Saturday, January 21, 2012

Wheels to keep both parents and kids humming

Parenting magazine's Shawn Bean shows TODAY's Ann Curry three cars that are smart buys if you're looking for a family vehicle, equipped with sliding second-row seats, extra storage space and multimedia centers.

Chauffeuring kids around amid all the other responsibilities that parents face can be exhausting duty. To ease nerves and boost sales, automakers are offering vehicle-shopping parents an array of conveniences. Sifting through the latest models, Parenting magazine has come up with seven to suit just about everyone's taste — even those underage back-seat drivers.

Two of the seven featured in the magazine are:

Wheels to keep both parents and kids hummingCourtesy of GM Company

The Chevrolet Traverse can easily carry half your kid's soccer team.

Chevrolet Traverse
By the numbers: Three rows, up to eight seats, 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway

Carpool 2.0: Sliding second-row seats that children as young as 7 can operate. Play tunes on your smartphone through the sound system using wireless Bluetooth.

Mommy, I can do it: The seat belts are easy for kids to snap themselves into.

No sticky seats: The cup holders can accommodate juice boxes and sippy cups.

Price: From $29,510;

2012_Toyota_Prius Courtesy of Toyota Motor Corp.

The Prius V has plenty of room in the back — just don't forget the kids.

Toyota Prius V
By the numbers: Five seats, 67 cubic feet of storage with the rear seatbacks down (that's approximately 98 paper grocery bags), 44 mpg city/40 mpg highway

Appy family: The dashboard doubles as a tablet. Toyota's Entune multimedia system lets you use the in-dash touchscreen to tune in to The Muppets station on Pandora, search Bing for the nearest Pinkberry, or get live traffic reports.


Price: From $26,400;

Of course, now you just have to find that middle ground between the wheels you want and the one the kids want.

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