Designated a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the Nissan Versa is a small car with a surprising amount of space. With a price starting at under $10,000, it's a great choice for the budget-minded. For 2010, the Versa adds a MP3 jack to the base model and offers the option of using the audio system to access MP3 players. Family-friendly safety features include six standard airbags and available anti-lock brakes and stability control.
For parents who want sporty while still being kid-friendly, the Ford Fusion is a great choice. Two V6 engines are available for the performance minded, while a new four-cylinder and a hybrid model are offered for the fuel conscious. Even the base model has loads of standard equipment, while unique optional features include rear seat entertainment with screens in each headrest to play two different shows, a blind spot warning system, a cross traffic alert system (which warns of traffic behind you when in reverse) and a backup camera.
For any family, it's hard not to love the Toyota Sienna, but for parents of infants and toddlers the Sienna tops the list. With an available second row center seat that slides forward, infants can be within reach of Mom and Dad (binkie, anyone?), while many parents rave about the ease to install car seats. This seven-seater has lots of family-friendly options too, such as a power lift gate, backup camera and adaptive cruise control.
Redesigned for 2010, the Chevrolet Equinox offers seating for five. The family-friendly second row is large enough for three car seats (depending on the models, of course) and also slides forward about eight inches, if you'd like to get your little ones closer to front seat occupants. The standard engine is a 182 horsepower four-cylinder that gets 32 highway mpg (better than the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Ford Escape Hybrid) which helps keep fill-ups to a minimum.