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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.

Parent Recommendations

11. Volkswagen Tiguan. "Our daughter has been driving our Tiguan since she learned to driver three years ago," says Beth. "It's the perfect car for her: very safe and drives great! And since it's a small SUV, it's perfect in bad weather."

12. Subaru Outback. Both of Sandy's sons drove the family's Outback. "I always felt like the boys were safe in the Outback," says Sandy. Felicia, Shannon and Mike choose Subaru, too. "Subarus are super-dependable, great in bad weather, get good mileage and and are relatively cheap to repair," says Mike, who has a lot of experience with cars. "The engines will last forever if maintained."

13. Volvo C30. After walking away from a serious accident involving her C30, Phyllis said she'd never let her kids drive anything else. "The front and back of my Volvo collapsed like an accordion, but I was protected by the frame surrounding the seats," she recalls.

14. Chevy Equinox. When Don brought home a new Equinox, he didn't think his young twin drivers would be impressed, but "they fight for behind-the-wheel time." Standard features include anti-lock brakes, traction control, blind spot mirrors, and six airbags.

15. Nissan Rogue. Tania opted for a used Nissan based on reputation alone. "We got a used Nissan last year," she says. "Mainly for reliability, no recent recalls and good gas mileage."

16. Toyota Corolla. Jay Carley, general manager at Larry H. Miller Toyota Peoria, chooses the Toyota Corolla as the safest car that he'd put his three teenagers in. It features eight standard airbags, blind spot monitoring, a lane departure alert and a back-up camera.

17. Hyundai Elantra. "The Elantra just 'fits' [our daughter]," says Rita. Standard safety features include airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability system with traction control and tire pressure monitoring.

18. Ford Fusion. The Fusion earns high safety ratings across the board. "And it doesn't look like any other cars on the road right now," says proud owner Steve, who has a brand-new team driver at home.

19. Volkswagen Jetta. Joyce bought a Jetta for her son when he was preparing to go off to college. "We were in it up-to-here with tuition and other expenses and didn't know if we could swing it," says Joyce, "but we found a used Jetta with about 18,000 miles and a warranty at a really great price."

20. Ford Focus. Perch recommends the Focus for its the good safety ratings. "It comes with Ford's Sync system, a voice-activated infotainment system that allows drivers to make hands-free phone calls, and dictate text messages," says Perch. "It it has a 911 Assist service that informs emergency services immediately after the car gets involved in an accident, sharing its location and helping rescuers to get to the scene as soon as possible."

21. Kia Sportage. "I feel more comfortable when I'm up a little bit higher," says mom Eliza. "I just feel like my kids will be safer if they're in something a little bigger than a compact car." The Sportage is bigger than a sedan but not too big for young drivers.

More tips on teens and safe driving

Safe driving tips for teens
Stopping teens from distracted driving
Keeping kids safe around cars

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