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Top 10 Best Cars for Teenagers

May 31, 2012

Now that the school year is winding down, many teens are looking for a vehicle that will get them to and from their summer jobs. Others are going to need a car for college.

This week, both Edmunds.com and Consumer Reports released their list of the top 10 best cars for teens.

Both sources agree that the best cars are those that rank well in crash tests, are large enough to offer adequete crash-worthiness, and should not be overly powerful.

Most of the recommended vehicles are family sedans, and both sources agree that SUVs should be avoided.

Here are the top 10 picks (vehicles in bold were recommended by both sources).

Edmunds.com PicksConsumer Reports Picks
2009 Honda AccordChevrolet Malibu (4-cyl., 2008 or later)
2009 Toyota CamryFord Focus sedan (2009-2011)
2010 Chevrolet MalibuHonda Accord (4-cyl., 2008 or later)
2010 Volkswagen JettaHyundai Sonata (4-cyl., 2006 or later)
2011 Hyundai SonataKia Optima (non-turbo, 2010 or later)
2012 Honda AccordMazda3 i Touring (2009 or later)
2012 Hyundai SonataNissan Altima (4-cyl., 2010 or later)
2012 Toyota CamrySubaru Impreza (non-turbo, 2009 or later)
2012 Volkswagen JettaToyota Corolla (2010 or later)
2013 Chevrolet MalibuVolkswagen Jetta (2007-2010)

My Recommendation for Car Shoppers

TrueCar, Edmunds, and 1-800 Car Show are the quickest way to see the lowest car prices in your area. These sites show you no-haggle prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually really good. This should be the first step you take when negotiating your car price. Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.

California Residents - Important:

There is a new online car buying service called Roadster, available only to California residents, which I highly recommend you try - especially if you hate the stress of haggling with a car salesman. They provide an expert concierge who negotiates the price of the car and delivers it to your home with zero hassle - you never have to interact with a dealership. Here is my in-depth review of Roadster and why I recommend it.

- Gregg Fidan

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Gregg Fidan

About: Gregg Fidan


Gregg Fidan + is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.

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