The best car under $20,000 for teens: The Honda Fit
“This is the last year you can get the Honda Fit, unfortunately — it’s a great little subcompact car, very practical,” Page Deaton said. “And it has forward collision warning for automatic emergency braking and a really flexible interior … if you have a teen that plays something like hockey, or is in a band or something that requires a lot of equipment, you don’t need to go buy them a big SUV.”
The new best car for teens between $20,000 and $25,000: The Toyota Corolla
“This is another classic first car, because it is so reliable,” Page Deaton said. “Very good crash test scores; has all of the safety features.”
It may be unassuming, but that’s part of the appeal: “You really don’t want to give your teen a car that’s going to tempt them to drive beyond their skills. The Corolla is great because it’s safe, comfortable, reliable transportation, that’s not going to be constantly saying to a new driver, ‘Hey, go a little bit faster.’”
Best SUV for teens $20,000 to $25,000: The Ford Escape
“If you live in an area where you might be on a back road or need some all-wheel drive a bit more ground clearance,” you might be in the market for an SUV.
One of Ford’s selling points, she said, is the MyKey feature that lets the car know that your teen is driving. “You can set a top speed; you can set it up so when that it’s in use, the radio won’t turn on until all the seat belts are buckled.”
Best new car for teens $25,000 to $30,000: The Kia Optima
“It’s a great, reliable sedan,” Page Deaton said. “This is another one that actually looks much better. more upscale, than it actually is. This is another one where you could be taking it through college.”
Best new SUV for teens, $25,000 to $30,000: The Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage has “excellent crash test scores, lots of good safety features,” she said. Like the Optima, the Sportage has an app to let parents know where their teen is driving. ”The other thing that’s kind of nice about it, too, is, it will mark where the car is parked.”
Best new car for teens, $30,000 to $35,000: The Hyundai Sonata
Best new SUV for teens, $30,000 to $35,000: The Nissan Rogue
Best new car for teens, $35,000 to $40,000: The Toyota Camry Hybrid
Best SUV for teens $35,000 to $40,000: The Hyundai Santa Fe
Best large used car for teens: The 2017 Kia Cadenza
Best used mid-size car for teens: The 2016 Toyota Camry and Camry Hybrid
Best used mid-size SUV for teens: The 2017 Kia Sorento
Best used small car for teens: The 2016 Toyota Prius
Best used small SUV for teens: The 2017 Hyundai Tucson
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