Last updated on October 10th, 2023 at 02:57 pm

Purchasing the first car is a thrilling experience for teens and new drivers, and finding a good match is the key to keeping that excitement alive. 

If you are a young driver searching for a new car or the guardian of one who will bear the monthly payments, you probably wonder which cars are best for teenage motorists. 

Keeping affordability, reliability, efficiency, and overall coolness in check, some cars are picked with Top Safety Pick + ratings from the IIHS. 

Top 10 Best Cars For Teens 

1. Toyota Corolla Hatchback

Toyota is notorious for making vehicles that last almost forever and does not cost a fortune. Luckily, the newly released Toyota Corolla Hatchback will offer decades of trustworthy service with minimal repairs. 

Stylish, versatile, and economical with a starting price of only about $20,000. The hatchback can comfortably seat five passengers and has impressive cargo capacity. 

Great driver-assistance features are handy for drivers traveling on the highway and through bustling traffic. 

With 168 horsepower on the tap, its performance is not bad either. Last but not least, it is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. 

2. Honda Fit

The Honda Fit has a hatchback body and offers a second-row Magic Seat. It is exceptionally efficient, easy to maneuver, and more versatile than some vehicles, double its size. 

With a starting price of around $17,000 and good crash-test scores across the board from the IIHS, this car is a good deal for its price point. 

Passenger capacity of 5 people and has a fuel consumption of 15 to 26 liters of petrol per km. This car provides a combined MPG of 36 mpg. 

Honda vehicles usually come with a basic warranty of 3 years or 36,000 miles after purchase so that Honda would cover any repairs on your car under this period. 

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3. Hyundai Veloster

If the young drivers want a car with more visual allure, then the Hyundai’s Veloster is the perfect match. 

Veloster is a sport compact car that combines impressive performance with a fun driving experience. The somewhat asymmetrical hatchback looks fabulous and is practically reasonable.

A base 2.0-liter engine with 147 ponies and three powertrains is offered. Another version is available, with a 1.6L turbo providing a much stronger giddy-up. 

For teens and new drivers, the base model starts at around $19,500 and comes with a six-speed manual transmission is recommended.

4. Nissan Kicks

Nissan Kicks is a subcompact crossover SUV which was first released in 2016 initially introduced as a concept car and is a great pick for teens. 

The interior of this car is elegant, with plenty of cargo space and the Zero Gravity front seats help reduce fatigue for longer road trips. 

The fuel economy for this vehicle is stellar, topping out at 36 MPG highway. The car can give out a horsepower of 122 hp, which is not possible for driving too fast. 

One of the primal advantages of this car is the bargain-basement price of around $19,000, and nothing about the quality feels low quality.

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5. Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is another excellent choice for youthful drivers. Forte is a compact car available in a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, and five-door hatchback variants. 

This compact sedan has a fantastic look, bringing along an upscale interior and a starting price of around $18,000. 

At this price, you get many features such as support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, a standard eight-inch touchscreen, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and much more. 

The Forte managed to earn a Top Safety Pick + rating from the IIHS, which proves that it should perform well in every type of crash.

6. Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen has bought many notable improvements to their beloved four-door for their sixth-generation Jetta.

Music lovers of various ages will enjoy the alterations to Jetta’s infotainment system, which is enabled with USB connectivity and smartphone integration.

The Jetta includes a rearview camera, cruise control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, rear traffic alert, and a blind-spot monitor. 

With a starting price of about $23,795, the Jetta is suitable for teenagers or new drivers. 

7. Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 hatchback has a sleek and sporty style that catches everyone’s attention and matches the car’s handling. 

This Top Safety Pick comes with a standard blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert. Upgrading to an equipment premium package will provide lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, etc. 

With a starting price of $20,800 for the base trim and $22,750 for the hatchback model, the Mazda 3 is excellent for young drivers. It can accommodate up to 5 passengers. 

Mazda also offers a traditional 4-door sedan for the people who do not want the hatchback’s utility. 

8. Honda Accord

At the top 3 of our list for best cars for teens is the 2017 Honda Accord. This car has been a favorite of many new drivers for its good looks, features, and ample cargo room. 

The 2017 model of Accord has upgraded tech and a 185 hp, 2.4L four-cylinder engine. This sedan also has a one-piece folding rear seat perfect for hauling bulky items.

Some features of the Honda Accord include Bluetooth connectivity, rearview camera, four-speaker sound system, and dual-zone automatic climate control. 

Even though the starting price for the Honda Accord is a bit steep at around $32,400, it does not fail to impress its users. Teens are going to enjoy a vehicle like the Accord.

9. Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra is one of the best cars for teens on the list for being an elegant compact sedan that offers a quiet cabin and comfortable ride. 

The standard engine for the Elantra is a 147 hp, 2.0L four-cylinder, which gives the new drivers the get-up-and-go needed for pulling out from a cross street or highway merging.

New drivers or teens will also appreciate the 60/40 rear seat folding to haul more people or luggage for cross-country journeys or road trips. 

The price of the Hyundai Elantra starts from $19,850 and can accommodate five passengers at once. Cruise control and a six-speaker audio system are some of the features of Elantra.

10. Honda Civic

Stealing the number one place for the best car for young drivers is the Honda Civic. This car has a record for being dependable and providing economical service to millions of people around the globe. 

The Civic has been in production since 1972, and since 2000, it has been categorized as a compact car. 

It starts at about $20,000, runs on fuel, is super safe, drives well, and offers a bunch of various technological advancements. It is also available in a wide range of variations. 

You can get coupe, sedan, sporty Si, hatchback, and ultra-high-performance Type R versions of the Civic. This means that there is something for every age, even teens. 

Comparing the Cars

 Car ModelsExpected MilesMaintenance CostRepairPal RatingsJ.D. Power Scores
Toyota Corolla HatchbackAverage 300,000 miles$3624/580/100
Honda Fit200,000 to 300,000 miles$3904/580/100
Hyundai VelosterUp to 200,000 miles$4934/581/100
Nissan Kicks200,000 miles or more$5004/578/100
Kia Forte150,000 to 200,000 miles$4514/583/100
Volkswagen Jetta100,000 to 150,000 miles$6093.5/575/100
Mazda 3200,000 to 300,000 miles$4334/578/100
Honda AccordUp to 200,000 miles$4004.5/583/100
Hyundai Elantra200,000 to 250,000 miles$4524/580/100
Honda CivicUp to 300,000 miles$3684.5/584/100

Types of Cars to Avoid

Sports cars have a stylish and relaxed look, but they may tempt young drivers and teens to drive beyond their skills. Big SUVs or pickup trucks will surround the driver with more metal and may become harder to control and even more challenging to park. 

City cars are affordable and get better gas mileage than midsize or compact cars but compared with an SUV or full-size truck, they will mostly come out second. 

Some teens will be interested in high-horsepower cars, but even experienced drivers are prone to over-driving their skills on wet pavement. Increased horsepower converts to higher insurance rates and potential trouble for teens. 

Final Words

If you and your family are looking to buy a new car for a teenager, then look for a vehicle with full safety features such as anti-lock brakes, stability control, forward-collision warning, and traction control. 

It is essential to handover a vehicle that provides a comfortable ride with enough safety measures to a youngster, especially teens who crave driving up to full speed.

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