The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports (CR) offers families their latest list of recommended vehicles for teenage drivers, covering 16 new and 46 vehicles. While affordability remains a challenge in the current market, the focus on occupant protection, emergency handling, braking, and reliability remains crucial. The criteria for suitable teen vehicles include avoiding sports cars and extremes in size, with an emphasis on crash protection. Used vehicles are evaluated based on earlier tests, while new vehicles are held to the highest safety standards. These recommendations help parents select safe, practical, and affordable transportation options for their teenage drivers.
Key Points about the Best Vehicles for Teenage Drivers
The following are the key takeaways from the most recent IIHS/CR study:
Choosing Safe and Practical Vehicles
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports (CR) have compiled a list of recommended vehicles for teenagers. These vehicles are deemed safe and practical options for young drivers.
Finding an appropriate and affordable vehicle can be challenging, as prices for both new and used vehicles have remained high. Most vehicles on the recommended list for teens cost more than $10,000.
Focus on Safety
The list prioritizes occupant protection, emergency handling, braking, and reliability. With the rise in overall traffic deaths, including those involving teenagers, young drivers must have vehicles with a high degree of safety features.
Sedate and Moderately Sized
Sports cars and vehicles with excessive horsepower are excluded from the list. Such vehicles can tempt young drivers to speed and show off. Additionally, extremely small or large vehicles are not recommended. Moderately sized vehicles strike a better balance of crash avoidance and protection.
Crash Protection Criteria
Different criteria are applied for new and used vehicles. Older models are judged based on tests conducted when they were introduced. The recommended used vehicles are divided into Best Choices and Good Choices, with Best Choices offering a higher level of safety.
Standards for Used Vehicles
Both Best Choices and Good Choices for used vehicles should have standard electronic stability control, above-average reliability, good emergency handling scores, shorter braking distances, good ratings in IIHS crashworthiness tests, and favorable ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Additional Criteria for Best Choices
The Best Choices for used vehicles should also have good or acceptable ratings in the IIHS driver-side small overlap front test and should not have substantially higher than average insurance claim rates.
Higher Standards for New Vehicles
The recommended new vehicles have even higher standards. They are all 2023 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK or TOP SAFETY PICK+ winners, meaning they excel in various crash tests, have advanced front crash prevention systems, and meet criteria for headlights and injury claim rates.
Evaluation of New Vehicles
The new svehicles on the list have excellent ratings in IIHS tests, meet CR’s standards, have good predicted reliability, meet emergency handling requirements, and have shorter braking distances compared to used vehicles. They also receive a good or better rating for ease of use of their controls.
Resource for Safety-Conscious Buyers
While the recommendations are primarily aimed at young drivers, they can serve as a valuable resource for anyone seeking a safe, reliable, and affordable vehicle. The new-vehicle section is particularly useful for parents. Especially if they’re looking to purchase a vehicle that they can later pass on to a new driver in the future.
Teenage Drivers Shopping Considerations
To summarize, the IIHS and CR’s vehicle recommendations provide a valuable tool for families seeking safe, affordable options for teenage drivers. Despite potential cost challenges, safety should be the primary consideration. By following this list’s advice, parents can enhance their teenagers’ road safety.
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