Best cars for teens: $20,000 or less

The world-wide-web is full of lists, some great and some terrible. Individuals hunting for information and facts on the best vehicles to invest in for their teenage motorists have any amount of trustworthy sources that offer strong tips. As an alternative of parroting those people effectively-imagined-out lists, we resolved to depend on the advice of the Insurance policies Institute for Freeway Basic safety, an business that specializes in crash-screening cars and reporting the success to American consumers.

The IIHS partnered up with Consumer Experiences to publish a record of automobiles that are predicted to be both of those dependable and harmless, earning excellent ratings in its have average overlap front, side, roof toughness and head restraint tests, and a good or satisfactory rating in the driver-facet smaller overlap front exam. They also cross-referenced their picks with crash-examination info from the Nationwide Freeway Website traffic Security Administration to make certain any advised autos received both four- or five-star effects from the federal safety agency.

Armed with that information, we split down some of our have recommendations based mostly on what is critical to parents and/or their children. Right after all, with 45 motor vehicles in just about every measurement and condition creating the listing from the IIHS, we determine some moms and dads could want to slim down the industry a little bit. Without having even more ado, listed here are our recommendations for the very best autos for teenagers readily available for a acceptable $20,000 spending budget.


2017-2018 Mazda3

Loads of lists for the finest automobiles for teenagers will concentrate in on the Toyota Corolla, and for fantastic motive. It is been a person of the most responsible automobiles ever marketed in The united states for decades, it’s moderately cost-effective, and there’s certain to be dozens of them on applied car or truck loads inside a couple of miles of anyone’s dwelling. But let’s say you are an automotive enthusiast who believes the apple doesn’t land considerably from the tree. If you like to push and assume your kid will observe in your footsteps, look at a Mazda3 as an alternative. It’s a ton far more enjoyable to generate than a Corolla or even most Honda Civics, with communicative steering and a ride/handling equilibrium that leans to the sporty aspect.

In get to get the most protection products and best styling, we’d suggest aiming for a 2017 or 2018 design if you can uncover one particular in your rate range. 

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2017-2019 Toyota Prius Prime

We’re heading to level with you. The Prius is unsightly. And until your version of joy indicates driving so as to lower gas use, it is not pretty enjoyment, either. We’d instead drive a Chevy Volt. But the Toyota Prius is without a doubt efficient. So if your teen’s variation of joy does indeed necessarily mean driving so as to lower fuel use — and there is definitely almost nothing improper with that — then look at the Prius as fun as it receives.

You are going to recognize that there aren’t any pure electric powered autos to be identified on this list. But the 2017-2019 Toyota Prius Prime does have a plug, which indicates it has a battery pack ample to ability the automobile for at least some pure electric powered driving anticipate somewhere in the vicinity of 25 miles for each complete recharge just before the gasoline motor is forced to ignite.

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2018-2019 Subaru Crosstrek

If you reside in the snowbelt or some other location that on a regular basis promotions with inclement temperature or muddy ailments, the Subaru Crosstrek may be a very good guess for your teen driver. It comes normal with Subaru’s well-regarded Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive know-how, it offers excellent ground clearance and gives superior visibility. It’s not as efficient as some of its opponents, even so, which implies its dirty-duty abilities really do not arrive devoid of some sacrifice.

The Crosstrek was redesigned for the 2018 model yr with an all-new chassis, a lot more security tech and a nicer inside. We’d purpose for that calendar year or more recent, but the 2013-2017 types are also strong options.

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2014-2019 Subaru Outback

If every thing we mentioned about the Subaru Crosstrek applies to your teenager driver, but they require or want some thing one dimension larger, take into consideration the Outback. Subaru’s prolonged-functioning and substantially-loved lifted all-wheel-push wagon acquired a significant update and an all-new stiffer chassis for the 2014 design yr, and that’s where by we’d begin our lookup. 

Not like the smaller sized vehicles on this record, the Subaru Outback is available with a array of engine choices. The foundation 2.5-liter 4-cylinder is possible a great deal impressive more than enough for new drivers, while its constantly variable automatic transmission does drone below steady acceleration. A 3.6-liter six-cylinder motor is also available.

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2017-2019 Volkswagen Passat

The Volkswagen Passat delivers one particular of the roomiest interiors of any sedan in America. In fact, the Passat straddles the line among midsize and fullsize, with a rear seat that compares favorably with a large amount of automobiles that have a great deal much more sizable exterior dimensions.

If you make a decision the Passat is the proper option for your teen driver, we’d recommend wanting for a 2018 or 2019 product with the 2.-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and six-pace computerized transmission. More mature versions of the engine, shared among VW and Audi, experienced issues that were tackled in the 3rd technology of the engine uncovered in these Passat versions.

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2016-2017 Honda Accord

It appears no proposed automobile listing is full with no a Honda Accord. It is simple to fully grasp why. It is a single of America’s most effective-offering sedans for superior rationale reliability, resale value, basic safety, technological innovation and driving dynamics are all factors in the Accord’s favor.

It is virtually really hard to go wrong with an Accord, but we’re particularly recommending the 2016 and 2017 product years. The ninth era of Honda’s midsize sedan bought a slight restyling for 2016 before its alternative arrived in 2018, and acquired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for its in-car infotainment system. It is also obtainable in both equally coupe and sedan human body models, creating it the only two-doorway design to make the record.

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2018-2020 Hyundai Kona

Sedans and hatchbacks make great autos for teens because of to their simple maneuverability, successful powertrains and economical charges. But in The usa, the crossover is king, and if which is what you are in the market for, your teenager driver may possibly take pleasure in the Hyundai Kona.

The Kona is supplied with two motor alternatives, the better of which is turbocharged and loads strong. All-wheel generate is an option and may perhaps be desirable to some entrepreneurs who are living in areas with inclement weather. Unlike numerous other automobiles sold in The united states, the Kona presents a ton of special fashion and entertaining colours, equally points that could charm to a teenager.

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2017-2018 Kia Sorento

The Kia Sorento presents much more utility than some scaled-down common crossovers because of to its offered third row seat and generous cargo ability. But it’s not so major that it is as unwieldy like a truck-primarily based SUV may perhaps be, specially in restricted town parking areas. As an in-betweener, the Kia Sorento might make a lot of perception for teenager motorists.

The Kia Sorento we’re recommending is from the 2016-2020 model decades. The IIHS factors toward the 2017 and 2018 editions, which are really awesome. A refresh in 2019 would make these even far more attractive if you can uncover a fantastic a person in your cost array.

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2018 Ford Edge

We have manufactured rather a couple of recommendations up to this stage, but you may perhaps have seen they all arrive from overseas automakers. That’s possibly not a dilemma for most prospective buyers — incidentally, numerous of the proposed cars with overseas nameplates are in point build in The united states — but if you are tied to American automakers, take into consideration the Ford Edge. It is stylishly sporty, fairly roomy and abundant on the employed sector.

The Edge commenced its next technology for the 2015 design calendar year just before receiving a refresh for 2019. It’s not probably you will find 1 fairly that new in the underneath-$20,000 funds, but the 2018 edition is value a glance. Each the turbocharged 4-cylinder and naturally aspirated V6 options are impressive enough, and all-wheel drive is optional. 

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Looking for getting assistance on other reasonably priced motor vehicles? Best New Cars Beneath $20,000