A fully loaded 2013 Mazda CX-5 Grand Touring costs less than $30,000. A nicely equipped version can be as little as $21,000. The CX-5 sips fuel as well; so far, our average price for a tank of gas is about $33. This makes it an ideal car for small families, right? Maybe, but maybe not.

If you have kids and you're considering small SUVs like the Mazda CX-5, Toyota RAV4 or Honda CR-V, you might want to take the whole family on a test drive before you sign on the dotted line. I know it's not popular or sexy to drive a minivan, but if you have kids that talk, fight, argue, sing or like to make noise of any kind, the back seat of a vehicle like the CX-5 is awfully close to the front seat. Speaking from experience, I can honestly say that the extra foot of space between the front and rear seats can mean an extra bit of sanity during a long trip.

Also, the option of a third-row seat is something the 2013 Mazda CX-5 does not offer. In fact, the 2012 Toyota RAV4 does have that option, but the new 2013 model does not. The Honda CR-V doesn't have one either.

If you have a baby or a toddler, you probably want the second-row seat to be within easy reach. Before you decide on a small crossover SUV, consider the ages of your kids and how much space everyone needs. That cute little baby is only going to get bigger and louder.

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Brian Moody heads up the AutoTrader.com editorial team. An automotive writer and presenter for more than 12 years, he's contributed to such media outlets as CNBC, Edmunds.com, Fox Business, Speed TV and The Today Show.

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