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May 26, 2023

These Are The Best Cars (New And Used) For Teens And Starting Drivers

Subaru and Mazda have topped the list when it comes to recommended cars—new or used—for teen drivers. This is according to the U.S.-based Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports.

The recommendations are based on a comprehensive evaluation by both institutes on various criteria, including vehicle type, size, reliability, emergency handling, braking distance performance, safety ratings and insurance claim rates.

For used vehicles, IIHS/CR split their recommendations into “Best” and “Good” lists. Out of 36 in the “Best” list, 8 are from Subaru and Mazda:
  • Mazda3 Sedan / Hatchback – 2014 to 2020
  • Subaru Impreza Sedan / Hatchback – 2018 or 2022
  • Subaru Legacy – 2013 to 2021
  • Subaru Outback – 2015 to 2018
  • Mazda6 – 2014 to 2018
  • Mazda CX-5 – 2014 or newer
  • Mazda CX-3 – 2016 or 2019
  • Subaru Forester – 2018 or newer
Meanwhile, when it comes to 16 new cars for teens, eight are either from Subaru or Mazda:
  • Mazda3 Sedan / Hatchback
  • Subaru Legacy
  • Subaru Outback
  • Subaru Forester
  • Mazda CX-5
  • Mazda CX-50
  • Subaru Evoltis
  • Mazda CX-9
The IIHS and Consumer Reports factored in being a Top Safety Pick of Top Safety Pick+. That means they have good ratings in three frontal crash tests: driver- and passenger-side small overlap and the original moderate overlap — a good or acceptable rating in the updated side test, advanced or superior ratings for front crash prevention (including daytime and nighttime pedestrian detection), and standard acceptable- or good-rated headlights. Injury claim rates from recent model years are also factored in.

Check out the full list from the IIHS and Consumer Reports here.

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