PORTLAND, Ore. (TheStreet) -- For U.S. households, spring and summer can be the most trying seasons for the family car.
It doesn't have to take the kids to school, soccer practice, rehearsals or to relatives' houses for the holidays, but the heat makes the interior feel twice as small while the road trips can get considerably longer. The comfort, fuel economy and reliability are tested every day a family's on vacation. One failure or slip-up and the family car is relegated to the mechanic while its owners drive off in a loaner or, worse, a rental.
The weather isn't as bad, but stop-and-go road conditions can take a toll not only on the harried parents in the front seats but the bored, uncomfortable brood in back. Space, storage and even something as minor as entertainment can make a major impact on just how well that flight-free family excursion will go.
Vehicle ratings services such as Kelley Blue Book know just how crucial the lazy days of summer can be for the family car, which is why it compiled a list recently of the vehicles it believes are the best available to American families today. We took a look at that list and culled its 10 best offerings. The following are the vehicles most likely to turn a chorus of "are we there yet" into a simple, more satisfying journey between points A and B:
The following 10 vehicles will get your family and its stuff to school, softball and sleepovers, but without sending car-poor parents into crushing debt: