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Once you become a parent, one of your top priorities is taking care of your children and making sure your family can get wherever you need to go as safely as possible. You want a car that will be used for years to come, and actually be a part of  the memories you make as a family unit. There are many things to take into consideration when buying a family vehicle, like space, fuel consumption, price and also modern conveniences. There are so many cars to choose from, so to help you narrow down your options- we’ve compiled a list of the top rated family vehicles of 2014.

1. Mazda3 2014

Mazda3 2014

With a sleek design and upscale interior, the Mazda3 feels like a more expensive family car- without the hefty price tag.  Test drivers find it to be really spacious, citing that there is even enough leg room for adults in the back seat. The seats feel very plush and supportive, making this the ideal car for those trips to and from soccer practices and school. However, some feel that the trunk space leaves a little to be desired. The Mazda 3 comes with a whole host of  modern gadgets for your tech savvy family members to enjoy, including USB and auxiliary inputs and push-button start. Optional features also include Bluetooth phone and audio streaming, a CD player, a head-up display, a rearview camera, keyless entry, a 7-inch touch screen, navigation, dual-zone automatic climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, satellite radio and a moonroof.

2. Chevrolet Impala 2014

Chevrolet Impala 2014

Reviewers agree that the 2014 represents the best large cars have to offer in terms of styling, safety and space for price. It truly is one of the most affordable and fuel efficient large car options out there. The 2014 re-design boasts stylish lines and an interior that is optimized for maximum space and practicality.  The Impala shines with comfortable front seats, as well as plenty of back-seat passenger space and one of the largest trunks in the class, making it perfect for big families who often go on roadtrips. There’ll be plenty of space for your luggage in this one. Should you choose to instal the optional infotainment system, you’ll find it to be user friendly and very responsive. Available safety features include a backup camera, rear parking sensors, forward collision alert and blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems.

3. Subaru Outback 2014

Subaru Outback 2014

The Subaru Outback is the smart choice for the family in the market for an SUV. It’s  a comfortable ride, has spacious interior and standard all-wheel drive for off-road adventuring. Available features include a power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control and a nine-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. In terms of safety features, there is the optional Subaru’s EyeSight system, which uses two cameras located near the rearview mirror on the windshield to “see” obstacles and potential dangers. EyeSight includes adaptive cruise control, low-speed pre-collision braking and lane departure warning.

4. Ford Fusion Hybrid 2014

Ford Fusion Hybrid 2014

There once was a time when a family friendly hybrid car was seeming hard to come by. The Ford Fusion Hybrid is a perfect example of how far eco-friendly vehicles have come and is the best choice for families who want to leave the world a better place for their kids. It’s remarkably spacious for a mid size vehicle, and reviewers praise the quiet engine and exceptional fuel economy. Seats are comfortable, and the interior is made with high quality materials. The standard model is packed with loads of safety features, including  a post-crash alert system, which automatically flashes the lights and sounds the horn in the event of an accident. The Fusion Hybrid is also available with inflatable rear seatbelts, which is a unique safety feature for this vehicle class.

5. Cadillac ATS 2014

Cadillac ATS 2014

The Cadillac ATS is a much more upscale purchase, but it boasts a powerful engine and well designed, luxury interior with comfortable seating and ample leg-room. Critics say that its engine makes handling feel sporty and easy, rivalling some of the best-made German sports sedans in its class. It’s a pleasure to drive, and the standard model comes with a seven speaker Bose stereo system- making it perfect for a great road trip playlist. There are a host of optional safety and entertainment features available, including adaptive cruise control, forward collision alert and a touch screen infotainment system.

By Matt Stewart