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10 best values in family cars, 2014

The words “safety first” may seem clichéd, but safety is the top factor we consider when we compile our list of family-friendly vehicles.

Our picks must get high scores in our annual rankings for overall value, performance and safety, plus they must earn a Top Safety Pick from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Because six airbags, stability control and traction control are standard features on most vehicles now, we’re raising the bar on safety equipment for our winners. They also have to offer either a forward-collision warning system or a rearview camera as standard or optional equipment (see How to Buy a Safe Car for more).

Our selections range from sedans to crossovers with a nod to traditional family haulers, such as minivans and wagons. We list the entry-level trim so you have an idea of what it costs to get the model, and you can add options from there.

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