Good cars for teen drivers include the Chevrolet Malibu, Saab 9-5 sedan, Lincoln MKS, Ford Focus, Ford Fusion, Kia Soul, Mazda 3 and Mazda 6i, Toyota Rav4, Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Golf, Buick LaCrosse and Hyundai Sonata. The Malibu, Focus and Fusion take the lead for the three safest used cars, respectively, for less than $10,000, say authors at Consumer Reports. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends the 9-5 sedan, in model year 2010 and later, for safest large car; the Prius is an IHS top choice for midsize cars while the CR-V takes the lead for safest small SUV.
When selecting a car for teenagers, parents prioritize safety and affordability. Cars should have several key safety features, notes Consumer Reports. Front and side airbags for all occupants are essential, as is electronic stability control. Recommended sedans on its website with this feature are the Malibu, Focus and Fusion. The Toyota Rav4 is recommended as a safe, used SUV. For small cars, the Kia Soul takes the lead.
The IIHS maintains a list of vehicles that perform the best in government crash test ratings. Cars on its website earn a rating of "good" or four to five stars out of a possible five on older ratings. The IIHS recommends cars in the price range of $5,000-$20,000; in the large car category, the least and most expensive safest cars are the Volvo S80 and Saab 9-5 sedan, respectively.