Answers from moms who know

Parents releases list of best cars for families

If you’re considering buying a new car, you may want to take a look at Parents Magazine’s list of the best family cars of 2011. Organized into “Sedan,” “Budget,” “Eco-Friendly,” “Crossovers,” and “Big Cars,” the list can help you find the perfect car based on gas mileage, cost, and family size.

The list, which can be found here, includes the starting MSRP, gas mileage, and a short list of family-approved special features for each vehicle. These special features might include Bluetooth capability, backup camera and/or sensors, and the number of car seats that can fit into the vehicle. All vehicles on the list are Insurance Institute of Highway Safety Top Safety Picks for 2011.

What’s interesting to note are the newest safety features being included in some cars, like the inflatable safety belts in the new Ford Explorer. These are designed to act like miniature air bags for kids who are big enough to be out of a car seat, or adults seated in the back of the SUV.