Redesigned in 2009, the Honda Fit now has improved rear seat leg room as well as increased cargo capacity in what was already a spacious package for a small car. What's more -- the back seat folds flat into the floor for a giant amount of cargo room, assuming your tween or teen is tall enough to sit up front. With a starting price at sub-$15,000 and a combined fuel economy of 30 mpg, the Fit is easy on the budget.
Forget the old, stodgy Buick of days past. The redesigned Buick LaCrosse has bold styling, an updated interior and a choice of two powerful V6 engines. There's substantial rear seat legroom for kids who are growing like weeds, while standard safety equipment includes six airbags, anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control. And if you'll be giving driving lessons to your teen in the next few years, you'll be comforted by the Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety.
While smaller than your average minivan, the Mazda Mazda5 seats six in three rows and features such as the foldout snack tray, large siding doors and low floor mean big kids can be self-sufficient while Mom plays chauffeur. Mom will be happy behind the wheel with available features like a navigation system, Bluetooth capability and heated leather seats to keep her riding in style while standard side airbags for the front seats, side curtain airbags, traction and stability control provide peace of mind.
The Honda CR-V has long been a favorite for parents and now for 2010 it's even better. The 2.4-liter engine now has 14 more horsepower, yet also has improved fuel economy. Big Kids will like the reclining rear seats and large storage compartments for holding all their loot. Safety is key too, with six airbags, standard stability control and a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety. For added security, there's a backup camera and four-wheel-drive available.