Teenagers and vehicles can be a deadly combination. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death in teens ages 15-20 in the United States.

It’s a terrifying thought that as a parent you can’t always be there to keep them safe when they are behind the wheel. Give yourself peace of mind by taking steps to educate your teen and give them the proper tools they need before they take off on their own.

This includes taking driver’s safety or education courses, practicing in all driving conditions, knowing what to do in an emergency, talking about the dangers of distracted driving; and most importantly doing your research and purchasing (or letting them purchase) a safe and reliable vehicle.

Now, we know looking for a new car can be stressful, especially with your teen who probably wants new-new and not new-to-them, so we’ve done the research for you.

Here are the best vehicles for teens in 2021 according to IIHS and Consumer Reports.


Small cars Model years Price
Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback 2014 or newer; built after October 2013 $8,100
Toyota Prius 2014 or newer; built after November 2013 $8,600
Hyundai Elantra GT 2018 or newer $15,200
Subaru Crosstrek 2017 or newer $17,900
Honda Insight 2019 or newer $18,200
Toyota Prius Prime 2017 or newer $18,200
Toyota Corolla hatchback 2019 or newer $18,300
Kia Niro 2019 $18,600
Subaru Impreza sedan and wagon 2019 $19,400
Midsize cars Model years Price
Subaru Outback 2013 or newer; built after August 2012 $8,700
Subaru Legacy 2013 or newer; built after August 2012 $8,800
Mazda 6 2014 or newer $10,100
Lincoln MKZ 2013, 2016, 2018 or newer $10,300
Honda Accord sedan or coupe 2013 or newer $10,900
Volkswagen Passat 2016-17 $11,400
Toyota Prius v 2015-18 $11,600
Volkswagen Jetta 2017 $12,900
Volvo S60 2016, 18 $14,100
BMW 3 series 2017 or newer; built after November 2016; 4-cylinder only $17,900
Large cars Model years Price
Ford Taurus 2014 $9,600
Hyundai Genesis 2016 $18,700
Small SUVs Model years Price
Mazda CX-5 2014 or newer; built after October 2013 $9,300
Nissan Rogue 2014, 2016-18, 2020 $10,100
Subaru Forester 2016 or newer $13,500
Honda CR-V 2015 or newer $14,800
Kia Sportage 2017, 2018, 2020 $14,800
Toyota RAV4 2015 or newer; built after November 2014 $14,900
Honda HR-V 2017 or newer; built after March 2016 $15,400
Hyundai Kona 2018 or newer $15,800
Buick Encore 2018-19 $16,300
Hyundai Tucson 2018 or newer $16,800
Mazda CX-3 2019 or newer $17,800
Volvo XC60 2017 $19,200
Midsize SUVs Model years Price
Chevrolet Equinox 2017, 2019 $13,700
Nissan Murano 2015 or newer $14,800
GMC Terrain 2017, 2019 $15,100
Lexus NX 2015-16, 2018 or newer $16,000
Kia Sorento 2017-18 $16,500
Hyundai Santa Fe 2017-19; built after March 2016 $18,700
Ford Edge 2018 or newer $19,600
Mazda CX-9 2017 or newer; built after November 2016 $19,600
Audi Q5 2016-19 $19,800
Minivans Model years Price
Toyota Sienna 2015-16 $13,900
Honda Odyssey 2016 $15,400
Kia Sedona 2017 $15,600


Remember, when looking at vehicles talk to your insurance agent to see what will save you the most with your teen on your policy. And don’t forget to look out for recalls or damage from previous owners.


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. California Casualty does not own the data table show above. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.

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