Everyone remembers his or her first car.
For teenagers, it represents independence. For parents, it is the beginning of years of worry.
Before picking out a car, it is always good to have a frank and firm conversation concerning safety behind-the-wheel and a discussion on what type of car would best meet the teenager’s needs.
If a low price is paramount, there are several small cars for under $20,000 with a good reputation for reliability and above average gas mileage, a big factor for the teen who has to buy their own fuel.
However, one fact to always remember is in any traffic crash, the bigger vehicle is most often the winner, another strong point to make with your teen driver.
With speeding as a contributing factor in one-third of all crashes, teens don’t need high-performance, quick-off-the-line muscle cars. Smaller cars may go slower but that helps teach the caution and control new drivers need to have.
The Chevy Cruze and the Suzuki SX4 are small cars with strong safety features, such as rear airbags. Fuel economy ranges above 30 miles per gallon.
The Ford Focus has a MyKey feature that can limit speed, radio volume and prevent teens from disabling safety systems. It gets up to 40 miles per gallon.
Volkswagen’s Golf has plenty of pep, and gets more than 30 mpg while VW’s Rabbit TDI (turbo diesel) is a little slower but gets nearly 50 mpg.
Other good choices include the Honda Civic, the Hyundai Sonata and the Ford Fusion. Toyota’s Corolla, Kia’s Soul and the Scion Xb should also be considered.
For helpful hints on teen driving, visit AAA.com/Teens.