Parents often think a big car is the best and safest car for teenagers to drive. According to Consumer Reports, however, big cars are neither the best nor the safest car for teenage drivers. Given the average teen's lack of driving experience, the best car for a teenager to drive is one that handles well, is agile and comes with many safety features, including anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control and multiple air bags.
Hyundai Elantra SE
The Hyundai Elantra SE (model years 2008-2010) is one of the safest cars for teenagers, according to Consumer Reports. The car boasts the roomiest interior room in its class, and features a comprehensive set of standard features, including remote keyless entry, power windows and door locks, tilt steering wheel, dual power heated side mirrors and a driver seat with 6-way adjustment. A certified Ultra-Low-Emission Vehicle (ULEV) that gets up to 35 miles per gallon on the highway make Hyundai's Elantra SE a sensible choice for teen drivers. The manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for the Hyundai Elantra SE ranges from £9,194 to £11,599 for the 2010 model year.
Offering safety, reliability, fuel efficiency, the Mazda3 is a stylish and practical car for teens to drive. Priced between £10,042 to £15,401 for the 2011 model year, the car retains its value over time and has a lot of safety and performance features. Dynamic stability control (DSC), traction control, anti-lock brakes, electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and six air bags are among many standard safety features. The interior is futuristic yet ergonomic, and a lighting system greets drivers with soft blue illumination upon opening the front doors. The Mazda3 also features a suspension system that allows for sporty handling and ride comfort.
Scion, the youth-oriented division of Toyota, designed the Scion xB with the 18-to-34-year-old age group in mind. Consumer Reports also rates the Scion xB as one of the safest cars for teenagers. Built with the body of a miniature delivery truck, the Scion xB casts a distinctive silhouette. Teen drivers can personalise their xB with an extensive list of aftermarket-dealer-installed accessories, including stereo systems, wheels, body kits and mild performance modifications. According to the U.S. News Rankings and Reviews website, the average price paid for the 2010 Scion xB ranges from £10,694 to £11,329.
The Acura TSX is a mid-sized sedan Consumer Reports lists as one of the best cars for teen drivers. Prices for the TSX range from £7,257 for the 2004 model year to £21,882 for the 2010 model year. The TSX is Acura's least expensive model and is a reasonable choice for teen drivers given its competent driving features, high-quality interior and impressive array of standard features. Bluetooth and a seven-speaker CD stereo system with satellite radio and iPod integration are some features a technologically savvy teen driver may enjoy.
Consumer Reports also recommends the Honda CR-V as a good car for teen drivers, a small and affordable sport utility vehicle (SUV), based on its analysis of the car's reliability and safety features. Available for between £14,004 to £19,334, the 2010 Honda CR-V offers a variety of standard safety and utility features, increased fuel economy compared to other vehicles in its class, as well as more power and a better designed exterior. J.D. Power and Associates rated the CR-V as "Predicted Reliability" based on trending the vehicle's past three years of initial quality and dependability.
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