Should your family car flatter your ego? Sure! Millions of people each year make the wrong choice for a family car. Why? It is often because the choice is based purely on marketing and emotion aimed directly at the car buying public's ego. Using logical criteria will guarantee that you'll be happy with your choice much longer, and you can get your ego flattered a bit in the bargain to boot.

Your activities and the activities of your family play an important role in your choice of transportation. Consider including your family in the process of choosing the best family car. As the decision making process comes to a close, you will have explored many facts about your possible family car choice. This report discusses specific vehicle choices; however, you should consider making a list of the automotive criteria which means the most to you, so you can easily narrow the field of choices.

You will at want to consider the following factors at the minimum:

•          Safety

•          Fuel economy

•          Maintenance cost

•          Initial cost

•          Drivability

•          Depreciation

Six steps to consider while making a family car choice:

1.  Ask yourself how important safety is to you.

To identify the crash safety rating of nearly any vehicle, you can Google the make, model, and add "crash safety rating." It is worth the time to know the safety rating of the vehicle you choose before you buy.

2.  Fuel economy matters.

Gas will not be getting cheaper over time. VW makes clean diesel cars which get over 40 mpg. The Toyota Prius is slightly better in over-all economy, but the VW is actually fun to drive. The Chevrolet Tahoe hybrid gets 32 mpg on the highway. It is remarkable for a large SUV. You can find the mileage rating for any vehicle by asking Google.

3.  Maintenance expenses vary.

For example, VW and Audi (the parent company of VW) have had issues with some electrical systems such as window and lock functions. Toyota on the other hand has an excellent reputation for being very reliable in nearly all respects. Maintenance cost may also vary from vehicle make to vehicle make. For example: changing the water pump on a Mercedes or BMW will be more expensive than changing the water pump on a Chevrolet or a Kia.  Once again, asking Google will locate specific data for any make and model regarding maintenance cost.

4.  Initial Cost depends on your budget.

The initial cost of a VW diesel Jetta sedan may be under $25,000 "out the door." The cost of an almost identical Audi diesel sedan could be $35,000 or more. If the prestige of the Audi name tag is worth it to you, an extra $10,000 may not be a big deal. On the other hand, if you are on an extreme budget, a Chevrolet Aveo might run $15,000 after all costs, and it will get 35 mpg.

5.  Drivability can be subjective.

You may just love the way the Prius accelerates and "feels." That's great, because you'll be the one spending hours behind the wheel.  Still, it doesn't hurt to get expert opinions by using Google to find the information.

6.  Depreciation can cost you later.

It doesn't matter if you buy a new or used car, it will depreciate. Some vehicles will depreciate faster than others. For example: the Honda Accord hybrid holds value very well, while the Chrysler Sebring depreciates like crazy.

Consider your needs first and your emotions second.

It is easy to get "swept off your feet" by a pretty face, and a fancy paint job. However, let's face it: you should like the looks of your family car.  In the end just be careful to not let looks be your primary criteria for your choice. Ask a lot of questions using Google for specific answers. Have fun with your search. Use the list of cars below to get a start with your search because all the vehicles listed have been on "top choice" lists recently for the family car category. By using your head and your heart, you'll find the best family car - one which combines great looks with solid performance, efficiency and durability.

Honda Accord, Subaru Legacy, Volkswagen Jetta diesel, Honda Fit, Mazda 5, Kia Soul, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Toyota Prius Honda Insight, Ford Fusion, Ford Flex, Honda Odyssey, Chevrolet Traverse.