Whatever happened to the family car? I suppose it has all but disappeared. Meanwhile, families have gone off and embraced those people-carrying sports utility monsters.
However, one country that has never forgotten about the family car is the United States. The funny thing is that in the 2000s, they tried to remind us what they were all about with some of the oddest and most forgettable motors, which now make great-value used buys.
There’s the Chrysler Sebring. A big, dumb family car, it came with a 2.0 petrol or diesel engine, or a 2.4 automatic, and probably wasn’t as well finished as the European or Japanese equivalents. But all it had to be was family friendly, and it still is.
The Sebring is another American car that is big on the outside and the inside, with masses of standard kit thanks to the one-trim-fits-all (Limited) policy.
There seems to be more of them around than most other American cars, and the prices are a bit firmer. A 2007 one starts at £2500, and £3000 gets you a clean, tidy example with a warranty. Top money is £4000, and then you get into the questionable convertibles.
Then there is the related and wonderfully odd Dodge Avenger. I love the fact that it resurrected the name ‘Avenger’, and ‘Dodge’ is pretty cool, too.
People who can drive properly reckon the Avenger isn’t great from behind the wheel or all that refined, but here’s another great big car designed for family fun. The SE is well equipped, but the SXT has even more toys to play with. There only seems to be a handful around now, and you will have to pay £3000 for an as-new 2007 example.
So what is now rental fodder from the late 2000s to the Americans is still perfectly acceptable (and not a Ford Mondeo) to us. Dare to be different, then, and get yourself one of these disappearing Yanks.