10 great and safe rides for teensThu, 03 Sep 2009 00:00:00 -0700
Thinking about what's the best car for your teen when he or she faces the real word of driving? Here are some suggestions:
BASE PRICE: $17,090
With five-star front- and side-crash ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a hatchback body, the Caliber is among the safest and most flexible small cars on the market.
BASE PRICE: $16,690
The car is long in the tooth, but Ford's continuous refinement of the Focus yields a reliable and still fun-to-drive car with respectable crash-safety results.
BASE PRICE: $16,015
A smooth drivetrain that's historically reliable. Also, consider the good build quality and that it's an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety top safety pick, and you have an ideal first car.
BASE PRICE: $17,000
A superb chassis and an interior that looks more expensive than it is set the Rabbit apart. High safety marks in crash tests and being an IIHS top pick are also pluses.
BASE PRICE: $13,995
If the cute hamster commercials aren't enough to sell this stylish box, then news of the Soul being one of the latest cars to gain the IIHS's top safety accolades should help.
BASE PRICE: $15,795
With the 3 receiving a redo for 2010, the car returns with the same sporty driving DNA and sleeker styling. And it receives high NHTSA crash ratings.
BASE PRICE: $16,820
The last Pontiac to be sold in the United States is safe (five-star frontal-crash ratings), spacious, efficient (26 city/32 highway mpg) and available with all-wheel drive.
Used Mazda 6
2003-08 Mazda 6
AVERAGE PRICE RANGE: $6,500-$15,000
Besides being a fun-driving midsize sedan, the first-generation Mazda 6 is sized right and received five-star front-crash ratings.
Used Honda Accord
2003-07 Honda Accord
AVERAGE PRICE RANGE: $7,600-$12,700
We've never had anyone come back disappointed after we recommended an Accord. It has almost all five-star crash ratings across the board.
1979-81 Mercedes-Benz 300TD
AVERAGE PRICE RANGE: $6,000-$14,000
Nothing will make you cooler and keep you safer than a vintage Mercedes wagon.