UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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As an expecting parent, you will need to invest in a new car that can accommodate your new baby’s needs, including room in the back to properly install a car seat, additional space for storing a stroller and other baby supplies, and features like a sound system you can easily access and operate to play your baby’s favorite music. When you’re looking for a new car we suggest you search for cargo space, ease of access, standard features, available warranty, and the vehicle’s safety rating. Below you’ll find a list of 10 new cars selected for their ratings on several trusted websites, including J.D. Power and Associates, Edmunds, and Vroomgirls. Keep in mind that these cars aren’t listed in any particular order and they’re simply suggestions.
- Base (LX) MSRP: $22,495
- MPG: 23 city/31 highway
Honda has become synonymous with quality, and its CR-V crossover is no exception. The 2012 edition offers space for five passengers, and the base model features automatic headlights, cloth seats, full power accessories, cruise control, and a rear view camera for added safety. Speaking of safety, the Honda CR-V comes with side curtain air bags and active head restraints. All of the CR-V’s trims come with a five speed automatic transmission that offers 185 horsepower and gets up to 31 mpg, making this an economical option in this class. The 2012 Honda CR-V won J.D. Power’s overall quality award, and it received top marks for its overall performance and design and predicted reliability.
Toyota RAV 4:
- Base (A4) MSRP: $22,650
- MPG: 22 city/28 highway
The Toyota RAV 4 is another “tweener” option for new parents who want space for numerous passengers but don’t want to drive a behemoth. The RAV 4 has enough space for five passengers and when the rear seats are folded down offers 73 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard features include keyless entry, a six-speaker sound system, some power accessories, and air conditioning. Safety-minded parents will find a good match in the RAV 4, which offers standard anti-lock disk brakes, traction control, front-seat and side air bags, and side curtain air bags. Similar to other vehicles in its class, the Toyota RAV 4 gets a combined 24 mpg from its 2.5-liter 179-horsepower engine. J.D. Power gave the RAV 4 top marks for overall quality, although it was judged average in overall performance and design and predicted reliability.
Toyota Venza Crossover:
- Base (LE) MSRP: $27,425
- MPG: 21 city/27 highway
Toyota’s Venza Crossover offers a roomy interior that accommodates five passengers and rides a little higher than most cars in its class. The base model features dual-zone automatic climate control, power accessories, and a six-speaker sound system with integrated Bluetooth connectivity. Although the standard features are nice, most parents are probably going to be more concerned about the car’s safety. The Toyota Venza has anti-lock disk brakes, traction control, and front-seat side, driver knee, and side curtain air bags. In government impact tests the Venza received four stars for rollover protection and five stars for side-impact protection, making this one of the safest cars on the road today. J.D. Power gave the 2012 Toyota Venza a four out of five for overall quality and predicted reliability, which shows this car could be a good long-term investment. The deal is sweetened by Toyota’s basic warranty, which covers 36 months or 36,000 miles, and its maintenance warranty of 24 months or 25,000 miles.
- Base (LX) MSRP: $28,375
- MPG: 18 city/27 highway
Similar to other large vans in our list, the Honda Odyssey has seating space for up to eight passengers and offers easy access via its sliding side doors and extra cargo space in the back for your baby’s supplies. Standard versions of this car come with cloth upholstery, full power accessories, keyless entry, cruise control, air conditioning, and a 60/40 split-folding third-row seat. Higher trims offer a rearview camera which could be helpful when you’re trying to back out of a parking spot. The 2012 Honda Odyssey performed exceedingly well in government crash tests: it received an overall rating of five out of five stars from the NHTSA and a “Good” rating, the highest available, for frontal-offset and side-impact crashes from the IIHS. The 2012 Honda Odyssey also received a five out of five rating for overall performance and design and a four out of five in overall quality from J.D. Power. However, the publication gave it a two out of five for predicted reliability, which is an issue you should be aware of as you shop around.
Ford Edge SUV:
- Base (SE) MSRP: $27,770
- MPG: 19 city/27 highway
The Ford Edge SUV is another medium-sized crossover vehicle that is ideal for parents who want plenty of space but aren’t interested in driving a van. This model’s standard features include air conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescope steering wheel, and more. Higher trim levels have other options, such as keyless entry code pad or an upgraded audio system. The base model comes with a 285 horsepower engine that gets up to 27 mpg, which is competitive for a car of its size. The Edge’s interior has space for five passengers and a large rear compartment that can store all of your baby’s supplies. The back row of seats can also be folded down for extra cargo space. Similar to other vehicles in this list, the 2012 Ford Edge SUV has received good reviews for safety. The NHTSA gave it an overall rating of four out of five stars, and it received a “Good” rating for roof strength and frontal offset and side-impact crashes.
Nissan Quest S (CVT):
- Base (S) MSRP: $25,990
- MPG: 19 city/24 highway
Stepping up in size is the Nissan Quest S CVT, which has space for seven passengers and standard features that include cruise control, ambient interior lighting, a four-speaker sound system, and a trip computer. Access to the second and third-row of seats, which are raised about the front-floor level to improve visibility, is aided by power sliding doors that open with a single touch. Under the hood the Quest has a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that offers 260 horsepower and a combined 21 mpg. The 2012 edition was one of the highest-rated vehicles by J.D. Power, which gave it five stars for its overall quality, performance, and design.
Nissan Murano SUV:
- Base (S) MSRP: $29,960
- MPG: 18 city/23 highway
Nissan’s Murano SUV offers a wide range of standard interior and safety features well-suited for new parents. The base model features dual-zone automatic climate control, cloth upholstery, some power accessories, and a six-speaker sound system. Higher trim packages offer other perks, such as rearview cameras and an upgraded sound system. Standard safety features include stability control, active front head restraints, anti-lock disc brakes, and front side and side curtain air bags. This model also has a pretty sizable rear storage space and the back row of seats can be set down to increase cargo space. The IIHS gave the 2012 Murano “Good” ratings for frontal offset and side-impact crash tests, and J.D. Power gave the SUV a five out of five for overall quality.
Toyota Prius C:
- Base (One) MSRP: $18,950
- MPG: 53 city/46 highway
The relatively compact Toyota Prius C delivers 50-plus MPG in the city, features no fewer than nine airbags, and has more interior room than it would appear from the outside. You’ll have to take a little more time to fit in a stroller and baby bag and the engine can be noisy under heavy acceleration, an issue that might put off parents of newborns. However, the Toyota Prius C’s price and top-of-the-line safety features make it a good option for new parents. The Prius C received “Good” ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for all crash protection tests, and the hybrid model was named a top safety pick for 2012. J.D. Power gave the Toyota Prius C a four out of five for predicted reliability.
- Base (M6) MSRP: $13,900
- MPG: 25 city/30 highway
The stylish, well-priced Kia Soul compact hatchback offers plenty of space, utility, safety features, and a strong warranty. It has space for five passengers and the base model has cloth seats, full power accessories, USB audio jacks, and air condition. Cruise control, keyless entry, and other amenities are offered in the higher trim levels. The 2012 Soul has been updated with more powerful engines, 15-inch steel wheels, and wider tires. The base engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that puts out 138 horsepower, while the plus version has a 2.0-liter engine rated at 164 horsepower. Although the plus version’s engine makes for a more exciting driving experience, the base model offers better gas mileage.
The Kia Soul’s safety features include side curtain air bags and stability control, and it received a “Good” rating, the highest possible, from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for frontal offset and side-impact crashes. Budget minded shoppers will like Kia’s basic warranty, which covers the car for 60 months or 60,000 miles. New buyers also receive a powertrain warranty that covers 120 months or 100,000 miles. J.D. Power awarded the 2012 Kia Soul awards for performance and quality. Although the Kia Soul isn’t the largest vehicle on the list it’s still a great option for new parents who want a fun car that meets their needs for space and safety.
- Base (LX FWD) MSRP: $28,620
- MPG: 18 city/25 highway
With enough space for eight passengers, the Honda Pilot is one of the largest vehicles in its class. It offers a wide range of standard features, including full power accessories, split-folding second and third-row bench seats, and remote keyless entry. The higher trim levels offer a rearview camera which can be helpful for maneuvering out of parking spots safely. This car is powered by a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that is rated at 250 horsepower and gets as much as 25 mpg. In addition to its standard features, space, and relatively good gas mileage, the Honda Pilot has received high marks for its safety. The SUV, which comes with side curtain air bags for all three rows, received a frontal crash rating of four out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. J.D. Power gave the 2012 Honda Pilot high marks for its overall quality and performance and design. Due to its size this may not be an ideal option for new parents, but could be a wise investment if the space is going to be needed in the future.