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What Are the Safest Cars For Your Teenager?

Posted on November 14, 2023 in

Teaching your teen to drive can be a nerve-racking experience. Letting them drive on their own without your supervision can be even more terrifying. Fortunately, vehicles built today are safer and are equipped with more safety features than the vehicles you drove growing up. 

Dangers of Teen Drivers

Teen drivers are more prone to getting into car accidents compared to older drivers. This is sometimes because they lack experience, so they may not know how to act in a certain situation or have the years of instincts that older drivers have. 

However, some accidents caused by teen drivers are due to them engaging in risk-taking behaviors. Teen drivers might be susceptible to teen pressure and speed, video themselves while driving, text and drive, or engage in other dangerous activities. 

The Safest New Cars

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the following vehicles as its Top Safety Picks or Top Safety Pick+ award recipients:

  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Forester
  • Subaru Ascent 
  • Honda HR-V
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda Odyssey
  • Mazda 3 sedan or hatchback 
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-50
  • Mazda CX-9
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Toyota Highlander
  • Hyundai Palisade
  • Lexus UX
  • Lexus NX

All of these vehicles have the following features: 

  • Standard vehicle-to-vehicle automatic emergency braking
  • Average or better reliability based on Consumer Reports’ member surveys
  • Average or better emergency handling tests based on Consumer Reports’ scores
  • Dry braking distance of less than 140 feet from 60 miles per hour in Consumer Reports’ brake tests 
  • A rating of good or better from Consumer Reports for ease of use of their controls

These vehicles range in price from $23,000 to $39,800.

The Safest Used Cars

Many parents decide to have their teen learn in a used car rather than risk the possibility of crashing a new car. Besides the models identified above, Autoweek lists the following as safe picks for teen drivers:

Toyota Corolla 

Toyota Corollas are often on lists for reliable vehicles. The IIHS has approved the vehicle since 2013. It offers an economic option and safe transport, making it a favorite for families.  

Ford C-Max Hybrid 

The Ford C-Max Hybrid offers a number of safety features, landing at the top of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s list for 2014-2016. With a commendable 39 mpg of fuel burn, the vehicle is also more efficient and causes less pollution than other vehicles, making it a favorite for environmentally-conscious consumers.

Kia Niro 

The plug-in hybrid Kia Niro offers 26 miles of all-electric range and 46 mpg even though it operates off a 1.6-liter four-cylinder powertrain. Its wider inside allows for more passengers in case your teen is responsible for transporting younger siblings.

Chevrolet Volt 

The Chevy Volt is another plug-in hybrid on the list that offers an impressive 344 miles of gas-hybrid range. 

Honda Accord

The Honda Accord has one of the best safety records in the country. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends any Accords from 2013 and newer for teen drivers. The vehicle is also known for its reliability. 


The Mazda6 often receives high reviews from consumers who appreciate its superior handling and strong engine. It is currently on its third generation of vehicles, but this model stopped in 2021. 

Toyota Avalon 

The Toyota Avalon is often praised for smooth drives thanks to the six-cylinder engine, simple controls, and refined ride quality.

Audi A6

The Audi A6 model years 2013-2015 makes the list thanks to its dependable four- and six-cylinder options. 

Hyundai Tucson 

The 2014 Hyundai Tucson offers an economical four-cylinder powertrain and a lower price point than similarly-sized SUVs, making it a popular option for families. 

Nissan Murano

The Nissan Murano in model years 2015 and up receives top safety grades from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Its 3.5 liter V6 engine adds an additional layer of power and safety. 

Acura RDX

The Acura RDX in 2013 models and up features a 3.5 liter V6 engine, making it a powerful and safe option. Teens might also enjoy the leather interior and infotainment system. 

Kia Soul

The Kia Soul’s reliability and good crash test results give it high safety marks. 

Toyota Sienna 

While minivans are often not popular among teens, the Toyota Sienna features a strong V6 and soft steering, which can make it more appealing. 

Contact Our Car Accident Attorneys in Portland, OR – Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer

If you were injured in an accident in Portland, OR, please contact our Portland car accident lawyers at Tillmann Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyer to schedule a free consultation today.

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Portland, OR, 97204
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