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What are some of the safest used vehicles for teen drivers?

As a parent, ensuring the safety of your children is a top priority. This can be a particularly challenging goal when your teenager starts to drive.

One critical element that plays into their safety out there on the road is choosing the right vehicle. A brand-new vehicle is both impractical for most teens and out of the financial reach of most families. Thankfully, the used car market is not entirely bereft of vehicles that combine affordability with safety.

IIHS and Consumer Reports have recommendations

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer reports have reviewed numerous used car models and rated them for both overall safety features and cost. To make the list, a vehicle had to get good ratings on assorted IIHS scales, including roof strength, head restraints and the driver-side small overlap front testing (among others).

Here’s their verdict about what makes the “Best Choices” for teen drivers:

  • Small Cars: The 2014-15 Ford C-Max Hybrid and 2014 or newer Mazda 3 Sedan or Hatchback were the most affordable safe used cars, while the 2019 or newer Honda Insight and 2018 or newer Subaru Crosstreck were on the upper end of the scale.
  • Midsize Cars: The 2013 or newer Subaru Legacy or Subaru Outback are great for the budget-conscious, while the 2018 Volvo S60 and the 2016-19 Audi A6 top the list for the price.
  • Large Cars: Large cars can provide more visibility and security, but there were really only two that made the list: the 2015 or newer Toyota Avalon and the 2016 Hyundai Genesis.
  • SUVs: If you prefer to put your teen in an SUV, the 2014 or newer Mazda CX-5, is the most affordable among the smaller set, while the 2015 or newer Nissan Murano is among the least costly in larger models.

There are other vehicles that have achieved a “Good Choice” rating, and they are generally priced a bit lower than those in the “Best Choice” category.

Knowing which vehicles can keep your teen safer is only part of the battle, of course. Even the most careful teenage driver can fall victim to another driver’s mistakes – and drowsy, distracted and downright foolish drivers are everywhere. If your child is hurt in a wreck, take immediate steps to protect their legal interests by seeking professional guidance.


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