The car that cares

Best cars for teens: $20,000 or less

The online is whole of lists, some very good and some undesirable. Those people looking for info on the ideal cars and trucks to get for their teenage drivers have any range of reliable sources that give good recommendations. Instead of parroting individuals very well-assumed-out lists, we resolved to rely on the assistance of the Insurance policy Institute for Highway Protection, an corporation that specializes in crash-tests autos and reporting the outcomes to American individuals.

The IIHS partnered up with Buyer Experiences to publish a checklist of cars that are envisioned to be equally trusted and safe and sound, earning very good scores in its possess reasonable overlap front, side, roof toughness and head restraint exams, and a excellent or acceptable ranking in the driver-aspect tiny overlap front check. They also cross-referenced their picks with crash-test information from the National Freeway Site visitors Basic safety Administration to be certain any proposed motor vehicles obtained either 4- or 5-star effects from the federal safety company.

Armed with that knowledge, we break down some of our have tips centered on what is significant to parents and/or their youngsters. Soon after all, with 45 automobiles in every measurement and condition producing the listing from the IIHS, we determine some mother and father may possibly want to narrow down the subject a little bit. With out even further ado, below are our tips for the greatest autos for teens obtainable for a acceptable $20,000 funds.


2017-2018 Mazda3

Plenty of lists for the ideal cars for teens will concentrate in on the Toyota Corolla, and for fantastic reason. It is been 1 of the most dependable cars at any time marketed in America for many years, it’s fairly very affordable, and there is certain to be dozens of them on applied vehicle loads within a number of miles of anyone’s household. But let us say you’re an automotive fanatic who believes the apple does not land much from the tree. If you like to generate and believe your child will abide by in your footsteps, take into account a Mazda3 instead. It’s a lot additional fun to push than a Corolla or even most Honda Civics, with communicative steering and a trip/dealing with equilibrium that leans to the sporty side.

In purchase to get the most basic safety devices and greatest styling, we’d propose aiming for a 2017 or 2018 product if you can come across one in your cost vary. 

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2017-2019 Toyota Prius Key

We’re heading to level with you. The Prius is unattractive. And unless of course your model of joy suggests driving so as to minimize gas use, it is not really entertaining, possibly. We’d relatively travel a Chevy Volt. But the Toyota Prius is certainly effective. So if your teen’s variation of pleasure does certainly signify driving so as to limit gasoline use — and there’s completely very little improper with that — then consider the Prius as exciting as it receives.

You are going to observe that there aren’t any pure electrical vehicles to be identified on this checklist. But the 2017-2019 Toyota Prius Prime does have a plug, which indicates it has a battery pack ample to electricity the car or truck for at the very least some pure electric powered driving expect someplace in close proximity to 25 miles for every whole recharge ahead of the gasoline engine is forced to ignite.

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2018-2019 Subaru Crosstrek

If you reside in the snowbelt or some other spot that on a regular basis deals with inclement weather or muddy conditions, the Subaru Crosstrek may be a great bet for your teen driver. It arrives regular with Subaru’s perfectly-regarded Symmetrical All-Wheel Travel know-how, it features excellent floor clearance and delivers great visibility. It is not as efficient as some of its competitors, however, which suggests its dirty-duty abilities really do not arrive with no some sacrifice.

The Crosstrek was redesigned for the 2018 design calendar year with an all-new chassis, extra protection tech and a nicer interior. We’d intention for that yr or newer, but the 2013-2017 styles are also solid decisions.

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2014-2019 Subaru Outback

If every thing we mentioned about the Subaru Crosstrek applies to your teen driver, but they require or want anything one dimension more substantial, contemplate the Outback. Subaru’s very long-managing and a great deal-cherished lifted all-wheel-push wagon acquired a important update and an all-new stiffer chassis for the 2014 design 12 months, and that’s in which we’d get started our look for. 

Unlike the more compact automobiles on this listing, the Subaru Outback is available with a vary of engine solutions. The foundation 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is most likely a good deal impressive ample for new drivers, although its continuously variable automated transmission does drone underneath steady acceleration. A 3.6-liter six-cylinder motor is also available.

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2017-2019 Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat presents a single of the roomiest interiors of any sedan in The us. In simple fact, the Passat straddles the line involving midsize and fullsize, with a rear seat that compares favorably with a ton of autos that have substantially extra sizable exterior proportions.

If you make a decision the Passat is the correct selection for your teenager driver, we’d advise seeking for a 2018 or 2019 product with the 2.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder motor and six-speed computerized transmission. Older versions of the engine, shared concerning VW and Audi, experienced troubles that ended up dealt with in the third era of the motor discovered in these Passat models.

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2016-2017 Honda Accord

It seems no advised car checklist is full with out a Honda Accord. It is uncomplicated to fully grasp why. It’s one particular of America’s best-advertising sedans for superior explanation trustworthiness, resale worth, protection, know-how and driving dynamics are all details in the Accord’s favor.

It is almost challenging to go erroneous with an Accord, but we’re specially recommending the 2016 and 2017 model yrs. The ninth generation of Honda’s midsize sedan received a slight restyling for 2016 in advance of its substitution arrived in 2018, and acquired Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle for its in-automobile infotainment program. It is also readily available in both coupe and sedan human body models, generating it the only two-doorway model to make the listing.

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2018-2020 Hyundai Kona

Sedans and hatchbacks make wonderful cars and trucks for teens owing to their effortless maneuverability, successful powertrains and cost-effective selling prices. But in The usa, the crossover is king, and if that’s what you are in the market for, your teenager driver may get pleasure from the Hyundai Kona.

The Kona is made available with two motor options, the far better of which is turbocharged and loads highly effective. All-wheel travel is an solution and could be desirable to some owners who live in regions with inclement weather. Unlike a lot of other automobiles offered in The us, the Kona gives a large amount of exclusive design and enjoyment colors, both equally matters that could attraction to a teen.

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2017-2018 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento offers extra utility than some smaller common crossovers owing to its readily available 3rd row seat and generous cargo capacity. But it’s not so significant that it’s as unwieldy like a truck-based mostly SUV could be, significantly in limited city parking areas. As an in-betweener, the Kia Sorento may perhaps make a good deal of feeling for teenager motorists.

The Kia Sorento we’re recommending is from the 2016-2020 product decades. The IIHS points towards the 2017 and 2018 editions, which are fairly great. A refresh in 2019 makes those people even far more desirable if you can come across a superior one particular in your price array.

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2018 Ford Edge

We’ve designed very a couple tips up to this stage, but you may possibly have discovered they all come from international automakers. Which is almost certainly not a challenge for most potential buyers — by the way, several of the encouraged motor vehicles with overseas nameplates are in reality make in America — but if you are tied to American automakers, look at the Ford Edge. It is stylishly sporty, moderately roomy and plentiful on the made use of market.

The Edge commenced its 2nd era for the 2015 model yr in advance of getting a refresh for 2019. It’s not most likely you’ll uncover a single rather that new in the beneath-$20,000 spending plan, but the 2018 version is worthy of a look. Equally the turbocharged four-cylinder and naturally aspirated V6 solutions are effective plenty of, and all-wheel drive is optional. 

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On the lookout for acquiring advice on other reasonably priced vehicles? Finest New Vehicles Under $20,000