Buying a car for a teen driver is a difficult balancing act. On the one hand, they’re almost guaranteed to crash whatever you give then, so you don’t want to spend too much money on a car. On the other hand, they’re almost guaranteed to crash whatever you give them, so you want to make sure they’re as safe as possible in whatever car they’re given.
Buying older cars usually means you save money, but the cheapest cars are usually also the least safe.
Consumer Reports recently looked at used cars and found the ones with stability control, anti-lock brakes, side and curtain airbags, good emergency handling, and short braking distances. Taking price into consideration, the editors then recommended these 10 cars for teen drivers as the best compromise between safety and cost.
1. Chevrolet Malibu (2000-2012)
The Cheverolet Malibu is popular with rental car companies, and while it’s not exciting, what makes it a popular rental car also makes it a great car for a teenage driver. It’s quiet and comfortable with accurate steering and responsive-enough handling. As for fuel economy, it won’t beat a Prius, but it will still get a respectable 25 miles per gallon combined.