It’s not too hard to guess which types of vehicles they would choose if most teens had their druthers. Many would pick the newest, most expensive models on the market so they could travel in style and impress their friends. These vehicles would have lots of horsepower so they could peel away from stop signs in a hurry, and they’d be loaded with every infotainment and convenience feature in the book.
As a parent, your choice for your teen’s transportation will be a lot different. Your top priority will no doubt be safety. The best cars for teens have excellent crash-test scores and offer safety features and driver-assistive technology that protect teens when they’re behind the wheel. Many models also offer technology specifically created to support teen drivers. This technology allows parents to monitor their kids’ driving habits from a distance by setting top speed limits and screening radio content.
Unless you’re fortunate enough to have vast financial resources, another priority will be cost, and a used car represents the most value-oriented solution. Newer used cars are your best bets, since these choices offer the most modern safety features. Most of a car’s depreciation takes place in its first year of ownership, and a vehicle can lose as much as 19 percent of its value after just one year. This means it’s possible for you to realize excellent savings even if you’re purchasing a used car that’s just one year old.
The stakes are high when it comes to selecting a car for your teen. According to data gathered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in this country. Newly licensed teens face the highest risk, and young drivers are most likely to suffer a crash during their first few months on the road. Their lack of experience makes teens less likely to recognize hazardous situations than older, more seasoned drivers. In situations like this, driver-assistance technology can literally save lives.
The three used cars listed below are excellent picks for teen drivers.
2015 Ford Fusion
The 2015 Ford Fusion has traits agreeable to both parents and teens. Its handsome sheet metal means teens can get behind the wheel without feeling the need to duck their heads in shame, and the Fusion offers tech features teens will love, such as Ford’s voice-activated Sync system.
Parents will appreciate the fact that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Fusion a perfect five-star overall crash-test rating. All 2015 Fusions come standard with a rearview camera, which will provide your teen with helpful assistance when performing rearward maneuvers. Traction control, antilock brakes and stability control are all standard, and the Fusion is available with optional driver-assistive technology such as blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist and forward collision warning.
The 2015 Fusion comes standard with Ford’s MyKey system. This technology promotes responsible teen driving by encouraging good habits. MyKey offers reminder chimes if a driver is unbuckled, and it allows parents to set top speed limits and block explicit radio content. If driver-assistive technology is present, MyKey prevents this technology from being deactivated. It also sets limits on the Fusion’s audio volume and provides an earlier low-fuel warning.
2015 Hyundai Sonata
The Sonata is a popular pick for family transportation, and it’s also a great choice for your teen driver. It’s attractive to look at and offers standard features such as satellite radio. Sonatas are great bargains, and even the 2016 model is affordably priced.
In NHTSA crash tests, the Sonata earned the top overall score of five stars. Antilock brakes are standard, as are traction and stability control. A rearview camera and rear park assist are offered as options, and the Sonata is available with driver-assistive technology such as blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and forward collision warning.
The 2015 Sonata is available with Blue Link, Hyundai’s telematics system. This system allows parents to set limits on the Sonata’s speed, and to monitor its hours of operation. Parents can also designate boundaries, and they’ll be notified if the vehicle drives beyond these geographic limits. Parents may receive alerts via email, text message or both.
2015 Kia Optima
The first thing you’ll notice about the 2015 Kia Optima is its striking good looks. The sedan’s lines are bold and assertive, but there’s more to this Kia than meets the eye. It comes loaded with a long list of standard features and a value-oriented price tag. All Optimas provide satellite radio, and the options list includes fun choices such as a panoramic sunroof.
NHTSA gave the 2015 Kia Optima its highest crash-test rating: five stars. Standard safety features include traction control, antilock brakes and stability control, and a rearview camera and rear parking sensors are available. The Optima is available with driver-assistive technology features that will aid your teen on the road, and the sedan may be equipped with rear cross traffic alert and blind spot monitoring.
The 2015 Optima makes it easy to track your teen on the road by offering parents the ability to create settings that send them alerts if a certain speed is exceeded or if the car travels beyond certain geographic boundaries. The Optima also allows you to create and enforce curfews for your teen by sending you notification if the car is driven in a restricted time period.
Sound Choices, Safe Solutions
If you’re the parent of a teen driver, you probably feel a knot of anxiety in your stomach every time your child takes the keys. A used car with the latest safety features and technology will allay your fears and provide affordable protection for your teen on the road.