What are the best cars for teens?

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Jul 24 2014 / By DriveitHOME

What are the best cars for teens?

The best cars for teens are old, slow, big and ugly, right? Many parents think so. Yet, the teens who die in crashes were, more often than not, driving an old vehicle. New research from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety underscores the importance of putting your teen in the safest car possible.

According to the new report, nearly half of parents buy cars for their teens that are older than 2006. Most of these vehicles lack safety features like electronic stability control and side airbags. Plus, older vehicles are more likely to break down.

This puts parents in a quandary. Half of all teens will be involved in a crash before graduating from high school. If parents buy their teen a brand new vehicle, there’s a 50 percent chance it will be wrecked or damaged within a year or two. Not a great sales pitch. However, teens’ heightened crash risk means they need all the safety features they can get.

Each year, IIHS puts out its annual ratings of the safest new vehicles on the market. But 83 percent of parents purchase a used vehicle for their teen. With that in mind, IIHS compiled its first-ever list of the most affordable used vehicles that meet important safety standards for teen drivers. So before you panic and shell out thousands for a brand-new vehicle for your teen, peruse the list. These aren’t the minivans or large sedans your teen would be embarrassed to drive, and these vehicles won’t break the bank.

Best choices

Among large cars

  • Most expensive: Saab 9-5 sedan, 2010 or later ($17,500)
  • Least expensive: Volvo S80, 2007 or later ($9,000)

Among midsize cars

  • Most expensive: Toyota Prius v, 2012 or later ($19,100)
  • Least expensive: Volkswagen Jetta, 2009 or later ($8,200)

Among small SUVs

  • Most expensive: Honda CR-V, 2012 or later ($18,100)
  • Least expensive: Honda Element, 2007 and later ($8,900)

Among midsize SUVs

  • Most expensive: Volvo XC60, 2010 or later ($18,000)
  • Least expensive: Volvo XC90, 2005 or later ($7,300)

Good choices

Among large cars

  • Most expensive: Acura RL, 2005 or later ($9,700)
  • Least expensive: Hyundai Azera, 2006 or later ($5,700)

Among midsize cars

  • Most expensive: Subaru Legacy, 2009 ($9,900)
  • Least expensive: Saab 9-3, 2005 or later ($4,000)

Among small SUVs

  • Most expensive: Nissan Rogue, 2008 or later ($9,800)
  • Least expensive: Suzuki Grand Vitara, 2006 or later ($5,600)

Among midsize SUVs

  • Most expensive: Mazda CX-9, 2007 or later ($9,800)
  • Least expensive: Suzuki XL7, 2008-09 ($6,200)

Among minivans

  • Most expensive: Volkswagen Routan, 2009-11 ($8,600)
  • Least expensive: Kia Sedona, 2006 or later ($4,600)
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