Small car recommendations please!


Without going into the backstory - what would you all recommend for a safe, fuel-efficient car that can handle 3 kids without too much hassle? Ideal price point of $5000 or less.


Well-known member
Honda Accord, Toyota Camry, Hyundai Sonata.

Depending on Kids sizes and seat needs, you might be able to get away with a Honda Civic or Hyundai Elantra.


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Depends if all three kids are in harnessed carseats, of course. If you have a booster rider or older kids, then a compact car may be just fine.

If you can find something from this list in your price range, you've covered the safety criteria pretty well-


Thank you! We have 2 of our kids still harnessed, but the 4.5 year old is big and has done fine occasionally in a booster for neighborhood trips. So this car will typically have at most one harnessed kid.

I found the IIHS teen car list last night, but I like yours better! I am feeling pretty good about the 2011 Kia Optima I found on Craigslist this morning...


CPSDarren - Admin
Staff member
Yeah the IIHS and Consumer Reports lists were larger and seemed to compromise on some important crash test results, but everyone has their own opinion of course;-) Mine was definitely a shorter list that filtered out a lot of the more expensive choices as well as those that didn't meet my stricter criteria.


We ended up with a super cheap 2006 Subaru Legacy. Older than what I was looking for, but also a LOT cheaper and they are not often cheap around here. And back in 2006 it was a top safety pick! :D (If we get 5 years out of it, which we should, then it's like getting 60 years out of a new Odyssey... If you can't tell I am a little fixated on the price!)

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