U.S. News & World Report Names Best New and Used Cars For Teens

Teen Driver
Credit: pixelheadphoto digitalskillet/Shutterstock
If youíre shopping for a car for your teen anytime soon, this is a great list to look at and use for research. Itís U.S. News & World Reportís annual list of the Best Cars for Teens. The list is broken down into two categories, new and used, in different price ranges and sizes that can accommodate a variety of budgets and needs. Specific factors taken into account include safety and parent-friendly features.


Safety is a key factor in all the vehicles that made this yearís cut. All 2019 Best New Cars for Teens have available forward collision warning and forward automatic emergency braking. Nearly every winner has lane departure warning Ė which alerts the driver if the car strays out of its lane Ė and lane keeping assist, which can help keep the car in its lane.

"Inexperienced teen drivers are more at risk for an accident, and the car they drive can either contribute to or help mitigate that risk," said Jamie Page Deaton, executive editor of U.S. News Best Cars. "The Best Cars for Teens have top-of-the-line safety features, including accident prevention and crash protection technologies, as well as features that allow parents to track their new drivers. All that tech can not only protect teens but also help them develop safe driving skills."

MORE >> How to Pick Your Teens First Car

Parent-Friendly Features

Almost all winners are also parent-friendly. Meaning they also have teen driver controls or available smartphone apps that send parents alerts when the car goes over a set speed or is driven outside a set geographic area or after a certain time of day. These features allow parents to set limits for teen drivers and have an ongoing conversation with their teens about responsible driving habits.

New vehicle list by price range:

Best Car Under $20,000: 2019 Hyundai Accent
Best Car $20,000 to $25,000: 2019 VW Jetta
Best SUV $20,000-$25,000: 2019 Honda HR-V
Best Car $25,000 to $30,000: 2019 Kia Forte
Best SUV $25,000 to $30,000: 2019 Kia Soul
Best Car $30,000 to $35,000: 2019 Toyota Camry
Best SUV $30,000 to $35,000: 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe
Best Car $35,000 to $40,000: 2019 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Best Car $35,000 to $40,000: 2019 Toyota RAV4

Best used car for teens list by size:

Best large car for teens: 2016 Buick LaCrosse
Best midsized car for teens: 2016 Toyota Camry
Best midsized SUV for teens: 2015 Chevy Traverse
Best small car for teens: 2016 Toyota Prius
Best small SUV for teens: 2016 Hyundai Tucson


To be named one of the Best New Cars for Teens, a vehicle has to have the best combination of predicted reliability ratings, crash test scores, available advanced driver assistance features and top critics' recommendations in the U.S. News Best Cars rankings in its price category.

To be named a Best Used Car for Teens, a vehicle must be from the 2014 through 2016 model years and have the best combination of dependability and safety ratings, ownership costs, positive reviews from critics when the vehicles were new, and available tech that can help prevent crashes or lessen their severity.

Speaking of teen drivers, if you have one or know someone who has a teen driver, be sure to look at the teen driver contract I talk about on the air all the time.
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