Best in class: Family-friendly vehicles

These vehicles are among Consumer Reports' top recommended models in their categories

Consumer Reports has the most comprehensive, consumer-oriented autos-test program in the U.S. We anonymously buy our test cars from dealerships and conduct more than 50 evaluations on each vehicle, focusing on performance, safety, comfort, convenience, interior quality, fuel economy, cargo capacity, and more.

Below, we've listed several family-friendly vehicles that are among the top recommended vehicles in their categories. Not only did each of these vehicles earn a high overall score in their class, but they also meet our stringent requirements to be recommended.

2008 Honda Accord
Honda Accord
Redesigned for 2008, the Accord is a well rounded, roomy sedan with a comfortable ride and agile handling. It also has excellent driving position, visibility and the seats are supportive. The four-cylinder engine is smoother than some V6 engines and it got 23 mpg overall. The V6 model is very quick and got 21 mpg. Fuel economy for both engines isn't as good as in the previous generation. Electronic stability control is standard on all models, and crash-test results are impressive. More sedans

Toyota RAV4
Toyota RAV4
With a more powerful four-cylinder engine and other upgrades for 2009, the RAV4 is our top small SUV for the third straight year. It provides agile handling, a roomy and quiet interior, a comfortable ride, and an optional third-row seat. The four-cylinder version gets the best fuel economy of any automatic, nonhybrid SUV we've tested. And the spirited V6 version accelerates as quickly as a Mazda Miata, while getting only 1 mpg less than the four-cylinder. ESC and curtain air bags are standard. More SUVs
Toyota Avalon
Toyota Avalon
Toyota's large sedan combines comfort and convenience with a powerful and smooth V6 engine. Handling is secure, and the ride is quiet and comfortable. Rear seat passengers are treated to an expansive, limo-like seating area. More sedans
Subaru Outback
Subaru Outback
The Outback is a versatile, good-performing wagon that has nimble, agile handling. The 2.5-liter engine delivers good fuel economy for an all-wheel drive wagon and decent performance, and the 250-hp turbocharged four-cylinder delivers even better performance but does not hurt fuel economy. Cabin materials are supple and well-assembled. Electronic stability control is only available with the LL Bean and Outback XT models. More wagons
Mazda5 Touring
This Mazda3-based vehicle has the utility of a minivan, yet it is agile, maneuverable, economical, and affordable. The Mazda5 delivers responsive handling and a comfortable ride. Road noise, however, is pronounced. Fuel economy was 23 mpg overall in our tests. Visibility and access are excellent. It has flexible seating for four passengers, but seating six passengers limits cargo space when the third-row seat is raised. More wagons
Toyota Sienna
Toyota Sienna
The Sienna has a powerful and efficient 3.5-liter V6 engine that gives it the edge in our testing over the Honda Odyssey. Both minivans have spacious and refined interiors on par with some luxury sedans. The Sienna is quiet inside and is offered with all-wheel drive. Crash-test results are impressive. More minivans