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Consumer Reports 2011 Best Used Cars For Teens

Posted in General, Other Rides, Rides, Used Cars by MrAngry | March 15th, 2011 | 8 Responses |

Consumer Reports Cars for Teens

Consumer Reports is one of the few publications that helps keep us on the straight and narrow when it comes to buying everyday items. They review everything from toasters to automobiles and in doing so help us make educated decisions when purchasing everyday products. Their automobile reviews in particular are very good, as they’re not beholden to sponsors or manufacturers. Recently they put together a list of the best used cars that you can purchase for your teenager, while at the same time interjecting some very helpful hints that some parents may overlook. For example, it’s always better to purchase a later model car with updated safety features such as multiple airbags and stability control. Look for cars that are reasonably powerful, but not overly so. For instance a powerful car (especially for young men) can encourage speeding and is not recommended. They also recommend striking mini-vans and SUV’s from your list, citing that a bus load of teenagers is never a good thing, something that I wholeheartedly agree with.

In the end their list looks something like this, but I’d still recommend heading over there to check out the full article.

2011 Best cars for teens
•  Acura TSX (2004 or later)
• Ford Focus sedan (2009 or later)
• Hyundai Sonata (2006 or later)
• Hyundai Elantra SE (2008 or later)
• Mazda3 Touring (2007 or later)
• Scion xB (2008 or later)
• Volkswagen Jetta (2007 or later)
• Volkswagen Rabbit (2007 or later)

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8 Responses

  1. Gator says:

    One other recommendation: get a manual transmission versus an automatic. Driving a stick requires more attention from the driver. The learning curve will be steeper, but it is a skill they’ll have for life. I just purchased a 2008 Scion xB with a manual trans for my 16-year old son after doing extensive research on safety, reliability, and performance.

  2. Acorn says:

    Are they serious? 12 grand for your first car? What teen can afford 12 grand for a new car?!

    my first car was a $45 toyota corolla! ran that thing into the ground and it taught me a lot about mechanics and how not to drift in snow… I mean, how to “control sliding on ice”.. yeah that’s right…

  3. Dave says:

    Must be nice to have your parents buy you a 3 year old car when you’re 16. Whatever happened to working summers at a back-breaking landscaping job and saving your pennies in order to buy your first POS car? Oh wait, that was my life. My bad.

    • Alex says:

      Ouch, sounds rough. At least with me I got my POS 1994 Altima from my parents (yea yea, I know). The roof paint was fading and that was the least of the problems.

      I would have loved to kill that thing right about now to the point where the handbrake is broken, haha, but I ended up selling it to a needy co-worker for $300.

      To this day I feel like I ripped him off.

  4. ptschett says:

    I think a kid’s 1st car should be something that was in production about when they were born, so if I were shopping for a 16-year-old now I wouldn’t be looking much newer than ’95. Even that’s new enough to get airbags, ABS, door-blocker beams, crumple zones and OBD-II diagnostics, yet the cars are old enough that they aren’t worth much if/when they are written off.

    *Disclaimer: I probably have a weird perspective on this. I started in a ’73 Cougar, in 1995, when I was 14. I think it was a great car to start driving in, because its limits were low enough that they weren’t hard to find and it forced me (and later my sister) to learn the basic physics of how a car will behave without the modern technology to intervene.

  5. Tom Leo says:

    The day I turned 16 I was handed the keys to this!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVlGg2Wn4HQ

    I think it is a bad idea to give teens safe cars! Stability control, air bags, good acceleration, good breaking, and the ability to turn make new drivers terrible and a hazard on the road.

    The skills gained by having an old boat of a car:
    1. The turning radius was so bad that backing into spaces was easier than going in forwards. I am now incredibly good at backing into spaces and parking in general.
    2. U-turns were nearly impossible. I am now incredibly good at 3-point turns.
    3. I now drive a 96 Acura Integra witch handles like a 911 compared to my old car.

    P.S. They really need to bring back bench seats for the front seat of cars.

  6. J D Stadler says:

    Yeah, agree with other posters that most first cars are older (and rightfully so). Of course, I drive past a private high school daily where they’re parking brand new Camaros, Chargers, Mercedes, Bimmers, etc. Yeah, I’ll say it, I’m jealous. Anyway…

    If the point of the article was to state that a “good” car for a teen is one that comes packed with ESC and the standard nannies of today then I suppose the list makes sense. Otherwise, they’re not exactly “affordable”. That said, if I got to choose something new(er) for my first car I’d choose a Mazda2 or 3, hands down.

  7. PFULMTL says:

    My kids wouldn’t get anyting that new, it would be like 5 years or older.