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We’re tackling the age-old question: What car should I buy? Vol 1.

The Scenario: What You Want in a Vehicle

You’re a mom with 3 kids, between the ages of 2-8 years old. But as the kids grow up, you want a vehicle that has enough room for all the extra stuff like sports gear, friends, and groceries. But you don’t want a mom car or a minivan. All under the budget of $35,000.

Let’s see what we can find.

Meet Your Ideal Mom Car

Here are our 4 vehicle picks that meet our cool mom’s specifications.

Mazda CX-5

Gray Mazda CX5 Parked
mazdausa.com

MSRP: Starting at $24,350.
Drivetrain: FWD & AWD
Fuel Efficiency: 25 city / 31 hwy

CX-5 Features We Love

The 2019 Mazda CX-5 is becoming an increasingly popular vehicle. With comfort, luxury, and a quiet ride, the CX-5 is a great choice for moms who have small children that need a good nap in between running errands. This vehicle has some great features and the price tag is one that is hard to beat. Starting at $24,350, the CX-5 offers keyless entry, in-mirror turn signals, heated mirrors, and all-weather floor mats (easy for cleaning!). For an additional price, you can add heated seats, too.

Inside the CX-5, you’ll find 59.6 cu. ft. of space with the seats folded down and roughly 30.9 cu. ft. with the seats up. There’s room for 5 passengers in the CX-5 with a few extra feet for gear and groceries when you need it.

Mazda CX-5 interiors
mazdausa.com

Every CX-5 comes with some features that moms may not need but could come in handy. A trailer hitch, roof rack, and retractable cargo cover provide your family with more power, space, and security for gear, toys, and the like.

CX-5 Safety Features

The Mazda CX-5 was selected as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS in 2019. Rear child safety locks, child seat anchors, blind spot warnings, emergency braking assistance, and pre and post-collision safety systems are all standard on every trim level. The CX-5 takes the cake for the safest vehicle on this list.

Ford Flex

Ford Flex Parked
ford.com

MSRP: Starting at $30,575.
Drivetrain: FWD & AWD Available.
Fuel Efficiency: 16 city / 23 hwy

Flex Features We Love

The Ford Flex isn’t for everyone based on its exterior looks, but it has something for everyone inside. The Flex offers 89.2 cu. ft. of space with the seats down, but a measly 20.0 cu. ft. with all three rows of seats up. Though the space with the seats up is rather small, the roomy cabin provides enough space for up to 7 passengers, which is plenty of room for a family of 5 who needs room to breathe or store a few extra bags.

The Flex also offers some amenities, on even the lowest trim levels, that make it a great family car. Multi-level seat heaters, multi-way power seat adjustments, hands-free entry, and heated mirrors, are just a few of the luxuries you’ll find.

interior images of Ford Flex
ford.com

Flex Safety Features

Standard safety features inside the Flex include child safety locks, a post-collision safety system, child seat anchors, traction control, and front, rear, and third-row airbags. Basically, it has everything you need to keep your family safe.

Kia Telluride

Parked 2020 Kia Telluride
kia.com

MSRP: Starting at $31,690.
Drivetrain: FWD & AWD Available.
Fuel Efficiency: 20 city / 26 hwy

Telluride Features We Love

The 2020 Kia Telluride is a looker. With high-end interiors and a sleek exterior, this SUV is loaded with safety features and cabin space for up to 7 passengers, or 8 passengers if you choose the S trim line. Like most three rowed SUVs the Telluride offers 87.0 cu. ft. of cargo space with the seats down and 21 cu. ft. with all the seats up.

With some trim lines, you’ll receive a towing package, heated steering wheel, front/side/rear cameras, a universal remote for your garage or security system, and leather seats. All trim levels come with multi-level heated seats up front and most trim levels have a handful of exterior options including crossbars, side steps, and a mudguard kit. Though not always essential, the Telluride was designed to fit the lifestyle of active families who love to explore.

Collage of interior photos of Kia Telluride
kia.com

Telluride Safety Features

Inside Kia’s Telluride, safety features are aplenty. Child seat anchors, blind spot and lane departure warnings, pre and post-collision systems, child door locks, and emergency braking assist are all standard from the bottom of the trim line totem pole and up. We don’t know for sure, but we believe the Telluride may be chosen as a Top Safety pick for 2020 based on these features.

Volkswagen Atlas

VW Atlas Blue Parked
vw.com

MSRP: Starting at $30,895.
Drivetrain: FWD & AWD Available.
Fuel Efficiency: 22 city / 26 hwy

Atlas Features We Love

The Atlas has been classed up with two new trim levels, but this vehicle is much more than its luxurious features. Volkswagen’s Atlas is known for its steering and handling, as well as its smooth shifting, making it an easily drivable vehicle. Though there is some road noise, reviewers everywhere have said that the ride is comfortable, and the noises don’t cause any issues with performance.

Inside, you’ll find 98.8 cu ft of cargo space with the seats down and 20.6 cu ft with all the seats up, which is the most out of any of the other mom SUVs listed above. The front seats both have heated seats and are multi-way adjustable. On some trim levels, even the rear seats have a heated option which makes for happier kids in the winter. And who doesn’t want that?

Atlas Safety Features

Volkswagen is a big fan of safety, which is where a few extra safety features come in. With Volkswagen vehicles, including the Atlas, VW Care and a Roadside Assistance Kit are available options. VW Care is a plan that helps cover the cost of parts and labor for regular maintenance, while the Roadside Assistance Kit is helpful when you have a flat tire or roadside emergency.

Collage of VW Atlas interior photos
vw.com

Beyond these optional items, Atlas drivers have access to other safety measures. Rear door child safety locks, child seat anchors, airbags for all three rows of seats, pre and post-collision safety systems, emergency braking preparation and assist, blind spot warnings, and lane departure warnings make the Atlas a prime pick for a mom who expects top-notch safety. Don’t just take our word for it, just ask the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration who gave the Atlas a 5 Star Safety Rating.

Which one would you choose? Let us know in the comments below!

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Erin Maxson

Erin loves nothing more than a good road trip. To her, getting behind the wheel is one of the biggest adventures you can take because it can lead to anywhere. Alongside her Toyota Tundra, you'll find her co-pilot pup, Rory, and a 1976 Airstream Argosy in tow. Her motto: Life is a scenic road, take your time and enjoy the ride.

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