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.
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 Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the following vehicles as its Top Safety Picks or Top Safety Pick+ award recipients:
All of these vehicles have the following features:
These vehicles range in price from $23,000 to $39,800.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Chevy Volt is another plug-in hybrid on the list that offers an impressive 344 miles of gas-hybrid range.
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.
The Toyota Avalon is often praised for smooth drives thanks to the six-cylinder engine, simple controls, and refined ride quality.
The Audi A6 model years 2013-2015 makes the list thanks to its dependable four- and six-cylinder options.
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.
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.
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.
The Kia Soul’s reliability and good crash test results give it high safety marks.
While minivans are often not popular among teens, the Toyota Sienna features a strong V6 and soft steering, which can make it more appealing.