Your first car: The most reliable vehicles for teens
Sandra Hermiston and Ross McLaughlin, CTV Vancouver
Published Wednesday, March 13, 2019 6:00AM PDT
Last Updated Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:56PM PDT
Do you think that your child getting a driver’s licence is a scary prospect? What about buying his or her first car? Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens from 16 to 19 years old, so it’s no wonder many parents feel nervous.
But there are some vehicle models that make for a safer and more reliable first car.
“You should pick safety over style. You don’t want a car that’s really fast, because that’s just going to entice young drivers to get in trouble,” explained Jen Stockburger, Consumer Reports auto expert.
That means a big no to sports cars. Instead, go for mid-sized sedans or smaller SUVs. Avoid minivans, large SUVs and trucks. They’re harder to handle and they hold more passengers, which can be distracting to drivers.
“Most parents are going to buy used, so buy as much safety as you can afford,” said Stockburger.
“When I was buying cars for my kids, I was definitely looking for airbags and stability control,” added Patrick Olsen, Consumer Reports auto expert.
Also look for collision warning, which alerts drivers to obstacles or vehicles in front, and automatic emergency braking, which senses a collision and applies the brakes if the driver doesn’t.
Like it or not, teenagers will be tempted to use their phones in a car. But Bluetooth lets them use phones hands-free, so drivers keep their eyes on the road.
If you’re looking for the entire list of cars that Consumer Reports recommends for teens, you can find it here.