Family Car of the Year Runners-Up
Before we named the four finalists for Family Car of the Year in our first annual Lifestyle Awards, we considered all the 2006- and 2007-model-year vehicles we’ve tested and narrowed them down to a select group. We’ll tackle the other Lifestyle categories as we get closer to the final awards Jan. 3, but for now see what other cars we recommend for families and how staffers Mike Hanley, Kelsey Mays, Patrick Olsen, David Thomas and Joe Wiesenfelder debated the winners.
- Best New Car for Small Families: 2007 Honda Accord
Runners-Up: BMW 328, Ford Five Hundred, Honda Civic, Hyundai Sonata, Infiniti G35, Mazda5, Mazda6, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry
The Debate: We were looking for cars for families with up to two kids. There wasn’t much debate here, though a few of us thought the honor could have gone just as easily to the Legacy, Sonata or Camry.
- Best New Car for Big Families: 2007 Honda Odyssey
Runners-Up: Acura MDX, Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, Hyundai Entourage, Kia Sedona, Mercedes-Benz R-Class, Toyota Highlander, Toyota Sienna, Volvo XC90
The Debate: OK, here we were looking for cars with plenty of cargo space, fun features and, hopefully, ways for parents to maintain their sanity. In deciding this category, one of us staunchly wanted Volvo’s SUV to top the list, but, alas, was overruled by the tried and true Odyssey minivan. Honda should keep its eyes and ears open, though.
- Best New Car for First-Time Drivers: 2007 Honda Civic
Runners-Up: Honda Fit, Hyundai Elantra, Hyundai Sonata, Mazda3, Pontiac Vibe, Scion tC, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Camry, Toyota Matrix
The Debate: We were looking for safe, inexpensive cars, and this was another easy one for the writers and editors. The value, performance and array of Civic models (coupe, sedan, hybrid) made choosing it a no-brainer.
- Best New Car for Empty Nesters: 2007 Jaguar XK
Runners-Up: BMW 650, Chevrolet Corvette, Ford Mustang, Infiniti G35, Infiniti M45, Lexus LS 460, Mazda MX-5 Miata, Mercedes-Benz SL-Class, Volvo C70
The Debate: These choices may seem odd for a family category, but families come in more varieties than just Mom, Dad and kids -- there’s also Mom and Dad after the kids have flown the coop. This was a tough call to make. Luckily there was a place to designate the MX-5 the “Best Deal” for Empty Nesters, but even that ran neck-and-neck with the Mustang; the Jag got its competition from the Corvette and BMW 650.
Next up we’ll take a look at the contest for the Play Car of the Year.