Raising children is tough – and it’s many times tougher if you’re a single parent.  You’ve got to balance a busy and complicated adult life with the health and happiness of your children.

Everything from getting your kid to school to finding time to run errands is harder when you don’t have a built-in support network. Fortunately, you’re not alone.  According to recent data from the US Census Bureau, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents out there, raising over 26% of all children under the age of 21.

These hard-working Moms and Dads know what vehicles work best for life as a single parent.  We partnered with Honk to find single parents who recently bought a new vehicle and then drew on their wisdom to help explain why these cars and trucks are well suited for family life. As a car-shopping website that’s serious about the people behind the wheel, Honk was a great resource to put together the Top 10 Best Cars for Single Parents:

1. Kia Sorento

The number one vehicle on our list is also the only one with 3 rows of seating, making it a great choice if you have two or more kids and need some extra space.  The Sorento is stylish and safe and with a starting price just shy of $20k, you’d never believe that this Kia can also be had with an optional panoramic sunroof and DVD entertainment system.  The only thing you’ll have to worry about is that you don’t spoil the kids. (Starting at: $19,995)

2. Mazda CX-7

Can a family car be fun?  Mazda says yes and proves it with the light-on-its-feet CX-7.  Owners love the sleek styling and luxurious interior, calling this crossover “surprisingly sporty and refined.”  If you need some extra oomph to get you to the ballet recital on time, the CX-7’s optional turbo engine can turn this family hauler into a serious speed machine. (Starting at: $21,550)

3. Honda Civic

It’s hard to go wrong with a Civic.  This best-selling Honda is known for rock-solid reliability and a design that is small on the outside but spacious on the inside.  The Civic was also awarded a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, so you can rest assured knowing that your child is safe inside. (Starting at: $15,655)

4. GMC Sierra 1500

The Sierra is the priciest vehicle on the list but it’s also your best choice if you need to haul gear or tow a trailer.  GMC offers a wide range of beds, cabs, and engines in the Sierra, though owners seem to agree that the spacious Crew Cab model is the best for families. (Starting at: $20,850)

5. Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 makes a strong case that a car can be “action-packed” and “value-packed” at the same time.  The 3’s confident road manners make it feel more like a junior sports sedan from Germany than a commuter car from Japan.  The hatchback is a smart choice if you need extra cargo space for strollers or soccer gear. (Starting at: $15,295)

6. Toyota Yaris

With highway fuel economy higher than that of some hybrids, the Yaris is a smart move if you’re looking to save money or the environment.  In Europe, the Yaris won many awards when it was first launched, thanks to its cheeky styling and fun handling. (Starting at: $12,905)

7. Jeep Liberty

If you’re a person who loves to get outdoors, this is the best vehicle on the list for you.  The Liberty is genuinely capable off-road and has over 60 years of mud-slinging Jeep heritage behind it.  There’s an optional Sky Slider canvas roof that can peel back to give you a convertible feel and the UConnect media system can organize your music and display photos of your kids. (Starting at: $23,255)

8. Kia Forte

Kia’s brand new Forte – and its predecessor, the Spectra – earn Kia another spot on this Top 10 list.  The Forte’s handsome looks come from celebrated car designer, Peter Schreyer, who is best known for his work on the stunning Audi TT and A3.  Fortunately, beauty is more than skin deep on this new Kia thanks to a standard Bluetooth hands-free phone system and best-in-class 36 MPG highway rating.  It’s a smart buy, too, with a low starting price and 10-year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. (Starting at: $13,695)

9. Toyota Corolla

After a long day, it helps to have some space to stretch out.  With an enormous 92 cubic feet of interior space, the Corolla lets you do exactly that.  Owners love that this Toyota is a full package, bragging, “You cannot find a more sensible car in terms of price, style, value, design, fitness to any age, economy to operate, safety and fun.”  And if that’s not enough to convince you, the Corolla was also awarded a Top Safety Pick award by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. (Starting at: $15,450)

10. Nissan Cube

Just because you’re a parent doesn’t mean you have to be boring.  The Cube stands out with a funky asymmetrical design that’s sure to get a few admiring stares when you pull up at a traffic light.  And thanks to six standard air bags and rear seats that can slide to make room for people or cargo, it’s also a smart runabout for families.  The tight exterior dimensions can be deceiving, as one owner described his Cube, “It's like the size of a house inside but looks like a compact on the outside.” (Starting at: $13,990)

Matt Cragin manages the community on car website Honk.com, enabling him to keep his finger on the pulse of automotive world. Always ready to chat cars, Matt can be found on Twitter and Car Blog. Looking for the perfect car? Honk puts the fun back into car shopping with the latest information and opinions from real people like you.

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