No vans allowed: 3 affordable family cars you should consider.

Of course there are mainstays that everybody looks at when they need a new “family” vehicle. Most people don’t break out of the box. And I get it, I really do. If you’re willing to drive a van, you get a Dodge Caravan if you’re budget is tight, or a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna if you have a little more to spend. And if you’re not a fan of the van, you’re almost certainly going to set your sights on some sort of SUV.

Most people who ask me about what car to get say, “I really want an SUV”, and I just don’t see why. They drive worse than cars. They’re worse on gas than cars. And they usually have no additional utility over a hatchback or wagon. The only quality an SUV gives you that cars don’t is that they’re tall.

So, what would I recommend people look at if they want to break out of the box? Here are three cars that are a little bit off the beaten path that I would send people to look at in 2015.

2015 VW Golf Sportwagon

Der neue Volkswagen Golf Variant

Wagons have fallen out of favour, but I think they’re poised for a comeback.  I, for one, love the look of the 2015 Volkswagen Golf Sportwagon.  The outgoing model looked sad and saggy, but they’ve pressed some fresh creases into the design, and draped it over a lighter, stiffer platform that’s sure to provide a great driving experience. The available 2.0L turbo deisel motor will blow you away with its performance and gas mileage. And, the price may surprise you, this one can be had well under $30,000, nicely equipped.

 

2015 Mercedes B250

B-Klasse 2014 B-Class 2014

“Say whaaaa? A Mercedes? You’re kidding, right?”

No. I am not kidding. The 2015 Mercedes B250 is $31,300, nicely equipped. It’s got plenty of space inside, a premium look and feel, and (lame as it might be to admit that it matters) it’s a Mercedes-Benz. It’s 2.0L turbo motor puts out a respectable amount of power, and great amount of torque. Drive one, you just might fall in love with it.

2015 Ford C-Max

15CMaxHybrid_04_HR

The 2015 Ford C-Max is the geek of the group. It’s loaded with tech. At a hair over $30,000 it comes with a hands-free power lift gate (stellar for grocery runs), MyFord Touch infotainment system with navigation (keeps your calls and tunes hands-free), a hybrid motor (perfect for the stop and go-nature of school pick ups and drop offs), and leather seats (wipe away those spills).

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