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Best Safe Used Cars for Teens

It is a new year, and you have a teenager who is excited about getting a driver’s license and their own car to drive, but you are understandably nervous since the crash rates for teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are nearly four times those of drivers ages 20 and older per mile driven. To allay fears of parents, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports (CR) have teamed up to compile a joint list of recommended safe, reliable and affordable used vehicles for teen drivers. Prices are rounded to the nearest $100 and based on Kelley Blue Book average U.S. prices from July 1, 2020 for the lowest trim level and earliest applicable model year and range from a little over $5,000 and under $20,000.

The vehicles are listed under two tiers – Good Choices and Best Choices, which have stricter criteria. All Best Choice vehicles have electronic stability and good ratings in IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, and good or acceptable ratings in the driver-side small overlap front test. They earn 4 or 5 stars overall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). They have above-average reliability CR scores, average or better CR scores in emergency handling, and dry braking distances of less than 14 feet from 60 mph. Insurance claim rates were also considered. Vehicles with significantly higher than average claim frequency under medical payment or personal injury protection coverage are excluded from this list.

Small Cars
Mazda 3 (2014 or newer)
Subaru Impreza sedan or wagon (2014 or newer)
Hyundai Elantra GT (2018 or newer)
Kia Forte (2019 or newer)
Kia Niro hybrid or plug-in hybrid (2018)
Toyota Corolla hatchback (2019 or newer)
Honda Insight (2019 or newer)
Subaru Crosstrek (2018 or newer)
Toyota Prius Prime (2017 or newer)

Midsize Cars
Subaru Legacy (2013 or newer)
Subaru Outback (2013 or newer)
Honda Accord sedan and coupe (2013 or newer)
Volkswagen Jetta (2016-2018)
Mazda 6 (2015 or newer)
Volkswagen Passat (2016-2018)
Toyota Prius V (2015-17)
Lincoln MKZ (2016 or newer)
Volvo S60 (2017-2018)
Nissan Altima (2019 or newer)
Audi A3 (2017, 2020)
BMW 3-series sedan (2017 or newer)

Small SUVs 
Mazda CX-5 (2014 or newer)
Buick Encore (2016 or newer)
Chevrolet Equinox (2016 or newer)
Honda CR-V (2015-2016, 2019 or newer)
Mazda CX-3 (2017 or newer)
Subaru Forester (2016 or newer)
Nissan Rogue (2017 or newer)
Toyota RAV4 (2015 or newer)
Honda HR-V (built after March 2017-2018)
Hyundai Kona (2018 or newer)
Audi Q3 (2016 or newer)

The list also includes a large size car, midsize SUVs and minivans. You can see the complete list and average prices, as well as vehicles on the Good Choices list, at the IIHSA and CR sites.

Additionally, IIHSA reminds consumers when buying a used vehicle to always check for outstanding recalls at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration data base. Notify the manufacturer of your purchase so you get important alerts. NHTSA also advises vehicle owners to check its database for new recalls every six months or so.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned.  Carousel Preowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa

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