With kids in various parts of the country either back in school or preparing to return, the scramble to find a vehicle for them to get there is on for many folks.
Finding the right vehicle for a new driver is tough. Price, safety features and style all play a role in the selection, although their ranking on the list of priorities likely different depending upon who is asked: teenager or parent.
it can also be difficult, when buying a used vehicle to find the advanced driver assistance systems many parents want for their children.
“Not every car is a good fit for a teen driver,” said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars.
“High-performance models can tempt teens to drive beyond their skills, and vehicles without key safety features can leave teens at higher risk for an accident.
To help in the search, the magazine has compiled a list of what they believe is the best of the best offerings for young drivers. The editors of the publication selected options from the new and used lots at dealerships.
The new vehicle winners for 2020 are:
- Best Car for Teens Under $20K: 2020 Honda Fit
- Best Car for Teens $20K to $25K: 2020 Toyota Corolla
- Best SUV for Teens $20K to $25K: 2020 Ford Escape
- Best Car for Teens $25K to $30K: 2020 Kia Optima
- Best SUV for Teens $25K to $30K: 2020 Kia Sportage
- Best Car for Teens $30K to $35K: 2020 Hyundai Sonata
- Best SUV for Teens $30K to $35K: 2020 Nissan Rogue
- Best Car for Teens $35K to $40K: 2020 Toyota Camry Hybrid
- Best SUV for Teens $35K to $40K: 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe
“The winners of the Best Cars for Teens awards all have top-of-the-line safety features that can help teens safely develop their driving skills while lowering the risk that they’ll be involved in a collision.”
All 2020 Best New Cars for Teens have available forward collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking, as well as lane departure warning and lane keeping assist.
All of the winners in categories above $20,000 also have teen driver controls or available smartphone apps that send parents alerts when the car goes over a set speed or is driven outside a set geographic area or time period. These features allow parents to set limits for teen drivers and have an ongoing conversation with their teens about responsible driving habits.
The used car winners include:
- Large Car: 2017 Kia Cadenza
- Midsize Car: 2016 Toyota Camry/Camry Hybrid
- Midsize SUV: 2017 Kia Sorento
- Small Car: 2016 Toyota Prius
- Small SUV: 2017 Hyundai Tucson
To be named one of the Best New Cars for Teens, a vehicle has to have the best combination of predicted reliability ratings, crash test scores, available advanced driver assistance features and top critics’ recommendations in the U.S. News Best Cars rankings in its price category, according to the magazine.
Additionally, used vehicle winners must a vehicle must be from the 2015 through 2017 model years and have the best combination of dependability and safety ratings, ownership costs, positive reviews from critics when the vehicles were new, and available tech that can help prevent crashes or lessen their severity.