The safest cars to give you new driver.21 items ranked
If you have a teenager in your house you must read this. This list is compiled using The National Automotive Rating for safest vehicles.
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This is low on the list because of the price. It's a Lexus with all the quality and luxury that Lexus offers, but it's not the Lexus that grandfather drives. It is a small safe sports sedan that has the performance, looks, and comfort that young people enjoy.
This vehicle is an excellent small car with good interior space, good performance, and good quality. It comes in both a hatchback and sedan and starts at about $13,700. New models are very stylish and youth-oriented. Prices for used Mazdas are very reasonable
This car is consistently rated very high as having the best blend of all characteristics that one would want in a car. It mixes luxury features with comfort, performance, handling, and sportiness. It's one of the most reliable models on the road.
This is the most popular car among teens — and parents. This car has almost all of the qualities desired by both teens and parents: economy, style, safety, reliability, performance, low insurance rates, good size for passengers, and driving comfort. There are tons of accessories, custom appearance products, and performance options for the Honda Civic. Base price for a new Civic is about $14,500. The new re-styled model has won Motor Trend magazine's "Car of the Year" award and is a Consumer Reports Magazine Top Pick award. Honda also produces a fuel-efficient hybrid version of this vehicle, at a slightly higher cost. Used models of the Honda Civic are readily available, reliable, and hold their value very well. For a car with similar qualities, but larger with more interior room, consider the Honda Accord.
Our Insight has been averaging about 38 mpg so far, putting it between the Civic Hybrid at 37 mpg overall and our current mileage champ, the outgoing Prius, at 44 mpg, in our experience. The Prius and Insight share a practical hatchback design with a horizontal-split rear window, similar to that on the Honda CRX of the late 1980s.
Toyota has created a line of popular vehicles that specifically targets young drivers. The Scion is full of standard features, and optional features, that appeal to teens, is relatively inexpensive, and has a good-performing and fuel-efficient engine. It also has some great safety options such as side air bags. Although not outstanding performers, and ride comfort is lacking, these are typical Toyota high-quality vehicles at base prices that start at about $12,500 for the xA, $13,700 for the xB, and $16,000 for the tC. After the 2006 models, the xA disappears. A 2007 version of the tC and a 2008 xB is available. xD was added in 2008.
This is a very popular vehicle with teens, especially the turbo-charged Evolution, although it might not be the first choice of parents. It's stylish and looks cool, besides being a super performer. There are lots of add-ons and custom equipment for this vehicle. It even has it's own magazine aimed at young drivers of this vehicle. Watch out for reliability problems and higher insurance costs. The Lancer starts at about $14,300 for the basic model.
This small 4-door hatchback is a winning combination of Honda reliability, comfort, interior space, features, and safety equipment — and a whopping 34 miles per gallon of gas on the highway. It's a fun car that also will haul a teenager's stuff — and lots of it. It is also relatively cheap to insure and maintain.
This Toyota vehicle shares many of the characteristics of the Honda Civic and is a favorite among teenagers as both a new and used vehicle. It's reliable, with good performance, has plenty of room inside, and there are many options from after-market companies for styling and performance improvements. Buyers of this vehicle, and others in our list, should consider getting the stability control option when available. It's one of the most effective safety features being offered on cars today. The Corolla is priced at about $13,700 for base models. If the Corolla is not quite large enough, look at the Toyota Camry, the best-selling car in America for the last few years.
This is a sensible car for teens, having many of the attributes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, but a little less style. It's comfortable, but with a harsh ride and little room in the rear seat. However, it gets good gas mileage, is reliable, enjoys relatively low insurance rates, and is priced at about $12,700. Used models can be found at good prices.
This vehicle is available as a sedan and convertible. It is luxurious and stylish with excellent driving characteristics. A wide range of features, options, and transmission choices are available. Crash-test results are impressive. Reliability is average.
The Elantra SE is a well-rounded package with a roomy cabin, a comfortable ride, nice fit and finish, and a quiet interior. It provides excellent braking
Formerly called the Golf, the Rabbit is well equipped and competitively priced, and we found it practical and enjoyable to drive.
a handful of airbags including side and curtain bags. Very strong frame construction. 5 star collision rating for driver, passenger, and all rear passengers for front and side collisions! We are talking fast and sporty, we are talking safety and survival!
This is a fun and sporty car that teenagers like. It has a firm but comfortable ride and a number of engine options. Interior material quality appears cheap but functional. There are no less than 12 different variations of this model that should allow almost any teen to be satisfied. Prices start at about $13,300 for base models. It may not be as reliable as a comparably priced Honda or Toyota.
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