The 2013 model year is a promising one for anyone shopping for a new family car. A strong crop of redesigned models mixed with perennial favorites means that the best family cars of 2013 have a lot to offer buyers seeking a combination of value, interior space, comfort, and efficiency. Gone are the days when the family segment was filled with cookie cutter styling and bland driving dynamics - with so many different manufacturers dipping their toes into the family sedan segment, there are a number of intriguing automobile designs to choose from.
Let's take a look at 10 of the best family cars of 2013.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #1 - 2013 Volkswagen Passat
The 2013 Volkswagen Passat earns its spot on our list of the top family cars of 2013 by virtue of a recent redesign which has given it more interior volume (including increased legroom over previous years) as well as a spacious 15.9 cubic foot trunk. One of the most affordable family models on the market, the Volkswagen Passat is offered with three different engine choices: a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder (170 horsepower), a 2.0-liter, turbocharged diesel four-cylinder (140 horsepower), and a 3.6-liter V-6 (280 horsepower). Of the trio, the turbodiesel returns the most impressive fuel mileage, turning in 31-mpg during city driving and an astonishing 43-mpg highway when matched with its available six-speed manual transmission. Other gearboxes that can be had with the Passat include a traditional six-speed automatic and a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #2 - 2013 Cadillac XTS
The 2013 Cadillac XTS might seem like an unusual vehicle to mention in a discussion of the top rated family cars of 2013, but for those with a little bit extra to spend in their budget this all-new, full-size luxury sedan might be just the ticket for hauling around the spouse and kids. In addition to an extensive list of premium features (including an adaptive suspension system, a Bose stereo system, and leather seats), the Cadillac XTS provides ample thrust from a 304 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 engine that can be paired with optional all-wheel drive. A six-speed automatic transmission handles the shifting duties for the XTS, and fuel economy checks in at 17-mpg around town and 28-mpg highway.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #3 - 2013 Honda Accord
The 2013 Honda Accord is one of the most hotly anticipated new sedans of the upcoming model year, and based on the reputation of its predecessor it is almost certain to become one of the top family cars of 2013. Styling for the new Honda Accord doesn't stray too far from the brand's established playbook, but a host of new safety equipment including forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning will be available with the automobile. The Accord will also be offered with revised drivetrains, including a plug-in hybrid model, a 181 horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, and a new take on the sedan's familiar 3.5-liter V-6 that will push out close to 300 horsepower. Fuel economy figures have yet to be released, but the Accord will add a six-speed automatic transmission to its option sheet alongside last year's six-speed manual.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #4 - 2013 Ford Fusion
The 2013 Ford Fusion is another brand new model vying for the attention of those shopping for one of the best family cars in 2013. The Ford Fusion's fresh look is simply stunning, and helps to significantly differentiate the sedan from the competition. Although hybrid and plug-in hybrid editions of the vehicle are on their way, initially the Fusion will come with the choice between either a 2.5-liter, 170 horsepower four-cylinder or a pair of turbocharged fours: one that displaces 1.6-liters (179 horsepower) and a 2.0-liter unit (237 horses). These EcoBoost engines replace last year's six-cylinder models and help to raise fuel mileage to a high of 26-mpg city and 37-mpg highway (from the 1.6-liter). Six-speed automatic transmissions are standard across the board - as is a 16 cubic foot trunk.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #5 - 2013 Chevrolet Impala
One of the best rated family cars of 2013 when it comes to interior space, the 2013 Chevrolet Impala offers a cavernous passenger compartment and an equally large, 18.6 cubic foot trunk. The Chevrolet Impala might not be the snazziest full-size sedan out there, but it's hard to argue with its comfortable ride and reasonable range of available equipment. 2013 also sees the introduction of a new 3.6-liter V-6 that generates a healthy 300 horsepower and provides 18-mpg in stop and go driving and 30-mpg on the highway. A six-speed automatic transmission is included with the 2013 Chevrolet Impala.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #6 - 2013 Dodge Charger
The 2013 Dodge Charger is a family car of a different stripe. Sure, there's enough space inside to haul around the entire clan without anyone infringing on anyone else's personal space, but one look at the Dodge Charger's menacing exterior is enough to communicate that this is one sedan with an attitude. The base Charger's 292 horsepower, 3.6-liter V-6 is enough to garner it consideration as one of the best rated family cars, but if you really want to turn heads then drop the extra cash for a Charger R/T and its 370 horsepower, 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. Five and eight-speed automatic transmissions rule the day, and fuel economy for the V-6 shows as 18-mpg city and 31-mpg highway.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #7 - 2013 Toyota Camry
The 2013 Toyota Camry has long dominated family car sales, and there's a clear reason why: the mid-size sedan is very good at being all things to all people. Conservative styling, a comfort-tuned suspension system, excellent interior amenities and space, and solid fuel mileage are all Toyota Camry hallmarks. The entry-level edition of the Camry enjoys a 178 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that returns efficiency figures of 25-mpg city and 35-mpg highway, while those who feel the need for more speed can instead opt for a 268 horsepower, 3.5-liter V-6. A hybrid model is also available for the ultimate in fuel-sipping.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #8 - 2013 Volvo S60
A little Scandinavian flair in the family segment? Sure, why not - the 2013 Volvo S60 certainly has the goods to be one of the top family cars of 2013. Beautifully sculpted styling gives way to an interior that is a cut above traditional family fare thanks to high quality materials choice. On top of its exceptional safety record, the Volvo S60 delivers great performance thanks to a lineup of turbocharged engines. Its 2.5-liter five-cylinder churns out 250 horses, while a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder unit is also available in both 300 and 325 horsepower editions. All-wheel drive can be had as an option with the S60, a six-speed autobox is the only available transmission, and fuel mileage checks in as 21-mpg city and 30-mpg highway for the five-cylinder.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #9 - 2013 Mazda MAZDA6
The 2013 Mazda Mazda6 is another family sedan that makes its play based on just how attractive it is on the outside - and how exciting it is to drive once prospective buyers have slipped behind the wheel. The Mazda MAZDA6 is a dark horse contender amongst mid-size automobiles, and one that is often overlooked when shopping for a new car. The MAZDA6 starts out with a 170 horsepower, 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood, but it's possible to graduate to a 272 horsepower, 3.7-liter V-6. When matched with a six-speed manual transmission, the former delivers 21-mpg around town and 30-mpg on the highway. Five and six-speed automatic gearboxes are also available with the car.
10 Best Family Cars of 2013 - #10 - 2013 Suzuki Kizashi
If the MAZDA6 is a dark horse, then the 2013 Suzuki Kizashi is barely a blip on the radar screen of those seeking to buy one of the best rated family cars - which is really too bad, as the Kizashi has what it takes to satisfy budget-conscious shoppers. The 2013 Suzuki Kizashi might suffer from underexposure, but its high quality interior and strong showing in the features department make it very likable. It also doesn't hurt that the Kizashi is legitimately fun to drive. A 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine provides 185 horsepower from between the sedan's front fenders, and a continuously-variable automatic or a six-speed manual transmission sends that output to either the front or all four wheels (if all-wheel drive has been ordered). Fuel mileage for the Suzuki is rated at 23-mpg city and 31-mpg highway.