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BMW and Mercedes-Benz are easily two of the top luxury car brands. That they’re both German automakers only adds a little extra to their competition. And this time, Benz beat Beemer with more sedans in Good Housekeeping‘s annual roundup of the best family cars. But it’s not all bad news for BMW.

How did Good Housekeeping determine which cars are best for families?

Good Housekeeping isn’t exactly known for being an authority on vehicles, but the long-standing magazine regularly branches out into many areas that pertain to running a household. Choosing a reliable car for your family is definitely near the top of that list because having reliable transportation affects many areas of your life. And to bolster its car cred for the list, it partnered with respected automotive publication Car and Driver.

That said, Good Housekeeping took a slightly different approach to rating each vehicle. Though factors like horsepower, velocity, and driving ability came into play, test drivers also considered day-to-day aspects, such as phone pairing, car seat installation, noise levels, and fuel economy.

Other factors Good Housekeeping took into consideration included the car’s value, safety, and Car and Driver’s vehicle rankings. All of this helped GoH recommend the 18 best new family cars of 2021.

The 2021 Mercedes-Benz CLA snagged this award

Though sedans are losing their popularity to SUVs, enough consumer demand remains for automakers to continue producing them. The Mercedes-Benz CLA Class is one of them, and it took home the award for Best Luxury Subcompact Sedan. This meant it beat out the BMW 3-Series.

Good Housekeeping likes that many of the premium features BMW charges extra for come standard in the Mercedes-Benz CLA. Features such as a panoramic glass roof, 18-inch wheels with all-season tires, and extra tech make the CLA’s $37,850 base price attractive.

But GH’s testers didn’t like the CLA’s rear seats, which can feel a bit cramped. However, given that it’s a subcompact sedan, they expected that and forgave it.

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is another winner for the brand


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The 2021 Mercedes-Benz A-Class snagged another award for the German automaker. This time it was for Best Luxury Compact Sedan.

The A-Class remedies the CLA’s lack of legroom by offering more space. With a base price of $35,650, it’s even cheaper than the CLA, which adds even more reason to recommend it.

Good Housekeeping likes the quick acceleration and sporty drive. The exceptional good looks on the exterior also help give it a boost.

On the other hand, GH didn’t appreciate the MBUX dual-screen infotainment system and digital gauge, which requires some time to get used to. But it wasn’t a dealbreaker because once you learn to use it, it’s no longer an issue.

Another factor that lowered the A-Class’s score was the stiff ride. Plus, the noise level was also a little high for a luxury vehicle that’s supposed to come equipped with noise dampeners. Even so, the A-Class still beat the competition to take home the award.

However, it’s unfair to say Mercedes-Benz’s sedans trounced BMW’s sedans without mentioning that the latter won two awards as well. BMW took home the Best Luxury Midsize Sedan award with the 3-Series and Best Luxury Full-Size SUV with the X7. But there’s always next year.

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