When your son or daughter starts driving, it’s a milestone moment. It can also be a little nerve wracking. You can’t be everywhere to keep them safe, but you can help them by choosing the right vehicle. In honor of Teen Driver Safety Week, we researched the best and safest cars for teens in 2023, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports.
What makes a good vehicle for teens?
You want a car with strong reliability ratings and excellent crash test scores. Today’s cars also have hi-tech safety features that can help keep young drivers safe. These include:
- Blind spot monitoring to let you know if there is a vehicle in your blind spot.
- Automatic emergency braking when the car senses a potential collision.
- A lane departure warning that makes a sound or other signal if you veer toward the next lane.
- A lane-keeping assist that steers your vehicle back into your lane.
- Pedestrian detection that identifies people walking in front of the car.
- Built-in systems with teen driver controls, such as speed warnings and muting of audio while driving.
You will want to avoid:
- Sports cars, which have too much horsepower and could tempt a teen to drive beyond their skill level.
- Small cars that weigh under 2,750 pounds; their crumple zones are not good.
- Large vehicles with long braking distances.
- Vehicles with seats for lots of passengers. Each additional passenger increases the odds of an accident due to distractions.
Following is the list of vehicles with above average reliability scores and good crash tests. Prices provided are from Kelley Blue Book and are estimates for the lowest trim models as of May 2023.
|Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback||$23,000|
Best Choices for Used Cars
|Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback||2014-20; built after October 2013||$9,100|
|Ford C-Max Hybrid||2014-16||$10,000|
|Toyota Prius||2014; built after November 2013||$12,900|
|Subaru Impreza sedan or wagon||2018, 2022||$14,500|
|Subaru Legacy||2013-21; built after August 2012||$7,800|
|Subaru Outback||2015-18, 2022||$12,200|
|Toyota Prius v||2015-17||$14,500|
|BMW 3 series||2017 or newer; built after November 2016||$16,500|
|Toyota Avalon||2015 or newer||$14,600|
|Volvo XC60||2013, 2017||$9,600|
|Mazda CX-5||2014 or newer; built after October 2013||$11,800|
|Mazda CX-3||2016, 2019||$13,900|
|Honda CR-V||2015 or newer||$15,200|
|Honda HR-V||2017 or newer; built after March 2017||$16,000|
|Toyota RAV 4||2015 or newer; built after November 2014||$16,100|
|Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid||2018||$18,900|
|Subaru Forester||2018 or newer||$20,000|
|Nissan Murano||2015 or newer||$12,400|
|Hyundai Santa Fe Sport||2018||$15,700|
|Toyota Highlander||2014 or newer||$17.100|
|Acura RDX||2016 or newer||$19,300|
|Toyota Tacoma extended car or crew cab||2016 or newer||$17,900|
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.
Finally, here are some other ways that you can help your teen stay safe.
- Sign them up for driver’s ed or safety classes.
- Make sure they get experience driving in all kinds of conditions.
- Teach them what to do in emergencies.
- Talk to them about how dangerous it is to drive while distracted.
- Make sure they are fully insured for peace of mind.
This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or www.calcas.com.
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