USED CARS: Which Family Sedan is Right for You?

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SSLet’s take a look at four distinctly different full-size family sedan models and determine which one best suits your needs. We will steer away from luxury models, so the European models are out as are the Cadillac, Lexus, and Lincoln sedans and the Chevy SS is staying in the garage, as well. The four family sedan models that we will cover today will be the Chevrolet Impala, Dodge Charger, Ford Taurus, and the Toyota Avalon. They are all full-size sedans that are available as low-mileage, late-model family cars that will haul you, the wife, and the crumb-snatchers and still have space for all of your belongings in the trunk. Try used car websites like to locate the perfect family sedan for you and your mob. offers millions of used car deals from motivated sellers all over the nation. Check it out today. It is free and you are never under any obligation to buy — just browse literally millions of quality used vehicles. This article will focus on used  family sedans that range from 2010 to 2014 model years.


Chevrolet Impala

ImpalaDespite the fact that Chevy has been much maligned in the media over the last few months, the full-size, front-wheel drive Chevrolet Impala has evolved into a reliable and popular family car. The Impala is available in three easily discernable trim levels that include the LS, LT, and the LTZ, with each trim level further divided into sub-levels called the 1LT, 2LT, 1LZ, and 2LZ. The 1LT and 1LZ sub levels are both equipped with the four-cylinder engine while the 2LT and 2LZ have the V-6 engine. These cars range in price from about $15k, for a 2010 model that is fully loaded, to approximately $20k for a used 2014 model.


The entry level LS (which is available with the four-cylinder only) offers a six-speaker audio system with a CD player and Bluetooth communication connectivity, 18-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, a power adjustable driver’s seat, tilting and telescoping steering column, full power accessories, air conditioning, cruise control, keyless entry, a trip computer and a 4.2-inch dash mounted LCD touchscreen as standard equipment. Obviously, the higher that you move up in trim level the higher the price will rise and you can get virtually any option imaginable with the top-tier LTZ trim. There are also stand-alone option packages that offer goodies like 20-inch wheels and a moon roof.


The base engine for the Impala is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that manages 195-horsepower and 187-pounf-feet-of-torque. The V6 engine is a 3.6-liter that generates 305-horsepower and 264-pound-feet-of-torque. Both are backed by a six-speed automatic transmission.


Dodge Charger

ChargerLike the Chevy Impala, the Dodge Charger has become a trusted friend of law enforcement agencies all over the U.S. If you are looking for a reliable sedan to protect and serve your family, then look no further than the rear-wheel drive, full-size Dodge Charger (also available with optional all-wheel drive with certain trim level packages). lists over 16,000 used Dodge Chargers in various models and conditions for your perusal. It is offered in some very diverse trim levels, including SE, SXT, R/T, SRT8, and SRT8 Super Bee. The 2010 Dodge Charger can be purchased for around $12k and the 2014 model, outfitted with SRT8 trim can go for upwards of $30k.


The entry-level SE trim level comes standard with a V-6 engine and five-speed automatic transmission, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry, cruise control, dual-zone climate control, power adjustable driver’s seat, tilting and telescoping steering column, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a 4.3-inch LCD touchscreen, and a six-speaker audio system with a CD player. The SXT trim keeps the V6 and adds an eight-speed automatic transmission, automatic climate control, heated mirrors, fog lamps, remote ignition, a leather wrapped steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, an upgraded 8.4-inch LCD touchscreen interface, and eight-way power adjustable driver’s seat. Trim levels increase dramatically in function and price over the entire range, topping out with the high-powered SRT8.


Entry level SE and SXT Chargers get the 3.6-liter V6 that produces 292-horsepower and 260-pound-feet-of-torque. The R/T trim level replaces the V6 with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine that makes 370-horsepower and 395-pound-feet-of-torque and the SRT8 equipped cars utilize a 6.4-liter Hemi V8 that delivers an astounding 470-hrsepower and 470-pound-feet-of-torque.


Ford Taurus

TaurusThe Ford Taurus has the longest continuous tenure of service of any family sedan on our list. It is a front-wheel drive, full-size family sedan that is not only readily available in the late-model used car market, but is also likely to become like a trusted member of the family. It is offered in four trim levels: the SE, SEL, Limited, and SHO. Prices for the Taurus sedan vary from the 2010 model that can average approximately $15k to a well heeled 2014 SHO that could sell for upwards of $30k.


He base model Taurus SE was sold with a tilting and telescoping steering column, 17-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, cruise control, a six-way power adjustable driver’s seat, automatic headlights, LED taillights, blind spot monitoring sideview mirrors, a 60/40 folding rear seat, and six-speaker audio system with a CD player and auxiliary audio jack as standard equipment. Jumping all of the way to the SHO trim level will net you all-wheel drive, leather upholstery with faux suede inserts, sport-tuned suspension, a more powerful V6 engine, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, and Xenon headlights among other things.


The entry level Taurus sedan offers a 3.5-liter V-6 engine that manufactures 288-horsepower and 254-pound-feet-of-torque mated with a six-speed automatic transmission. A turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is also offered as an option on the late, late-model Taurus. It makes 240-horsepower and 270-pound-feet-of-torque. Finally, the top-tier SHO version gets a bodacious 2.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that cranks out 365-hprsepower and 350-pound-feet-of-torque.


Toyota Avalon

AvalonThe Avalon is the last of our full-size family sedans. It offers a spacious interior with tons of curb appeal and smooth acceleration. It is however a little pricier than any of our other entries, with a 2010 base model going for around $20k and a well equipped 2014 Limited exceeding the $35k range. It can be found in four trim levels: the XLE, XLE Premium, XLE Touring, and the Limited.


The base XLE lists dual zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights, 17-inch alloy wheels, tilting and telescoping steering column, power adjustable front seats, cruise control, full power accessories, keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera, a 6.1-inch LCD touchscreen, and an eight speaker audio system with Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary audio jack, and a USB/iPod interface as standard equipment. The XLE Premium level adds an upgraded keyless ignition/entry system, a sunroof, a remote garage door opener, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

Making the jump to the Touring trim level yields steering wheel mounted paddle shifters, a nine-speaker audio system, a navigation system, fog lamps, and 18-inch wheels. The Limited package adds rain sensing windshield wipers, ventilated front seats, rear cross traffic alert, tri-zone automatic climate control, Xenon headlights, auto-dimming sideview mirrors, blind-spot monitoring with alert lamps integrated into the sideview mirror, leather seating surfaces, a power rear sunshade, a 7-inch LCD touchscreen, a navigation system, and a premium JBL audio system with 11-speakers.


Although the Toyota Avalon carries a hefty price tag, it offers only a single engine choice. It is a 3.5-liter V6 that produces 268-horsepower and 248-pound-feet-of-torque paired with a six-speed automatic transmission.

S.M. Darby

S.M. Darby

I am a freelance author with over 25 years of experience as a professional, ASE certified automotive technician and shop owner, muscle car enthusiast, avid street racer, and classic car restoration specialist.