CHICAGO — MotherProof.com, an auto site geared toward women and moms, released its 2010 top cars for families on Thursday, and this year, the site added a "Mother of All Cars" award to honor the top vehicle from the nine segments.
Receiving this inaugural award was the 2010 Toyota Venza.
"The 2010 Toyota Venza is our Mother of all Cars because it embodies everything a family car should be," said Kristin Varela, chief mom at MotherProof.com. "The Venza helped me become Super Mom, with tons of storage and room for friends, but it doesn't scream mommy-mobile."
The awards, which began in 2006, showcase what MotherProof.com considers to be some of the top vehicles for families in the following segments: minivan, three-row SUV or crossover, two-row SUV or crossover, wagon, sedan, fun, overall value, hybrid and best latch connectors.
"There are so many automotive options available to today's mom," Varela noted. "Our awards are unique in that evaluations are based on our own experiences with test vehicles — taking our kids to school, loading up groceries for the week, commuting, even heading out for date night.
"We put each car to the test the way real families use them in their daily lives," she continued. "Our award categories reflect the wide range of families."
MotherProof.com chooses the winners by looking at criteria that the site's "mom-reviewers" find to be most crucial. These include having an easy entrance and exit for all passengers, LATCH connector usability, and easy seat-belt usage, among other family-friendly features.
The following are this year's segment winners, with editorial commentary from MotherProof.com included:
—Minivan: 2010 Mercedes-Benz R350 Bluetec
"OK, it's not officially a minivan, but the R350 diesel crossover is a luxurious, clean-burning family-mobile that will turn heads," officials shared. "Did we mention its four sets of latch connectors as well as its massive dual sunroofs? Get with it, minivans; this is your wake-up call. The world is going green, and you're getting left in the dust."
—SUV/Crossover (three rows): 2010 Buick Enclave
"Sassy-looking hood vents give the Enclave a touch of speedster sex appeal. The 19-inch chromed aluminum wheels on our test model added some serious bling; gotta love the shine!" they noted. "In the second row, captain's chairs kept the kids from knocking each other around and provided enough room to easily access the third row. Lemme hear a hallelujah!"
—SUV/Crossover (two rows): 2010 Volvo XC60
"Volvo is known for its automotive safety innovations, and that continues with the XC60," the site noted. "Volvo's City Safety accident avoidance system is standard in the XC60; it's nothing short of having a guardian angel fly above your family car at all times. Our reviewer called it ‘a mom's best friend in vehicle form.'"
—Wagon/Hatch: 2010 Toyota Venza
"With room for five and a huge cargo area, the Toyota Venza is flexible enough to handle your life. Our absolute favorite thing about the Venza is when we got the kids out of the car we didn't feel like our name was still Mommy," shared officials.
"We fell in love with the Venza," they added. "When it was time to let it go, there wasn't a dry eye in the driveway."
—Sedan: 2010 Hyundai Genesis Coupe
"The Genesis coupe certainly isn't built as a typical mom-mobile, but there are plenty of atypical moms in the world looking for their automotive match; this might fit the bill. It's sporty and sexy yet has enough seating and cargo capacity for your brood when necessary," the site stated.
"The Genesis coupe resembles other uber-expensive, flashy sports cars out there, but without the guilt of dipping into your kid's college fund for a sports car," MotherProof.com added. "Keep your 529. Buy a Genesis coupe."
—Best Overall Value: 2010 Kia Soul
"This funky Soul-ful box on wheels by Kia offers fun, function and frugality. Gen Y-ers demand safe, affordable transportation with a heavy emphasis on technology, design and personalization. With a slew of standard features and a low base price, you won't have to sell your soul for a Soul," reviewers stated.
—Best LATCH Connectors: 2010 Audi Q5
"Audi has some of the best LATCH connectors we've ever tested. They're easy to find and have plastic covers that pop right off of them," they pointed out. "No digging, no crowbar and no broken fingernails. What more could we ask for?"
—Best Hybrid for Families: 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid
"The Fusion Hybrid lives up to the saying of the "whole is more than the sum of its parts." It gives us the features we like the most and wraps them up in a sharp-looking, green whole. The quiet cabin and engine are phenomenal," officials commented. "It's a true pleasure to drive this car because silence is something we rarely get at home."