15 Best Family Cars of 2015

With the Soul, Kia has done something brilliant: it has made the practical family car cool. Hatchbacks aren't the typical model of choice when people are shopping for a new car, yet the Soul has bucked that trend and is hugely popular. That one model makes up nearly 35 percent of Kia's total sales. It's easy to see why. It's loaded with value, efficiency and versatility, making the Soul a great option for younger families. It also happens to be fun to drive and fuel-efficient, with fuel economy as good as 31 mpg on the highway with the larger of two available 4-cylinder engines.

Many families may want a minivan or an SUV, but simply can't afford one. Fortunately, the Soul offers much of that same function in a smaller, more affordable package. Despite the Soul's diminutive size, it can hold a surprising amount of gear. Its cargo volume can be as much as 61 cubic feet with the rear seats down, making Dad's run to a warehouse store for diapers that much easier.

Functional and Feature-Rich

The Soul's value also comes from its base price, which is less than $16,000.  At that price point, you wouldn't necessarily expect lux features to be available, but things like satellite radio, Uvo connectivity, navigation, heated steering wheel, panoramic sunroof, and heated and ventilated seats make the cabin feel upscale and welcoming. The safety equipment is also top-notch; six airbags, tire-pressure monitoring and hill-start assist are all standard, as is the 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Young families just starting out need a versatile, affordable car that can do it all. There aren't many compact cars that offer the same level of versatility as Kia's hatch. The Soul can take care of business for a family -- and it looks good doing it.

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