Top 10 Safest Cars for Teens to Drive

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Published Oct 19, 2016

As a parent, we want to make sure our kids stay safe on the road. That's why I've put together a list of what I regard as the safest cars out there for teens to drive.

Every teenager wants a car. They associate vehicle ownership with adulthood and freedom. On the other hand, the fact is a teenager on the road is a burden to parents. The majority of road accidents involve new drivers and the majority of those drivers are teens. We can encourage safety and responsibility, but that isn't always going to be enough. Be sure to first enroll your teen in a driving class or online driving course to have them develop safe driving skills.

Parents should also look at the vehicles their teen will drive. The latest models all come with safety features that decrease the chances of responsible drivers getting into accidents. Even then, which is the vehicle we should get for our teens?

In this regard, here are the top 10 cars for teens in terms of safety. For the criteria, we compared ratings from agencies like the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). We factored in professional reviews, cost, customer comments and accident statistics. Lastly, we took one last piece of criteria into account that we believed would matter most to a teen: the look. After all, while parents will be concerned with safety, teenage drivers are far more about looking cool.

These are all 2015 models, but you could likely apply the same principles to their 2016 and upcoming 2017 generations which will all have the same or better features.

Audi A3

With its sound reputation for safety, Audi's A3 will have superb handling thanks to an optional quattro all-wheel drive system. It's exceptionally responsive. For the teens, we'd suggest the sturdier sedan version.

Chevrolet Cruze

Teenagers - especially the boys - are going to love this sedan's lean athletic profile. The 2015 version of the Cruz scored high with the NHTSA and earned reasonable scoring from the IIHS.

Acura ILX

Inspired by the Honda Civic Si, the ILX is a compact, entry level luxury vehicle. Vested in safety, the brains at the auto maker installed standard and optional features like rear cross traffic alert systems, rear view cameras and lane-keep assistance.

Volvo S60

The S60 has a highly regarded safety pedigree. Its features enhanced handling and stability. There's brake assist, front disc and rear drum brakes, a rollover protection system and lane departure warning.

Honda Fit

Affordable, the Honda Fit is a hatchback that promises versatility. With its impressive and deceptive interior, it has a small footprint and is perfect for the teenager living on campus.

Buick Encore

The Encore did well on government crash tests across the board and is noted as a safer crossover tested by major agencies. Besides a range of safety features, the base model has a 138 hp 1.4 liter four cylinder turbocharged engine.

Chrysler 200

The 2015 200 has all wheel drive, driver and passenger airbags, antilock brakes, electronic stability control, brake assist and traction control. An optional feature is Forward Collision Warning Plus.

Kia Sorento

In all its crash tests, the Sorento got high marks from both the NHTSA and IIHS. This SUV is a redesign, heightened to be spacious and safe. It has active handling, control braking and exceptional body rigidity.

Audi A6

The Audi A6 aced the NHTSA's tests for frontal and side impact. It also earned impressive scores in the IIHS overlap taps which tackles crumple zones. These alone puts this model high on our list.

Chevrolet Trax

This model combines versatility and maneuverability in a small package perfect for the younger set. The IIHS gave it a Top Safety Pick and the NHTSA gave its safety features a five star rating.

If a teen is lucky enough to get a car, parents have to make sure they have the right car. That's the one with the safety features that will back up their child's own responsible interactions on the road. While a car cannot necessarily stop an accident, the right one can help minimize the possibilities of having one and protecting anyone who does. This list is a great place to start researching and ensuring whenever a teen gets behind the wheel, a parent has done everything they possibly could to improve the child's chances of avoiding disaster.

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