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Best cars for teens

Here is a list of cars that Consumer Reports considers best for young drivers based on their track-test findings and crash-test results.

These vehicles also have average or better reliability, according to their surveys. The selections emphasize newer models in large part due to the availability of electronic stability control (ESC), a proven life-saving feature.

Read more about buying your first car in the November 2012 issue of Boys’ Life magazine.

  • Chevrolet Malibu (4-cyl., 2008 or later)
  • Ford Focus sedan (2009-2011)
  • Ford Fusion (4-cyl., 2010 or later)
  • Honda Accord (4-cyl., 2008 or later)
  • Hyundai Elantra SE
  • Hyundai Elantra Touring
  • Hyundai Sonata (4-cyl., 2006-2011)
  • Hyundai Sonata (non-turbo, non-hybrid, 2011- or later)
  • Hyundai Tucson (2010 or later)
  • Kia Forte (2010)
  • Kia Optima (non-turbo, 2010 or later)
  • Kia Soul
  • Kia Sportage (4-cyl., non-turbo, 2011 or later)
  • Mazda3 i Touring (2009 or later)
  • Mazda3 s Grand Touring (2007 or later)
  • Mazda6 i (4-cyl., 2009 or later)
  • Nissan Altima (4-cyl., 2010 or later)
  • Nissan Sentra (2010 or later)
  • Scion xB (2008 or later)
  • Subaru Forester (non-turbo, 2009 or later)
  • Subaru Impreza (non-turbo, 2009 or later)
  • Subaru Impreza Outback Sport (2008 or later)
  • Subaru Legacy 2.5i (2009 or later)
  • Toyota Camry (2010 or later)
  • Toyota Corolla (2010 or later)
  • Toyota Prius (2010 or later)
  • Toyota Matrix (2010 or later)
  • Toyota Prius V
  • Toyota RAV4 (2004 or later, non-3rd row)
  • Volkswagen Jetta (2007-2010)
  • Volkswagen Golf (2010 or later)
  • Volkswagen Rabbit

20 Comments on Best cars for teens

  1. have2Scouts // March 7, 2013 at 6:52 pm // Reply

    Why are all these cars foreign, except 3?

  2. Chamillionare // February 20, 2013 at 1:16 am // Reply

    In my Prius the cops ain’t catch me ridin’ dirty!

  3. Soon-to-be-Eagle // November 19, 2012 at 6:53 pm // Reply

    I find it kind of sad that all these cars are 2004 or later, with a majority of them being post-2007. Not everyone can afford a car of that price. Maybe a middle-Class family, but if you’re someone who lives in the family situation that I am in, you can’t afford some of those cars. My father had told me that the most on a car he could do is 8k, not 16-20k like the rest of these cars. Consumer Reports needs to think about some of these things. They should have a section saying “Best Cars on a BUDGET”, considering they think everyone can afford these brand new cars. On a side note, who, being 17, would want a Prius?

    • Well, if you need a car, we use a 1998 dodge intrepid. It’s a really nice car (although it is wide, so a bit challenging to park) and I’ve seen it for as low as $1500.

  4. this list is great but maybe you should include a list of cars to try to avoid yea most f the time they’re cheaper but unsafe and cars that have to much power

  5. I live in a Place were I need a truck! And I don’t have money to buy a 2012 or later vehicle! My Truck will probably be a 2005 or 2006 for about $8,000.

    DRIVE SAFE! ;)

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