IRVINE, Calif., May 9, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The editors at Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq:ABTL), pioneer of the automotive Internet and the company dedicated to connecting automotive consumers with dealers, recently selected their top car picks for Moms. With few minivan choices on the market today, and even fewer features and pricing options, the company's experts selected vehicles they say offer plenty of amenities, safety, and function – vehicles that aren't of the minivan variety.
"There are really only five available minivans on the market today now that Chrysler/Dodge is pulling out of the game," said Autobytel Editor-in-Chief, Michelle Naranjo. "We wanted to give Moms options, including less mainstream cars they may not have considered, but ones that might be perfect for the whole family."
Following are highlights. *All prices denoted are base MSRP.
Kia Soul, $15,495
The Kia Soul is well ahead of its "boxy" competitors – the Nissan Cube and the Scion xB – in both sales and popularity. Although it's marketed to young hipsters, a budget-conscious Mom with no more than two kids and their gear may find it ample inside, and easy to park outside. Families will find softer surfaces in the interior, more refined electronics, and nicely placed speakers on either end of the well-designed dash.
Subaru Forester, $23,045
Subaru completely rebuilt the 2014 model year Forester, and with this rebuild came improved fuel economy of 24/32 mpg city/highway, structural and chassis enhancements, and advanced safety features. Subaru engineered the interior to be family-friendly too. The rear seats are easy to access by busy Moms thanks to an expanded rear door opening and LATCH child seat anchors placed solidly in front. Back seat cup holders come down from the center at a medium-level height for kids to have that all-important access to their sippy cups.
Ford Flex, $29,015
The 2014 Ford Flex makes thinking outside the box possible…by thinking of a bigger box. The design of the Ford Flex is truly the anti-minivan, but it provides some of the desirable space and accessibility that tall SUVs just can't match. It's low to the ground and drives effortlessly, making it easy to maneuver in parking lots. Families will love the available built-in refrigerator that sits between two captain's chairs in the second row. You also get the SYNC communications system, complete with voice activation for music and phone calls, and it can even read text messages aloud as they come in.
Hyundai Santa Fe, $29,900
When you need room for seven humans and don't want to shop used, the Hyundai Santa Fe is an excellent value for the money and you're guaranteed 10 years of maintenance on the transmission (powertrain) to further seal the deal. If you look closely at the pricing against other midsize crossovers, you'll find that the Santa Fe competes by providing more standard features, including third row seating, heated front seats and a rearview camera. The Santa Fe has plenty of power to schlep the kids, their friends, and all their gear around town (Dad too).
Acura TSX Sport Wagon, $31,985
When Mom isn't willing to give up on pure driving enjoyment, perhaps the cure is a semi-reasonably priced great looking wagon – the 2014 Acura Sport Wagon. Why a wagon? Wagons combine the cargo space of an SUV with the driving enjoyment and fuel economy of a sedan and they have a certain contrarian vibe that many automotive savvy fans love. It's surprisingly quick, thus the sporty moniker, with cargo for plenty. With its low and flat load floor, getting the family dog to jump into the back is effortless. And a clever shallow bin can be found under the floor to hide the picnic lunch from Fido.
To learn more about the rest of the vehicles on the list, including the Volvo XC70 Wagon; the Acura MDX; the Land Rover Range Rover; and the Cadillac Escalade ESV, visit http://www.autobytel.com/crossovers/car-buying-guides/best-anti-minivans-for-moms-124050/.
About Autobytel Inc.
Autobytel Inc. provides high quality consumer leads and associated marketing services to automotive dealers and manufacturers throughout the United States and offers consumers robust and original online automotive content to help them make informed car-buying decisions. The company pioneered the automotive internet in 1995 with its flagship website www.autobytel.com and has since helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online.
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