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Best Family Cars

Contributor, Forbes Staff
Updated: May 17, 2021
Forbes Wheels independently tests and reviews cars and automotive accessories. We may earn an affiliate commission from links on our site. The analysis and opinions are our own.

Sales of sedans in the U.S. have dwindled over the past five years as consumers have shifted away from smaller passenger vehicles in favor of SUVs and crossovers. Families, in particular, have gravitated

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Show Summary

2021 Honda Accord

Price Starting From

$24,970
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

2021 Toyota Camry

Price Starting From

$24,970
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

2021 Mazda Mazda6

Price Starting From

$24,475
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

Also Featured In

2020 Ford Fusion

Price Starting From

$23,170
Not Yet Rated
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

2021 Volkswagen Passat

Price Starting From

$23,995
Not Yet Rated
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

Also Featured In

2021 Dodge Charger

Price Starting From

$29,995
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

2020 Nissan Maxima

Price Starting From

$34,250
Not Yet Rated
Zipcode is invalid

Why We Picked It

Pros & Cons

Specs

At a Glance
2021 Honda Accord
Price
$24,970
Mileage
30 City / 38 Hwy
Rating
92 /100
2021 Toyota Camry
Price
$24,970
Mileage
28 City / 39 Hwy
Rating
87 /100
2021 Mazda Mazda6
Price
$24,475
Mileage
26 City / 35 Hwy
Rating
87 /100
2020 Ford Fusion
Price
$23,170
Mileage
21 City / 31 Hwy
Rating
Not available
2021 Volkswagen Passat
Price
$23,995
Mileage
24 City / 36 Hwy
Rating
Not available
2021 Dodge Charger
Price
$29,995
Mileage
19 (2020) City / 30 (2020) Hwy
Rating
80 /100
2020 Nissan Maxima
Price
$34,250
Mileage
20 City / 30 Hwy
Rating
Not available

Methodology

Our evaluation covers five areas:

  1. Styling (20 points) An assessment of the car’s overall design, styling and build quality, inside and out. Looks and styling are largely subjective, but a reviewer can still make general observations that hold a degree of objectivity. If the vehicle’s interior trim panels are loose, the switchgear feels cheap and the fitment and gaps of the panels are big and inconsistent, the rating will reflect these observations.
  2. Performance (20 points) An assessment of a car’s handling, braking, acceleration, ride quality and other qualitative performance measures like horsepower, torque, zero-to-60 times and top speed. Towing capability for trucks and SUVs also is a consideration. Reviews also thoroughly consider the manufacturer’s data when comparing similar vehicles within the competitive set. While driving, reviewers also look for a melding of attributes relative to the expectations set by the manufacturer about the specific vehicle and by consumer expectations of the segment.
  3. Comfort and Convenience (20 points) An assessment of the car’s interior comfort, features and cargo space. Comfort can be subjective, but the reviewer also considers passenger space measurements compared with the segment and competitive vehicles. Cargo space also is based on measurements relative to segment and competitive set as well as functionality and usability. Features are objective and compared against the number and type of standard and available features in segment and competitive set. Price also is a consideration as is execution and efficacy. Extra points may be awarded for exceptional available or standard features or user-friendly infotainment setups. Cars may also lose points for substandard features, or for making certain features only available on pricey option packages of poor relative value.
  4. Safety (20 points) The safety score is based on three elements: crash test results from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; the number of standard advanced driver-assistance safety technology features, such as blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, emergency automatic braking, lane keeping assistance and adaptive cruise control; and visibility. Cars with official crash data gain points for a five-star overall rating by the NHTSA, or Top Safety Pick/Top Safety Pick+ status by the IIHS. Vehicles not yet rated by either agency will not lose points.
  5. Fuel Economy (20 points) The fuel economy score is based on the combined mpg estimate for the model’s base trim with an automatic transmission, according to the Environmental Protection Agency or the manufacturer if EPA has not confirmed data. Some models will get extra points for offering a hybrid or other more fuel-efficient powertrain within the model lineup. Scoring for pure electric vehicles will be based on range and charging time
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