Video: Names 2009 Best New Family Cars

IRVINE, Calif.

Editors Focus on Top 10 Fuel-Friendly Family Haulers, Feature Wide Variety of Vehicle Segments

IRVINE, Calif., Feb. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Kelley Blue Book, the leading provider of new- and used-car information, today announces its picks for the honor of being named one of 2009's Best New Family Vehicles. The American family has never had so many choices when it comes to safe, roomy and affordable family cars. While a sea of vehicles is ultimately a good thing, it can also make it more difficult for families to pick a winner. To help consumers determine which new cars should be on their family's consideration list, the editors of Kelley Blue Book's compiled a list of the top 10 Best New Family Vehicles, evaluating an ever-lengthening list of eligible vehicles on such factors as resale value, fuel efficiency, capability and kid-friendliness.

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This year, the editors chose to put extra emphasis fuel economy when choosing their list of the top 10 best cars for families. Gas prices have dropped sharply from their record highs, but the sluggish economy is now dictating smart spending with a focus on overall value. Comprising a wide range of vehicles that includes a compact sedan, a full-size SUV, hybrids, non-hybrids and a clean diesel,'s list of the 10 Best New Family Vehicles for 2009 features something for everyone.'s 2009 Best New Family Vehicles

                   Chevy Malibu          Honda Odyssey
                   Chevy Tahoe Hybrid    Toyota Camry Hybrid
                   Chevy Traverse        Toyota Highlander Hybrid
                   Ford Escape Hybrid    Toyota RAV4
                   Honda Civic           VW Jetta SportWagen TDI

Vehicles above listed in alphabetical order by brand

"Given the current state of the economy, parents want to get even greater value for their money while buying a new vehicle that will also accommodate their family's lifestyle and needs," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book and "Fuel-friendly family cars come in so many shapes and forms these days that, no matter the segment or powertrain, there is an efficient -- both economically and environmentally -- choice out there to suit everyone's needs." Editorial Comments on the 2009 Best New Family Vehicles

(Vehicles below listed in order of overall passenger/cargo roominess)

2009 Honda Civic

29 mpg (25 city, 36 highway)

For families that pride themselves on thinking small, the Honda Civic is a perennial all-star. Combining impressive fuel economy, unrivaled reliability and class-leading resale values, the winner of our 2009 Small Sedan Comparison is one of those special vehicles by which all its competitors are measured.

2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid

34 mpg (33 city, 34 highway)

The hybrid version of the best-selling car in the country delivers an average of 135 more miles from a 15-gallon fill-up than its gas-only counterpart. On long family road trips, you'll have even less of a chance of making it through a full tank between restroom breaks.

2009 Chevy Malibu

26 mpg (22 city, 33 highway)

As a fuel-friendly family sedan, the newest Chevy Malibu has some seriously strong credentials. Not only does it offer class-leading fuel economy topping out at an impressive 33 highway miles per gallon, it also edged out the Honda Accord to win our 2008 Family Sedan Comparison Test.

2009 VW Jetta SportWagen TDI

34 mpg (30 city, 41 highway)

Thanks to the new technology and new clean diesel fuel that make it emissions-legal in all 50 states, the Jetta TDI's cult-like following is at risk of being absorbed by the mainstream. For some, the Jetta SportWagen TDI is the gold standard of responsible family transportation.

2009 Ford Escape Hybrid

32 mpg (34 city, 31 highway)

After undergoing a major overhaul for the 2008 model year, the Ford Escape Hybrid is improved again for 2009 with a more powerful and more efficient gas-electric powertrain. Its city fuel-economy rating of 34 miles per gallon is one better, even, than that of the Toyota Camry Hybrid's.

2009 Toyota RAV4

24 mpg (22 city, 28 highway)

In addition to class-leading fuel economy, the Toyota RAV4 offers one especially family-friendly feature uncommon in the category: a third row of seats. It's a tight squeeze back there for some, but we ran into a family who shuttled seven people from Northern Utah to Southern California -- and back -- in a RAV4.

2009 Toyota Highlander Hybrid

26 mpg (27 city, 25 highway)

The three-row crossover continues to fortify its recently acquired status as the quintessential family car. This gas-electric version of Toyota's Camry-based crossover has the distinct advantage of being the most fuel-efficient three-row vehicle on the road.

2009 Chevy Tahoe Hybrid

21 mpg (21 city, 22 highway)

Car-based crossovers continue to displace traditional SUVs in suburban driveways, but for big families with big passenger/cargo/towing needs, the full-size SUV remains indispensable. The Chevy Tahoe Hybrid is as green as it gets in this arena, and still offers towing capacity of up to 6,200 pounds.

2009 Chevy Traverse

19 mpg (17 city, 24 highway)

Boasting more cargo volume than even its Chevy Tahoe stablemate, the Traverse is the biggest crossover on the road -- yet it beats the fuel economy of many smaller three-row vehicles. We like all the Traverse's siblings -- Buick Enclave, GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook -- but the Chevrolet has the lowest starting price, which makes it our family pick.

2009 Honda Odyssey

20 mpg (17 city, 25 highway)

20 mpg (17 city, 25 highway) We've always thought an Acura badge would look right at home on the sharply styled, thoroughly refined Honda Odyssey. The most premium-like minivan on the market is also the most fuel efficient, thanks in part to its (optional) ability to cruise on three of six cylinders.

Family Vehicle Research Tools Available on Kelley Blue Book's 

For more information about the 2009 Best New Family Vehicles, visit

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Since 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, has provided vehicle buyers and sellers with the new and used vehicle information they need to accomplish their goals with confidence. The company's top-rated Web site,, provides the most up-to-date pricing and values, including the New Car Blue Book® Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. The company also reports vehicle pricing and values via products and services, including software products and the famous Blue Book® Official Guide. According to the C.A. Walker Research Solutions, Inc. -- 2008 Spring Automotive Web Site Usefulness Study, is the most useful automotive information Web site among new and used vehicle shoppers, and half of online vehicle shoppers visit is a leading provider of new car prices, car reviews and news, used car blue book values, auto classifieds and car dealer locations. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than


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