It is already that time of the year: Miami-Dade County high schools and Miami University are just days away from beginning their fall semesters. That means it’s also time for parents who will be buying a new or used vehicle for their teen driver to make that important purchase.
It’s often difficult to wade through all the vehicle specifications, reviews and visits to car dealerships and narrow the many vehicle options to just the right one for a young driver. U.S. News & World Report has done the work for busy parents with their Best Cars for Teens list.
Because safety is a top priority for parents, each vehicle chosen in the eight new-vehicle categories received high crash-test ratings, said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of the report. That means that if a motor vehicle accident occurs, “there’s a better chance of occupants being protected.”
All the vehicles also have advanced safety systems available to help keep young drivers out of crashes in the first place. The safety tech includes forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assistance and lane-departure assist. The vehicles also have available teen driver controls or phone apps that automatically send text alerts to parents when the vehicle exceeds a set speed limit or it is driven past a set time period or it’s driven beyond a set geographical area.
The features enable parents to have ongoing safe-driving discussions and to set limits for their young drivers.
It should be noted that the vehicles were chosen with budget-conscious parents in mind. (Let’s also acknowledge the many young drivers who work and save to contribute to a new or used car purchase.)
Without further ado, let’s look at the vehicles chosen by U.S. News & World Report.
2021 Best New Cars for Teens
- Best car for teens ($20K to $25K): 2021 Hyundai Elantra hybrid
- Best SUV for teens ($20K to $25K): 2021 Hyundai Kona
- Best car for teens ($25K to $30K): 2021 Hyundai Ioniq hybrid
- Best SUV for teens ($20K to $25K): 2021 GMC Terrain
- Best car for teens ($30K to $35K): 2021 Nissan Altima
- Best SUV for teens ($30K to $35K): 2021 Kia Sorento hybrid
- Best car for teens ($35K to $40K): 2021 Toyota Camry hybrid
- Best SUV for teens ($35K to $40K): 2021 Hyundai Santa Fe hybrid
2021 Best Used Cars for Teens
- Small car: 2018 Toyota Corolla
- Midsize car: 2018 Honda Accord
- Large car: 2017 Toyota Avalon
- Small SUV: 2017 Toyota RAV4
- Midsize SUV: 2017 Toyota Highlander
U.S. News & World Report said it also factored vehicle reliability scores into its decision-making process.
The list is a good starting point for parents looking for a reliable, affordable vehicle equipped with advanced safety technology that helps drivers avoid motor vehicle crashes.