These are the best cars for teen drivers, safety advocates say

IIHS, Consumer Reports make recommendations based on safety, reliablity, affordability

For families looking for a graduation gift on wheels or transportation to that summer job, lists of cars that check the boxes for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports can be a good starting point.
For families looking for a graduation gift on wheels or transportation to that summer job, lists of cars that check the boxes for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports can be a good starting point.

SAN ANTONIO – For families looking for a graduation gift on wheels or transportation to that summer job, lists of cars that check the boxes for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and Consumer Reports can be a good starting point.

Inexperience and immaturity make teen drivers among the riskiest, so safety is a top priority.

“The used car market is really tough right now,” said Consumer Reports’ Jennifer Stockburger. “That doesn’t mean you should sacrifice important safety features like electronic stability control and the newest accident avoidance systems, which are especially important for new drivers.”

To come up with recommendations, Consumer Reports weighed in with handling and dry braking tests and reliability ratings. The IIHS also contributed data that was included in various crash tests.

Their list of used cars best suited for new drivers was based primarily on safety, reliability and affordability. All of the used cars are priced between $6,000 and $20,000.

That list includes 2014 or newer Mazda 3, 2014 or newer Toyota Prius, 2013 or newer Subaru Outback and Legacy, 2014 or newer Mazda 6, 2014 Ford Taurus, 2015 or newer Honda CR-V, 2017 and 2019 Chevy Equinox and 2015-16 Toyota Sienna Minivan.

A second list of new vehicles with the latest safety protections includes 20 models priced between about $20,000 and $39,500.

That list of new cars includes the Mazda 3, Subaru Legacy, Toyota Camry, Kia K5, Mazda CX-3, Hyundai Palisade, Nissan Murano, Kia Sportage and Lexus UX.

No mini cars, very large vehicles or sports cars with excessive horsepower were included.

You can view both of the car lists here.

More on KSAT:

Make extra cash by renting out your vehicle

These are the top 10 most stolen vehicles in San Antonio


About the Author:

As a consumer reporter, Marilyn is all about helping people stay safe and save a buck. Since coming to KSAT in 1985, she’s covered everything from crime to politics, winning awards for her coverage of the Mexican Mafia, Oklahoma tornadoes, children’s transplants, an investigation into voting irregularities and even a hit-and-run Santa Claus.