The Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen offers an alternative to the SUV with a more flexible cargo space than your typical sedan. Redesigned for 2010, the five-seat Jetta SportWagen is offered with three engines including a clean diesel option that gets an estimated 29 city/30 highway mpg. Safety features include six airbags plus available rear-seat side-impact airbags. Parents will be worry free for the first three years (or 36,000 miles, whichever comes first) with free roadside assistance and Volkswagen's no-charge scheduled maintenance program.
After getting an extensive redesign a couple of years ago, the Honda Accord grew from a mid-size to a full-size sedan. It has an exceptionally roomy back seat, giving older kids plenty of room to stretch their legs without disturbing front seat passengers. Parents will like the high-quality interior and the V6 model equipped with Honda's Variable Cylinder Management, which improves fuel economy without reducing performance. An Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Top Safety Pick, the Accord comes standard with six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability control and active front head restraints.
Minivans offer the pinnacle of comfort and convenience for any family, and the top choice among many families is the Honda Odyssey. Parents regularly report loving the sporty driving experience while its power sliding doors make it a snap for older kids to climb in and out without any help. The second-row captain's chairs mean easy access for to the third row, while the available second row middle seat increases the seating capacity to eight yet folds into the floor when it's not needed.
If SUVs are more your style, then try the Toyota RAV-4. It's very versatile, since both passenger and cargo space are the largest of all its competitors. Older kids will love the recline feature on the rear seats. The optional third row works great for transporting two of your kids' buddies, while the sliding second row means they can have a bit more leg room if needed. Stability control and active front head restraints come standard, while four-wheel drive and a backup camera are optional.