I suggest taking a look at the Volvo V60 wagon. It's very safe, comfortable, luxurious and has very good fuel economy. For about $38k, you could get a very nice 2016 V60 with some nice extras like the Climate Package (heated front/rear seats, heated steering wheel), Keyless Drive, Blind Spot Information System and the most comfortable seats in the industry. They're currently offering a $2k Conquest Bonus if you own almost any other competing brand and they're also covering the first three payments of a new car loan. Fuel economy is rated at 25/37.
I'm not sure if you're interested in SUV/Crossover-type vehicles (or if you excluded them due to fuel economy), but I have a few to recommend anyway.
The Mazda CX-5 is rated at 25/33 and it's a great vehicle. A totally loaded CX-5 Grand Touring FWD will run you barely $30k. If it meets your needs for space/size, then it could be the ticket!
If you need something larger, the Acura MDX is an exceptional choice. Fuel economy is 20/28, but it can seat seven (folding third row) and has room to spare. It's also very safe, reliable, comfortable and (a nice bonus) very quick and fun to drive. A CPO (with 7yr/100k Powertrain coverage) 2014-2015 can be had starting around $36k. A new 2016 'base' MDX stickers for about $43,800 and can be had for about $41k.
FYI, Mazda is currently offering 0.9% financing for up to 60 months. Acura is offering 1.9% for 36 months or 2.9% for 60 months.
Also, I'm usually not a huge advocate of leasing, but Acura has some great lease offers on the MDX. You can get a 2016 MDX for $0 due at signing and $500/month for 36 months.