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15 Safe, Affordable, Fuel Efficient Vehicles For Teens


So your teen has just turned 16 and they are begging for a new ride. It would be impractical to say, “No, you are on your own”, but you also have enough common sense not to buy your ticking-time-bomb teen a new vehicle and unleash them on the road. I’m sure you weren’t contemplating doing this. Have you looked at teen driving statistics lately? Are you certain your child will not text and drive? Do you text and drive? Ok I’m off my soapbox.

Do you need further convincing? The number one cause of death in adolescents are motor vehicle crashes. Here is more:

  • The greatest chance of an auto accident is within the first six months of getting a license
  • Fatalities are over 4 times higher for teens when compared with ages 25-70
  • Distractions from cellphone
  • Showing off for friends
  • Alcohol
  • This list could go on for awhile, but you get the idea


So your criteria, as a rational parent, is as follows:

  • A vehicle that performs well in crash safety test, because even your well-adjusted teen will get in a wreck
  • A reliable starter vehicle that won’t break the bank. Why not spend a lot of money? See above.
  • A car that doesn’t look like an Edsel!

The good news is all of the criteria mentioned can be met. You can purchase a safe, reliable, and visually appealing vehicle for your 16-year old. Here is your list of 15 used vehicles:


In addition to clean lines, the later model Chevrolet Cruze gets almost 40 MPG.

Chevrolet Cruze

Copyright MotorTrend


The later model Fusions look much better after being redesigned in 2013, but all perform will in safety tests.

Ford Fusion


The Accord is the industry standard for safety, aesthetics, and long-lived performance. Although Honda’s in general hold their value better than other manufacturers, the inflated sticker price is well warranted.

Honda Accord


Yes, the Fit is a little boxy and cramped but in addition to high marks in safety tests, all Fit’s get 35+ MPG.

Honda Fit


A reliable release from a rising star in the automobile industry. V-6 suffers from low fuel economy.

Hyundai Santa Fe


Since the 2013 makeover, one could argue that this is Hyundai’s flagship and it just might be. A cheap and beautiful car for your teenager.

Hyundai Sonata


The Kia Soul has exactly that. Retro styling with very good fuel economy, the Kia is in the middle of the pack in terms of price.

Kia Soul


We said one of the criteria was visually appealing design. Yes, the Kia Sportage falls a bit short in this regard, but its safety and reliability compensate.

Kia Sportage


If you can actually find a 2013 CX-5: buy it! If you don’t purchase a CX-5 for your child, purchase one for yourself. Skyactiv technology gives this release 35+ MPG. On the higher end of our price point, and possibly out of our range, I couldn’t leave this one out.

Mazda Minagi concept


The Altima is Nissan’s lower end sedan which makes it perfect for this list. Safe and reliable.

Nissan Altima


The jury is still out on the Scion’s but fuel economy and price make the Xb very appealing.

Scion Xb


The styling of the Matrix has improved as well as its safety test results. Think an edgier Prius without the snobbery.

Toyota Matrix


As far as Toyota used car prices are concerned, the Rav4 is remarkably affordable. The Rav4 has always performed well in safety tests.

Tyota Rav4


Many people don’t know that Volkswagon is the number one carmaker in the world. The Jetta is the flagship sedan of VW.



Views: 390

Tags: 2013, affordable, for, safe, teens, vehicles


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Comment by Big Tom LaPointe on August 30, 2013 at 8:40pm

Great info here.

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