Searching for best cars for babies or the best cars for baby seats is easier than ever. Automakers have really stepped up their game in recent years, adding a slew of safety features that moms rank high on their list for protecting babies and the entire family. The Best Cars for Babies don’t have to be just minivans anymore, either.

How to choose? Look for top safety scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Read comments from automotive experts and what the editors at Mother Proof have to say on the subject. We did, and that’s how we selected these three Best Cars for Babies (and baby seats).

  • Buick EnclaveIn the crossover/SUV category, Mother Proof singles out the 2009 Buick Enclave as one of its Family Cars of the Year, commenting that Enclave’s “luxurious environment, flexible seating and buick_enclave_2009quiet interior…its thoughtful details, like seat belt tethers for booster seats and tether anchors in the third row make us swoon.” Enclave is a 2009 IIHS Top Safety Pick and 2008 and 2009 models receive excellent NHTSA crash test ratings. Edmunds says Enclave is “a great pick for shoppers looking for an upscale large crossover SUV…it’s also the best Buick in memory.”
  • Volvo XC70The 2008 and 2009 Volvo XC70 garner spots in Mother Proof’s Family Cars of the Year. Editors love the optional built-in two-stage booster seats volvo_xc70_2009“that make life for moms and kids immeasurably easier” and “a slew of high-tech safety features that are famously Volvo.” Mother Proof writes, “safety is a primary concern for many parents, but it’s not enough to have the right child-safety seat or have it positioned in the best spot in your car…what you really need is to have the right car – the 2009 Volvo XC70.” Edmunds comments that “XC70 is one of a very few vehicles to offer integrated height-adjustable child booster seats.”
  • Ford Flex The midsize Ford Flex SUV, introduced in 2009, gets a “Momorable Mention” from Mother Proof in their 2009 Family Cars of the Year. Consumer Guide named Flex as a Recommended Pick. U.S. News and World Report lauds Flex as “a great alternative for familiesford_flex_2009 who want minivan features but not minivan styling,” although there’s “not as much interior space as a minivan.” The 2009 Ford Flex is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick. NHTSA crash test scores are similarly excellent.

Still want more options? Other considerations for Best Cars for Babies (or to hold baby seats) include: Chrysler Pacifica and Town & Country, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Ford 500 Limited, Subaru Outback, and Toyota Sequoia.

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