Consumer Reports Names Best Rides for Teens
YONKERS, N.Y. — ConsumerReports.org recently unveiled on its Cars Blog what it considers to be the top vehicles for teen drivers. The site recognized 13 models across three categories: small cars, family cars and small SUVs.
Each of the vehicles was "recommended" by the publication. As most know, to gain this tag, vehicles must have a strong performance in Consumer Reports' tests and earn average or better reliability scores.
And, the government or insurance industry must give the vehicle solid ratings in crash tests for it to be recommended, Consumer Reports' Jim Travers noted in the blog.
"They also had sufficient acceleration to safely merge onto busy highways, stopped from 60 mph in 145 feet or less on dry pavement, and scored ‘good' or better in emergency handling," Travers writes.
Some of the safety measures in a vehicle that are important for parents shopping for vehicles for their teens to consider are electronic stability control — "make sure to not confuse ESC with traction control, which many do," Travers points out — in addition to antilock brakes and curtain air bags.
It is also important to consider models that do well when it comes to crash tests, he added.
"Stay away from trucks and large SUVs because they tend to have clumsy handling, poor fuel economy, and their high centers of gravity make them more likely to roll over," he added. "Sports cars or other especially quick cars are another bad idea, with a higher rate of accidents than other cars and insurance rates to match.
"The good news is you can get a safe, reliable used car with those important safety features starting at less than $10,000," Travers shared.
The following is the list of used vehicles Consumer Reports recognized:
—Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-present) $11,775-$18,695
—Mazda 3 (2007-) $13,025-$19,070
—Scion xB (2008-) $14,075-$18,630
—Scion xD (2008-) $13,675-$16,620
—Subaru Impreza (2008-) non-turbo, $13,700-$19,106
—Suzuki SX4 Crossover (2007-) $10,150-$17,519
—Acura TSX (2004-) $13,725-$29,675
—Honda Accord (2008-) 4-cyl., $17,725-$22,795
—Kia Optima (2007-) 4-cyl., $9,900-$20,365
—Toyota Prius (2004-) $11,750-$22,950
—Volkswagen Jetta 2.5 (2006-) $12,825-$22,965
—Honda CR-V (2005-) $13,300-$25,805
—Nissan Rogue (2008-) $16,550-$25,850
—Toyota RAV4 (2006-) 4-cyl., $13,625-$25,405
*The publication warned that it has "temporarily suspended our recommendation of the RAV4 and several other Toyota models due to problems with sticking accelerator pedals."