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Top 21 best cars for teens 2014

Mary Fetzer is a freelance writer and marketing consultant with a marketing degree from Penn State University and 15 years of international business experience. Mary specializes in writing about parenting, children, pregnancy, college, h...

Every teen driver deserves a safe, reliable car

Are you a parent looking for a first car for your teen driver? Perhaps you're a college grad about to embark on your career. Either way, this list is for you. These top cars have everything young drivers need, including safety, fuel efficiency and loads of the latest technologies.

6. Honda Civic

Honda Civic

You can't go wrong with a Civic. One of the most popular cars every year, the Civic is available in a variety of options and boasts a spacious interior, easy-to-use tech options and the renowned reliability for which Honda is known.

Ami bought a 2013 Honda Civic not knowing it was rated one of the best for teen drivers. "My son has his permit, and so far it's been a reliable, comfortable and, yes, safe option for all of us."

  • $19,000 (starting price), $25,000 (hybrid model), $25,030 (fully loaded EX-L)
  • EPA city/hwy: 30/39 mpg
  • 143 horsepower, 4-cylinder, 1.8 liter
  • KBB consumer rating:  8.7 out of 10


7. Chevrolet Sonic

Chevrolet Sonic

The only subcompact on the list, the Sonic is the most affordable car in the top 10. The comfortable, fun-to-drive vehicle is available in sedan and hatchback models. And the Sonic was one of the first cars to offer next-level iPhone integration via Siri Eyes Free, according to KBB.com.

  • <$15,000 (LS Sedan), $17,000 (LT 5-door), $20,000 (loaded)
  • EPA city/hwy: 26/35 mpg
  • 138 horsepower, 4-cylinder, 1.8 liter
  • KBB consumer rating:  8.6 out of 10

8. Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

Mitsubishi Outlander Sport

As one of the most affordable crossovers on the market, the Outlander Sport is the only SUV on this list. "It balances a fun demeanor with the peace of mind of a 10-year/100,000-mile power train warranty," reports KBB.com.

  • <$20,000 (starting price), mid-$20,000s (well-equipped), $32,000 (fully loaded SE)
  • EPA city/hyw:  24/31 mpg
  • 148 horsepower, 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter
  • KBB consumer rating: 8.6 out of 10

9. Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

The seventh-generation Golf is the only European car on KBB's list. KBB reports that "Volkswagen Golf combines genuinely Teutonic driving dynamics and interior refinement with the kind of hatchback versatility that make easy work of laundry day excursions, supply runs and moving days."

  • $19,815 (2-door S model), $21,815 (4-door S model), $25,215 (SE and GTI models), $28,815 (SEL model), add $1,000 for diesel models.
  • EPA city/hwy: 25/37 mpg
  • 170 horsepower, 4-cylinder, 1.8 liter
  • KBB consumer rating:  9.2 out of 10

10. Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza

This compact car is particularly good for students and grads dealing with wintry weather. "The most affordable all-wheel-drive car you can buy, the Subaru Impreza mixes all-weather prowess with the proven reliability that has helped the brand earn renowned levels of loyalty in all corners of the country."

  •  $19,000 (base), $19,500 (hatchback), $25,000 (well-optioned), $40,000 (fully loaded).
  • EPA city/hwy: 27/36 mpg
  • 148 horsepower, 4-cylinder, 2.0 liter
  • KBB consumer rating:  8.0 out of 10

Next page: Honorable Mentions

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