Everyone remembers their very first car—typically used and beaten, we often remember these vehicles for their shocking lack of safety features. And while these memories are funny to think back on, it’s certainly a good thing that family-friendly automobiles are very affordable in today’s market! However, pitching safety features to a soon-to-be driver—especially your teen—isn’t always the easiest task. Here’s a list of safe “first cars” you and your teenager will love to give you a helping hand.
Buy Used: Honda Civic (2017+)
2023 Honda Civics ($23,750+) are great options for teenage drivers. However, Civic models from 2017 to 2022 offer a similar level of safety features and dependable performance at a lower price tag. Most Civics from this range go for $16,500-$22,000 on the secondhand market. And for that relatively small investment, your child will receive a tremendous first vehicle. For example, let’s look at the specs of a 2019 Honda Civic:
These Civics boast a hardy multi-point I4 engine designed to withstand well over 100,000 miles of usage. Plus, your teenager will enjoy the quickness of the continuously variable transmission and optional turbocharger, while you can rest assured that the smaller engine won’t allow for reckless driving behaviors. As a bonus, this five-seater boasts a combined 33 MPG fuel efficiency rating, ensuring your teen can reliably drive around town with all their friends!
Buy New: Ford Bronco Sport (2023)
Yes, the Ford Bronco is a safe car for teens! While used models from the 1990s aren’t the most dependable options, the 2023 Bronco Sport is no slouch. It’s widely considered one of the safest 4×4 mid-size SUVs (with off-roading capabilities) available this year, thanks to a plethora of quality components and advanced safety features.
The Sport package ($29,215) offers optional upgrades for auto high-beam headlights, evasive steering assist, less-distracting voice-activated driving assistance, lane-keeping systems, automatic emergency braking (AEB), blind spot detection, and more. The advanced 4×4 elements, including multiple GOAT driving modes, ensure a capable and dependable drive in a wide range of environments. This vehicle is perfect for those living in weather-active regions where driving conditions can become quite hazardous. If your teen is looking for a fun 4×4, they’ll be happy to know the Bronco is much safer when compared to the Jeep Wrangler!
Buy Used: Toyota Prius V (2015-2017)
The Toyota Prius V is an excellent used option for budget-friendly families and environmentally-conscious consumers alike. Its larger size, compared to the standard Prius, makes it a spacious hybrid that offers ample room for passengers and cargo while maintaining impressive safety features. Available collision warning systems ensure added security on the road, giving you peace of mind as your teen navigates their city’s roads. Boasting a remarkable 44/40 MPG fuel economy, the Prius V provides tremendous gas savings and is reliable from point A to point B. Additionally, extra-bright LED headlights enhance visibility during nighttime driving or in low-light conditions, further contributing to the vehicle’s safety profile. Luckily, you can snag a 2015-2017 model from the secondhand market for just under $14,500!
Plenty of safe “first cars” are available for newer drivers; however, there aren’t many vehicles that you and your teenager will love. Use this guide to ensure your children receive a dependable, safe, and enjoyable automobile when the time comes for them to hit the road.