Buying a car for a teen can be an anxiety inducing experience for anyone, especially for a parent who's ill prepared. Teenagers are statistically at a much higher risk of getting into an accident than most adults, so parents should be cautious and thorough when buying their teen a first car. No parent wants to unintentionally buy their child a dangerous car that could turn any minor traffic incident fatal, so we're here to help you find something safe and reasonable. Luckily, cars have only gotten safer with time, especially with features like blind spot detectors, street lane sensors, and autonomous parking.
The Prius first burst into the public zeitgeist as the figurehead of the hybrid electric car revolution, normalizing the concept of a car not run 100 percent on gas. Nowadays, the Prius is seen as any other car on the road. Outside of amazing gas mileage, the Prius also offers a very safe and reliable car package, perfect for any driver who is new to the road. The 2019 Prius offers their Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, along with a slew of other semi-autonomous systems like Full-Speed Dynamic Cruise Control and Automatic High Beams. All in all, the Prius is a very reasonable and user-friendly car that is great for everyone, but especially a teenager.
Ask most people about a good car for a teenager and you'll likely hear the name Honda Civic a few dozen times. This car has earned a reputation for quality. It’s well earned for Honda's attention to gas mileage and safety, all while keeping the Civic extremely affordable and pleasant on the eyes. This car, in all of it's 21st century iterations, has become a symbol for a simple and reliable car for anyone; or, in this case, a perfect car for your teenager to learn the roads in. While the Civic is known for its ease of use, it has also grown a huge and iconic modding fan base, but telling your teenager this is at your own risk.
So far, we've only covered cars made for interstate highways and suburban side streets. That's perfectly fine for some, but definitely not for all. Though this list is technically for “cars,” the inclusion of a truck is perfectly reasonable for a teenager's first vehicle, especially if your teenager is not only driving to school and friends' houses, but also on unpaved roads, thick mud, and hauling equipment around. Many trucks can fit this job, but the Ford F-250 is our pick today. Most know by now that Ford has returned to their previous glory of making great, long-lasting, and tough trucks that simply do what you want a truck to do. If a truck is what you think your teen needs, then look no further than the F-250.
If your teen is in need of space in their car, while also not breaking the bank in gasoline and trips to the mechanic, then the Kia Sportage is the small SUV you're looking for. With the Sportage, Kia builds on their tradition of making excellent cars, with an SUV that appeared on J.D. Power's list of 2019s most reliable cars in the Small SUV section. The Sportage offers your teen a car that is comfortable enough for the daily drive, but also spacious and durable. The newest model offers a bevy of amenities, including all-wheel drive, lane and blind spot sensors, bluetooth, and a surprisingly robust surround sound system.
Living in the city can alter the kind of vehicle you pick, negating most everything that's bulky. If this is the case, then the Toyota Corolla will be your best bet for your teen. If there is a single word for this car it is efficiency. This car strives to be no nonsense, just a reliable and fuel efficient daily driver to own for years. The only real complaint about the Corolla is the lackluster engine, which is often called slow and flat. While the Corolla is not the most exhilarating car to drive, its philosophy of simplicity keeps the car as a mainstay of the budget compact market. And if the Corolla is just a bit too cramped for your teen, Toyota offers a hatchback variant as well.
Comfort can be a make or break aspect when buying a car. If a car does not feel good to drive, then the prospect of driving it for hours seems like misery. To avoid the stress, and to not break the bank with a luxury car, go with the Mazda3. Mazda has really gone all out with the Mazda3, loading it with safety features while making the interior roomy and elegant. However, safety is a real defining factor for the Mazda3. With a collection of airbags, refined 3-point safety belt, and whiplash reducing headrests, the Mazda3 is an extremely safe car that retains an aura of excellence and style. Surprisingly, all this comes at a very modest price, a perfect deal as a gift to your teenager.
For Honda's second appearance on this list, we picked another car known for its reputation of lasting forever: the Honda Accord. The Accord is perfect for a teenage driver because it is known for taking beatings and still running. The level of quality in these cars is so high that one driver was able to take his Accord over one million miles, an amazing feat for any automobile. Since its creation in the mid 1970s, the Accord has always been a success, winning over drivers by being the perfect everyday car. A car to drive anywhere, any time, and perfect for any one.
Though generally more expensive than standard consumer cars, luxury vehicles can be a great car for a new driver. There are numerous options for great luxury vehicles, yet none hit the sweet spot of safety, elegance, comfort, and a reasonable price quite like the Lexus ES. First and foremost, Lexus wants the ES to continue their trend of stylish, comfortable interiors. From the leather-wrapped steering wheel to the attention to leg and shoulder room, the Lexus ES will make driving a relaxing experience for your teen. Lexus has kept up with the competition by giving the ES great gas mileage, high safety standards, and all the bells and whistles one expects from a Lexus.
Volkswagen has many cars that your teenager would love to drive, but which is best? To make this choice, we had to focus on which cars not only are the most bang for your buck, but also offer a collection of driving assistance systems, safety, reliability, and ease of use options. With all of these factors in mind, the Jetta popped out as the best choice. Even looking through the base models of the Jetta, Volkswagen consistently offers features that will make your teenager's transition to driving all the more inviting. Safety is important for the Jetta, yet so is its amazing gas millage, which Volkswagen continues to tweak and improve.
“Wait a second,” you may be thinking, “how is a Chevy Camaro a good car for a teenager?” Yes, the Camaro is a symbol for an accessible sports/muscle car, which is symbology a parent may not want to deal with when buying a car for their teenager. However, if you trust your teen to go fast, then you might as well get them a car that will go fast safely. Nowadays, Chevrolet does not just make the Camaro to race, but for anyone to drive, with newer models consistently appearing on lists of the safest cars on the road. This, paired with surprisingly good gas mileage makes the Camaro an eligible daily driver perfect for your teen.