Not All Safe Used Cars for Teens Horrible
The combination of car insurance, safety, and recommended used cars for teens normally would be yawn inducing, but the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crafted a list that doesn't suck. There are some good cars teens won't mind driving.
Just in case you didn't know, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is an independent, nonprofit scientific and educational organization dedicated to reducing the losses — deaths, injuries and property damage — from crashes. That's why it compiled a list of safe used cars that have the highest safety ratings possible, electronic stability control, heavier weight and not too much horsepower.
OK, that latter one is a downer (after all this is an insurance list) but check out some of the cars it did recommend.
Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Frankly, the Outlander Sport is the only good Mitsubishi on the market that won't kill a teen (I'm looking at you Lancer Evo). It's recommended to buy the 2011 models and beyond starting at $12,000.
The IIHS recommends model years 2009 and newer for this little German sedan, which is a good thing because the A4 went through a major redesign for the 2008 model year. You're looking at $14,000 or more for a good used one.
OK, so Suzuki wasn't known for building great vehicles, which is why it left the US market in December 2012 – but the Kizashi is the exception. It's an engaging sedan and you can probably get a 2010 model for about $7000. Find a manual if you can.
The IIHS recommends the model years 2007 to 2011 for this midsize SUV that ceased production in 2012– phased out in favor of the smaller CX-5. It's a little cramped inside which means your teen won't be packing his or her friends in.
VW Jetta Sportswagen
Any list that includes a zippy station wagon just warms the cockles of an automotive journalist's heart. One caveat would be to get it inspected before purchase. Look for model years 2009 and newer and expect prices to start at $9,400.
It's good to see that not all insurance recommendations for safe used cars for teens are dull. Maybe teens will actually want to start driving again after seeing the list.