For big families, finding an affordable vehicle usually means buying a full size gas guzzler. The automotive world has come a long way and we are now able to have 6 passenger vehicles that are not only roomy, sporty, and fun to drive, but get great gas mileage.

First up, is the 2010 Mazda5.

This great family vehicle is designed with you in mind. The 2010 Mazda5 is one of the perfect 6 passenger vehicles because it offers excellent fuel economy, getting 28 mpg. It has “Zoom-Zoom” handling and a sporty exterior.

The Mazda5 comes in an array of colors and is fully equipped with extra wide sliding rear doors, perfect for carpooling. It comes with a 5-Star Crash Safety Rating and is fully equipped with front and side airbags, dynamic stability and traction control. Prices for the Mazda5 range from $18,000 to $23,500.

The 2011 Kia Sorento is another popular choice for 6 passenger vehicles. The Kia comes fully equipped with auto and fog lights. The outside mirrors have turn signals and are heated. It has a rear spoiler and a panoramic sunroof and roof rails. The Kia also comes with a tow hitch and wheel locks. The interior comes equipped with AM/FM/CD/MP3/ and SIRUS radio and its all surround sound.

You get BLUETOOTH wireless controls all on the steering wheel. Also, front and rear air conditioning which will keep the whole family cool and a feature that the kids will love, a DVD player and overhead screen equipped with headphones which is perfect for those long road trips.

Depending upon the style of Sorento you choose, gas mileage usually runs between 19-21 mpg in town and 25-27 mpg on the highway. The Kia comes equipped with safety systems to protect against injury when you can’t avoid an accident. The airbags are advanced and can deploy in certain rollover situations.

For vehicles built after March 2010, Kia Sorento was the 2010 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s (IIHS) Top Safety Pick. It was also named one of the best new cars for 2011 by US News and World Report. Prices for the new 2011 Kia Sorento range between $19,000 to $33,000.

The 2011 Toyota Sienna is one of the 6 passenger vehicles that is all new and is a third generation among Toyota. It comes with either front-wheel or all-wheel drive, a 2.7 liter, 187-hp four-cylinder or 3.5 liter 266-hp V6 engines. The Sienna can up to 7 or 8 passengers.

Each engine has a six-speed automatic transmission, manual shift, four-wheel anti-lock brakes and traction and stability control. The Sienna even comes with an anti-whiplash head-restraint and overhead airbags. The exterior features include 19 inch alloy wheels, run-flat tires, power sliding doors and dual moon roof. Inside, you’ll find push button start.

It also comes equipped with satellite radio, USB port, dual zone climate control, a navigation system and power leather seats. The Sienna gets 19 mpg city and 24 mpg hwy. The asking price for this model is $22,000 to $36,500. It has been completely redesigned for the New Year!

The great thing is that car makers are finally starting to listen to consumers when they say they are getting tired of cars that just seat 5. They are adding more seats and making the vehicles roomier and comfortable.

They have been putting these seats into their more popular models which is smarter. If you plan on buying a car, factor in several things first before going to various lots. Think about how many people will be in the car. Think about the mileage.

Do you want automatic? Make a list of questions you want to ask the salesman and features you want. Shop around for the best deal, it may take all day, but you want a good quality car for a good price. Most of all have fun buying the car!