3. 2014 Mazda CX-5
Starting price: $24,045
Again, it's not standard AWD, but a nearly $3,000 upgrade. That said, the CX-5 is way sportier than its compact-crossover competition, with plenty of practical features to justify the expense.
Let the driver play with the 155-horsepower engine and available Bluetooth hands-free phone and audio streaming, HD radio, Pandora Internet radio and navigation system. It's the ample rear seating and up to 65.4 cubic feet of cargo space that complement the all-wheel drive nicely as this car's family-friendliest features. Those, and maybe the optional blind-spot warning system or the combined 28 miles per gallon of efficiency.