What is a Mom car, anyway? As a mother myself, I can tell you it isn’t some dowdy econobox that causes other cars to zoom past you on the freeway while casting a derogatory look in your direction. Nope, moms want and deserve a little style and performance along with safety and plenty of room. Yes, we may be past the sports car era of our younger days, but that still leaves us plenty of choices these days – especially in the used car market.

The Best Mom Cars in this list are culled from reviews and comments from top-flight automotive editors. They each have excellent crash test scores and have snagged a number of awards. You be the judge. After all, if you’re a mom, you know what you want.

  • Audi A3The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named the midsize Audi A3 as a Top Safety Pick. Available in 3.2-liter V-6 or turbocharged 2.0T, the A3, Audi’s least expensive model, is a lot of zoom for Audi A3the money. Edmunds hails A3’s “versatile interior space, enjoyable driving dynamics, [available] sequential-shift transmission, and excellent safety for a small car,” while panning rear-seat legroom and price. U.S. News & World Report lists Audi A3 as #2 in Upscale Small Cars, with its “winning combination of performance, luxury and safety.”
  • Buick EnclaveThe 8-passenger premium full-size crossover SUV Buick Enclave, with its 288-hp 3.6-liter V-6, is a Consumer Guide Best Buy for its “tangible upgrades in luxury and style.” CG editors also comment “Its car-like driving dynamics and ample passenger and cargo versatility make it a must-see for shoppers considering a premium SUV.” Kelley Blue Book picks Enclave as one of its 10 Great Mom Cars Pairs, saying “For moms in search of some peace, quiet and panache, the Enclave [and Mercedes-Benz SL] are worthy destinations.” Enclave is also an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
  • Scion xBAnother IIHS Top Safety Pick in small cars, Scion xB, from parent automaker Toyota, is also a Consumer Reports small car Best of the Best and Most Reliable Used Cars.  Redesigned in 2008, Scion xB has a 158-hp 2.4-liter inline 4-cylinder engine, 6 standard air bags, anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control. Edmunds says xB is “affordable, stylish and roomy,” but the “unconventional styling isn’t for everyone.”

Other mom cars to consider (for cool moms, of course) include Acura MDX, Audi A6 Avant, BMW 335d, Cadillac Escalade and SRX, Nissan Versa, and Saab 9-3 SportCombi.

By Suzanne Kane

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