Gayle Anderson was live Irvine at the offices of Kelley Blue Book to obtain their list of BEST FAMILY CARS 2015. Determining the best family car depends on your family’s lifestyle. For example, if your family is the “outdoorsy” type, an SUV might be the best way to go. Urbanites might benefit from a minivan or sedan. Those in between, crossover SUVs might suit you.
The market has responded to these different circumstances with a plethora of shapes and styles to suit nearly any need. To help ease the challenge to find the best new cars tailored for families of all sizes, the editors of Kelley Blue Book, the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry, have named their recommended list of the 15 Best Family Cars of 2015.
“Once again, we recruited families to assist our expert editors in this laborious evaluation, putting the Best Family Car candidates to a real-life test, including vehicles in two new car categories – full-size pickup trucks and compact cars,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com. “Evaluated on comfort and driving, safety, child seats, cargo space, rear-seat entertainment, and extra features, this year’s group of winners are deemed the most worthy of family duty.”
KBB.com’s 15 Best Family Cars of 2015
(In alphabetical order)
To determine the Best Family Cars of 2015, the KBB.com expert editors began with a select group of 23 of the latest and greatest family-friendly models from a variety of manufacturers to determine which made the cut. Starting with last year’s finalists, the team culled those that were either due for imminent replacement, or those which have been clearly surpassed by newer vehicles in the segment. To that, the Kelley Blue Book experts added new vehicles that have debuted since last year, including a couple of redesigned models, then voted on candidates, narrowed the field and ultimately landed on this year’s winners.
“This approach included analyzing three minivans, four compact SUVs, four mid-size SUVs, two full-size SUVs, two full-size sedans, and three mid-size sedans. However, this year also included vehicles from other categories,” said Nerad. “First were two full-size pickup trucks, unconventional choices to be sure, but roomy, comfortable, and with seemingly endless cargo space. On the other end of the spectrum were three compact cars, often the first choice for anyone on a budget.”
About Kelley Blue Book
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the only vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides the most market-reflective values in the industry on its top-rated website KBB.com, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Fair Purchase Price, which reports what others are paying for new and used cars this week. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com ranked highest in its category for brand equity by the 2014 Harris Poll EquiTrend® study and has been named Online Auto Shopping Brand of the Year for three consecutive years. Kelley Blue Book Co., Inc. is a Cox Automotive company.
And, remember CONSUMER REPORTS MAGAZINE has vehicle information contained in their annual April BEST CARS edition 2015.
Consumer Reports Top Picks:
*For the first time since 1998, there are three domestic cars in CR’s lineup of Top Picks, signalling a resurgence in better quality vehicles from domestic manufacturers. Chevrolet Impala (large car), Buick Regal (sports sedan) and Tesla S (best overall)
*The Buick Regal is CR’s selection for sports sedan, where the BMW 3 Series has traditionally been a favorite. Surprisingly agile, the Regal defies Buick’s brand stereotype. The Regal is based on a platform developed by GM’s Opel brand in Europe
*In an impressive performance, one small manufacturer, Subaru, has three Top Picks: the Legacy in the mid-sized sedan category, Forester in small SUV, and Impreza in compact car
*Top Pick vehicles are those that ranked at or near the top of their respective classes in CR’s battery of tests. They also must have solid reliability (based on subscriber surveys) and good crash test scores (if included in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government or insurance industry)
Brand Report Cards/Detroit Wakes Up:
*Buick has become the first domestic brand to break the top 10, moving up from 12th to 7th in the ranking
*Mazda ranks second overall, up from sixth, an impressive feat given the fact that half of its models have been introduced or redesigned within the past three years
*Lexus topped our list again this year, thanks to a combination of very good road-test performance and solid reliability across all its products
*Kia made the biggest move, going up six places from 15th to 9th and outdistancing its sister company Hyundai
*Toyota, Audi and Subaru round out the top five, in that order
*Mercedes-Benz was the biggest loser, dropping from ninth to 21st overall due to a drop in reliability from several models and the low-scoring and unreliable new small sedan, the CLA
*Acura, which ranked second last year, dropped to 11th as its reliability has declined in recent years and the unimpressive RLX luxury sedan fell short in CR’s tests
*The once reliable Infiniti plummeted to 17th, down from eighth last year
*Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep and Fiat brands all scored near or at the bottom of the chart, due to poor reliability and a variety of new or redesigned models with low road-test scores
Best and Worst Used Cars
*Consumer Reports has long advocated buying a used car as a way to get the biggest bang for your buck.
*The Best & Worst Used Cars report identifies a series of vehicles that are smart purchases for the consumer, at different budget points ranging from less than $10K to $20- to $25K They range from inexpensive sedans like the 2008 Mazda3 and 2005-08 Pontiac Vibe on up to the 2006-07 Lexus GX SUV
*Every vehicle on the list performed well in CR’s tests when it was new, and has had above-average reliability for the model years indicated.
Recalls & What do they mean to the consumer?
*Consumer Reports investigated a record-breaking year of auto recalls and offers advice for drivers – 62 million vehicles were recalled, the equivalent of four combined years of all cars sold in America or roughly one out of every four cars on the road today.
*Have carmakers been asleep at the drawing board or on the assembly line? And, will the recalls result in better practices and safer cars? The answer to both questions is yes. Several big manufacturers have certainly made defective vehicles in the past and in some cases tried to cover it up. But the resulting publicity has turned a harsh spotlight on the problem and created an expectation of safer cars.
*Though cars are better and safer than ever, as shown in CR’s tests, there’s still plenty of room for improvement particularly in the system for identifying and addressing safety defects. Automakers are sometimes slow to report safety defects and federal regulations lack adequate resources to hold the auto industry fully accountable
*Consumers, regulators, and the auto industry itself have collectively raised expectations. Widely published crash-test results have also done wonders to drive improvements. Today’s car buyers prioritize safety, putting additional, ongoing pressure on automakers to provide safe vehicles and respond quickly to problems.
*Consumers need to do their part by participating fully in recalls. We offer a five-step guide for consumers who think they maye be affected by a recall.
*One reason consumers don’t respond to notices promptly could be there are so many–an unintended consequence of stepped-up enforcement and automakers’ increased accountability. It’s also a function of their new willingness to address problems in older vehicles, a situation that should calm down over time.
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH, The People’s Pick
*Working in collaboration with the Autos CFA we solicit nominations from our social audience for cars to be considered as the People’s Pick – a companion to the Top Picks list
*This is the second year of the campaign that is designed to engage our social audiences and build up some anticipation for the issue/spotlight release.
*The aim is for this program to live purely on social channels but last year it was picked up by CNN.com
*The campaign began on Monday, 2/16. There are three days of nominations to narrow down to five finalists. That’s followed by two days of voting, and the People’s Pick revealed on Monday 2/23 (the day before the press conference) on social platforms and on ConsumerReports.org.
*Last year’s winner was the Subaru Outback.
For more information about THE BEST CARS / CONSUMER REPORTS, the magazine is on newsstands now or visit the website.
If you have questions, please feel free to call Gayle Anderson at 323-460-5732 or e-mail Gayle at Gayle.Anderson@KTLA.com