By: Cole Wasilow
New drivers don’t need a car that goes from 0-60 in 3 seconds. New drivers need a car that is both safe and reliable. With so many cars to choose from, deciding on a new car can be a tedious process. Many of these cars boast standard active safety systems that some companies make you pay extra for, while others focus on a car that will definitely get you from place to place. The goal is to find a perfect balance, a marriage of the two. The cars on this list are all safe, reliable vehicles.
- Subaru Impreza – The Subaru Impreza is one of the the safest cars on this list, and boasts standard safety features such as forward collision warning and “Blind spot monitoring”. The Impreza is available as a sedan or a hatchback, and can be equipped with any feature that Subaru offers. The Impreza that I priced out with the upgraded safety system and upgraded sound system was just over $25,000 brand new. Although this may sound like a lot for a teen, a used model is more cost effective, as you can find them for under $15,000. Another advantage to any Subaru is that an all wheel drive system is standard on all models.
- Honda Civic – The Honda Civic is every parent’s pick for their beloved child, and for a good reason. As far as safety goes, the new Civic earns top government safety ratings. “Honda Sensing” is an advanced suite of active safety technology that is designed to aid daily driving. A new Civic with a continuously variable transmission will come out to just over $21,000 and a used one can be found for about $14,000-$15,000.
- Hyundai Elantra – The Hyundai Elantra is one of the greatest car bargains on the market today. This is because every new Hyundai comes with a 10 year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty. The Elantra can come with many more features than its competitors for $21,000, and has a 5 star safety rating. Although it is a bargain, Hyundai has had a rough reputation in the past in terms of reliability, so when looking at used, buyers found most success in newer models with fewer miles.
- Toyota Corolla – The Toyota Corolla is a great first car and one of the most competitive in it’s class. The Toyota Corolla is the most sold car in the world. All new Corolla’s come with a 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty which you most likely won’t need as Toyota makes some of the most reliable cars on the road today. As far as safety goes, all Corolla’s from 2014 and newer earn a 5 star safety rating and has many of today’s most necessary safety features. The Corolla also boasts Toyota’s suite of active safety technology, called Toyota Safety Sense, which includes forward collision warning with active braking, lane departure alert with steering assist, and more. A used Corolla will run you about $15,000, as Toyota’s hold their value much better than other cars on this list, because of their reliability.
- Chevy Cruze- The Chevy Cruze is an option many teens might appeal to, as many think it is the best looking. The Cruze also achieves an insanely high gas mileage rating of 52 mpg if you opt for the diesel engine, which is a $4,000 upgrade. The Cruze earns a 5 star safety rating in vehicles from 2012 and newer. When new, the Cruze is on the more expensive side, costing you about $26,000 but when used, Cruzes can be found for about $9,000.