Car comparison: Fun family cars

If you’re looking for a family-friendly car that packs a punch but won’t break your budget, WTOP has you covered.

The Buick packs the desirable combination of a V6 and winter-ready all-wheel drive. Add a hidden rear hatchback into the mix, and it’s a great all-around vehicle.

The V6 provides the instant low-end grunt that four-cylinder turbos lack, and has a throaty exhaust note to boot. But the ride may be too firm for some, and the car itself is on the pricey side.

“A sedan with gusto” is how our Mike Parris described the Jetta GLI in August.

The smooth manual transmission adds to the fun factor. The black and red exterior touches lend a meanness to the otherwise sedate car.

Mazda has upped its game with the Mazda6 signature. The Mazda6 now has the power it’s been lacking, but its healthy 250 horsepower is achieved with top-shelf, 93 octane fuel. Horsepower drops to 227 with regular, 87 octane. The ride is sporty, without beating you up.

To drive home its luxury message, our car came equipped with a white leather interior (just don’t spill anything, ever).

Mike Parris contributed to this report.

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