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US News announces best family cars for 2012

File photo of the 2012 Ford Edge. (Ford.com)

February 1, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Best Cars for Families Awards were announced Wednesday. What the winners all have in common is safety and reliability.

Eight brands won awards across 18 categories, with Honda and Ford leading the way.

"They're right at the top of almost every segment in the car industry right now with fuel economy, and of course Ford has always been a leader in safety," said Jerry Key, general manager of Tuttle-Click Ford in San Juan Capistrano.

The Ford Fusion, winner of the affordable midsize car award, was lauded for its MyKey feature, which may be a handy tool for parents of teenage drivers. It limits the speed at which the car can be driven and the volume on the stereo.

The publication also liked the Fusion because it's a top safety pick of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

The Ford Taurus was named best full-size car for families, while the Ford Edge took midsize SUV.

There is another hybrid on the list besides the Fusion. It's the Toyota Highlander hybrid.

Honda's CR-V, winner of the affordable compact SUV award, has plenty of cargo space and a voice-activated navigation system.

The Honda Odyssey won for best minivan.It has automatic doors on both sides and a great entertainment system.

The Honda Fit took two best for family awards for subcompact and hatchback.

All in all, safety features, gas mileage and specialty items were the main criteria for the ratings.

The publication's list is considered one of the best sources for car rankings and reviews.

See photos of vehicles recognized on U.S. News & World Report's 2012 Best Cars for Families Awards