Car and Driver is generally not a magazine for those strictly focused on family car value. However, the magazine is made up entirely of editors who are part of a family. In their most recent awards report the magazine, whose motto is “Intelligence, Independence, and Irreverence” singled out some of the staff’s favorite rides for those with families that are expanding.
2016 Mazda CX-5
The compact crossover is an excellent type of vehicle for families. The back seats are higher up, so loading rugrats into safety seats is easier. The rear cargo areas are square. All the better to swallow up a baby jogger. The 2016 Mazda CX-5 has these design features, but also a ride that will appeal to those that want to find some pleasure in the ride to day care and soccer practices. The magazine says of the 2015 Mazda CX-5 “The CX-5 is the sports car of crossovers, with an athleticism you have to experience to believe, making it a great choice for parents who haven't given up on driving something fun.” The CX-5 has a bargain basement trim with a 2.0-liter engine, front wheel drive and stick shift. However, those in the know choose the 2.5-liter engine, AWD, and automatic transmission. For a family car, the practical aspects of the AWD and automatic transmission trump shifting one’s own gears.
Some families have parents who still prefer a sedan. We can’t offer any reasons why they would, but if one is going to choose a sedan for a family car the Mazda6 offers great looks and handling. Car and Driver says of the Mazda6, “The 6’s sinuous styling, confidence-inspiring handling, and rich interior make it one of the best-looking and most enjoyable family sedans around—that’s why it once again finds itself on our ten best list.”
Underdog Mazda came away with more wins than most automakers in this Car and Driver awards grouping. Only Honda did as well.