Eight brands won across 18 categories in U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Best Cars for Families Awards announced Feb. 1.
Ford and Honda led the pack, with each winning four awards, followed by Acura, Buick, Subaru and Toyota with two wins each. BMW and Cadillac rounded out the list with one win each.
The winners include cars, SUVs and minivans. Among the highlights:
- Best affordable compact SUV: Honda CR-V. Recognized for its strong reliability ratings, comfortable passenger cabin, versatile cargo space and voice-control navigation system.
- Best affordable 3-row mid-size SUV: Buick Enclave. Won for its unusually roomy third row and safety features, including rear-view cameras, voice controls and OnStar.
- Best full-size car: Ford Taurus. Won favor for its large interior, strong crash test ratings and Ford's MyKey system, which lets parents set speed limits for novice drivers.
- Best compact car: Subaru Impreza. Features spacious seating and cargo area and includes standard all-wheel drive and good performance in all types of weather.
- Best minivan: Honda Odyssey. Has top crash test scores, flexible seating and cargo arrangements, pop-up trash bag holder and many technology options, including rear-seat entertainment with a 16.2-inch screen.
Some of the best family cars are also winners of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's "Top Safety Pick" award, which recognizes vehicles that achieve good crash test ratings.
Car insurance rates are based in part on the claims record and cost of repairing and replacing vehicles. Insurance experts recommend getting insurance quotes for various models before deciding which car to buy.