in 2015, and it's a nice car, with 365 horsepower and a luxurious cabin. But we prefer the Chevy SS, which is more rewarding to drive for not much more money. Plus, it's got that sweet V8 engine sound that Americans can't seem to get enough of.

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