Home Car Review Conversing Automobiles with Customer Reports #44: Acquiring a Safe Automobile for Teenager Drivers | Customer Reports

Conversing Automobiles with Customer Reports #44: Acquiring a Safe Automobile for Teenager Drivers | Customer Reports


It’s one particular of the most often-questioned queries that we get at Conversing Automobiles: what is actually a fantastic car or truck to buy for a newly-licensed teen driver? We talk about the essentials, including why electronic steadiness command is so critical. Viewer feedback also issue out some popular fears, opinions, and misconceptions about fantastic vehicles for teens. Eventually, we focus on the role of sophisticated driver training and where by our motor vehicle tips overlap with the Coverage Institute of Freeway Basic safety – and where by they deviate.


  1. I'm transferring to a four year school next year, and will be getting out of a leased Elantra. I'm interested in a '06 or refreshed '07 Mazda3 for myself. What does CR think of a good car for a working college student? 

  2. I disagree. A 10 year well maintained luxury car is not only the best bang for your buck with features and safety, it will also be a car the teen would actually want to drive carefully and maintain…

  3. Gabe is right. My father taught me how to drive a 1974 pinto stick, during a snow storm in his work parking lot (with light poles, they were other cars). This was in 1979. Since then have always had older cars, never had an accident. Maybe parents should take an interest what their kids know before they hand over keys. My parents never had a worry because both of them took an interest.

  4. If your going to buy a used luxury car for a teen, get an entry level Japanese model like a 2002-up Lexus ES or 2004-up Acura TL or TSX because of their good reliability and service cost is way more cheaper than the European models.

  5. I just want to throw it out there, but I was in a serious accident, back a few months ago. I was 18, and had an 08 Ram 1500. I was told by the state police, that if I was in anything slower, then I would have died, because of the way the impact was. So I think trucks have their merit for first cars. Still enjoy what ya'll do though.

  6. I am saving up money to buy a new sedan in four or five years. I often wonder if $32K cars, like the Buick Regal, are really better than well equipped family sedans. Are they? Should I be saving extra money now?

  7. Toyota Corolla. Toyota Corolla. Safe reliable predictable handling. On a very tight buget.  1998 to 2000 Altima. Almost indestructible.  Under $2500 for a clean well maintained one. Both cars are safe at low speeds and suburban driving.  For a lot of highway running give your teen a larger (American or ……..I hate to say it German car).  They just hold up much better in high speed crashes. If you must go German the A4 or the BMW 3 are good for 140,000 miles or so. The Altima or Corolla can be rock solid reliable at over 200,000 miles.

  8. Cars used to be so much simpler. My car has no esc, abs, traction control, fog lights, auto-dimming rearview mirror, lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control/headlights, rain-sensing wipers, reverse back-up sensors, parking assist, blind spot monitoring, gps, tire pressure monitoring system, pedestrian safety features, anything like GM's "On-Star", heads-up display, inflatable seatbelts, or back-up camera. It has one airbag. In other words, you better know what you're doing. And 85 hp is plenty for my needs. Also, older cars tend to have better visibility…I believe it's a safety feature. Look at the Mazda (I think that's what it was) in the background, huge blind spots. I'm sure it has airbags where all that extra glass could be though! Yeah, I would recommend a Toyota to anyone (i.e., Corolla). Reliable, pretty safe, good mpg, don't cost a small fortune to maintain.

  9. LOL back in high school I used to take my moms econline large van because I could drive everyone in it guess y'all are right not a very good idea.

  10. For example, esc and abs are great and can help prevent crashes, but don't let your kids think that will protect them from anything ("Oh, if I have esc and abs, then I'll be fine.") It's important to hold yourself accountable for what you do when you drive. A part of driving is having skills that will serve you well! You should ultimately be in control of the car.

  11. who buys their spoiled brat a brand new car?! 
    are that many people rich these days?
    i drove my dads 92 subaru loyale until i got enough money to buy own car got a 86 subaru gl $300 ans more reliable than most cars today.

  12. I actually think that a late model Volvo S60 would be appropriate. Yes, they can be expensive to repair if they break, but I think they fail less frequently than German cars. My parents bought my sister a 2001 S60 when she turned 16 and we never really had any serious problems with it, and it had traction and stability control, as well as a wet weather mode.

  13. I'm buying my kid a Japanese origami steel deathtrap.  If he doesn't survive, then he isn't worthy to be my successor

  14. The best teen car is a minivan. Cheap to insure and forces a teen to learn textbook parking skills. The only suggestion I would offer is to remove some of the passenger seats. Not only will it boost cargo space and increase fuel economy, it reduces the distraction of the added passengers. Although these vehicles are bigger to drive, in terms of lane change visibility, it is by far the safest vehicles to drive. Visibility = Invincibility

  15. Love my hand me down Rav4 V6. Perfect for winter conditions here and great city driving. And pretty sporty imo, compare to all those other sedans.

  16. I'm hoping for my first car to get a mid-late 90s Honda/Acura.  I really want a Civic Del Sol.

  17. I'm a teen in high school and drive a 2012 Toyota Camry I love it! Comfortable reliable and modern and roomy I couldn't stand having a big pickup truck that's dismal in fuel economy and too big maneuver and if I got a old one just yuck or a old bmw 3 Series

  18. A Ford Fusion is a great car for kids! Very low maintenance! Looks good,reliable and stylish and a nice sound system  2.5 4cyl! Cheaper than an Accord,yet just as reliable! side curtain airbags. Just enough power without too much power! If it will hold up as a Taxi in Atlanta, it will hold up under your teenager! Have mechanic check transmission! Only problem with these cars!

  19. Im amazed at how when I was a teenager 99% of my friends cars didn't have any of todays safety features, yet we lived to tell about it. I think a better solution is change the legal driving limit to 18, plus 2 previous years of permit driving only. More experience equals better drivers.

  20. I think it is really important to teach kids how to drive properly and well..  Not all parents are able to do this as many parents are bad drivers themselves.. Having a new car with all the aids of driving is almost harmful for them as it takes away the ability to feel the physics of what is actually happening to the car when its doing the things your asking of it.. Teach your kids to drive on an old junker car (can get one for a few hundred) with no aids, in manual because its worth knowing, and then get them a safe new car to use based on your budget ! 

    Check out ( Over the Edge: Finnish Driver's License ) This should be the case in America.  

  21. Here's the way I see it I'd rather they have a car that DOESN'T have any electronic driver aids literally I bought my son a 2003 4 cyl jeep wrangler with a 5 speed its got a roll cage if he rolls it and now he's able to drive a manual if need be parts are cheap and he fixes it himself because its easy to take apart and because it has no electronic driver aids he will learn to drive without them I took the rear seat out so he can only carry 1 other person with him older cars can be better if you look at it from a easy for them to fix and will teach them to drive without electronic junk standpoint new cars have many plastic engine parts and will be less reliable as they age

  22. Im a 16-year old who drives a Mercedes-Benz CLK. My family bought this car because the car is in like-new condition but it was cheap. Also, it had all of the latest safety gear of its time. I know students with Chevrolet Aveos, Scion iQs, and Mitsubishi Mirages and those are death traps on wheels

  23. everyone at my highschool has a lifted pickup or jeep with more hp and no modern creature comforts (abs, ESC, power steering). we all have survived high school

  24. Back up cameras, traction control, automatic transmission, etc etc will turn your teen into a pussy who will never be able to drive without all these electronic aids for the rest of their lives.

  25. if I bought my teen a car I would get him or her a 2000 to 2006 volvo s60 it has all the saftey features including stability control and you can get them for less than 10k

  26. I guess my parents didn't make the best decision by helping my younger brother get a Camaro Z28 when he was 16 years old…

  27. my first car was a 1998 rwd Mercedes c230. my first time in snow was on a 65 mph interstate 30 miles from home.

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