When it’s time for your teenager to start driving, it can be pretty stressful—and sometimes downright scary. It’s a big moment in life for you and your teen, so the more prepared you both are, the less stressed you’ll be.
So when it comes time to pick the car they’ll be driving, it’s best to look at multiple options. Of course, you need to keep your budget in mind, but you can still find a reliable, used car that will be safe for your child.
Your best bet is obviously to buy the newest model you can afford, as that will have the most updated safety equipment. Consumer Reports recommends these key features you’ll want to look for: electronic stability control, curtain airbags and, if possible, a forward-collision warning and automatic braking system.
When it comes to the type of car, the bigger the vehicle—like a large pickup or an SUV—isn’t recommended because they are more difficult to handle than cars, not to mention that the more room in the vehicle, the higher the chance for multiple passengers, which can be a distraction for the driver. Sports cars are also not recommended, as they increase the risk of speed and have a higher rate of accidents—and a higher insurance premium.
Because there are so many factors to consider, Consumer Reports has created a list that will help. It showcases the cars that meet their criteria for being safe and reliable and each has performed well in their tests.
We pulled out a few of the cars that made the cut (they’re in no particular order). To view their full list of the best cars for teen drivers, be sure to visit the Consumer Reports website.
Chevrolet Sonic (2014 or later)
Ford Edge (2016 or later)
Honda CR-V (2015 or later)
Hyundai Elantra (2012 or later)
Mazda 6 (4-cyl., 2009 or later)
Nissan Rogue (2009 or later)
Scion xD (2010 or later)
Subaru Outback (4 cyl., 2010 or later)
Toyota Camry (4 cyl., 2010 or later)
Volkswagen Tiguan (2014 or later)
Do you have a teen driver? What cars have you considered for them?