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6 Excellent Car Options for Your New Driver

It's a milestone that often fills parents with both pride and dread: shopping for a car with a new teenage driver. Many parents are tempted to go the most budget-friendly route, reasoning that the chosen car will likely be involved in a couple of fender benders as their novice drivers learn the rules of the road. While it's certainly understandable to want to stay within budget, choosing that old hand-me-down truck or the cheapest model being advertised at the local dealership might also mean sacrificing certain safety features. Because teenage drivers are much more likely to be involved in accidents-- including fatal ones-- it's important to find the safest and most reliable options within your budget. Let's consider some of the best cars for new drivers below:

Mazda 3 (2011 or newer)

Many parents have the misconception that a car must be big to be safe for their teenage drivers. That's simply not the case. The Mazda 3 is an excellent example of a small car that is known for both its safety and reliability. It has an attractive exterior that will likely gain your teenagers' seal of approval. The interior is comfortable—although the backseat is a little tight—and the handling is accurate. If you're concerned about fuel economy, go for the 2012 or later models, and you'll get an impressive 32 mpg.

Ford Focus (2009-2011)

It's not a flashy car with all of the bells and whistles, but that's often something many parents consider a benefit when a teenage driver is involved. What it lacks in showmanship, the Ford Focus makes up for in reliability. It's a safe ride, too, scoring higher than average in crash safety tests. In summary, the Focus is a competent small car that isn't likely to wow your teenager, but will safely get her from point A to point B.

Honda Civic (2011)

The Civic has long been known for its reliability. If you want to ensure that your new driver has the best safety features available, go with the EX-L, which also includes navigation. You will love the value of this affordable car and your teenager will likely appreciate the Bluetooth and USB port that are standard with the EX-L.

Toyota Corolla LE (2013)

While a Corolla isn't likely to turn heads, it's a safe and affordable option for your new driver. Corolla's have long been known for their reliability, so you can likely plan on this car lasting your new driver all the way through her college years. An added bonus that your teenager will appreciate is the iPod interface. Bluetooth connectivity is also standard on the LE.

Subaru Impreza (2009 or newer)

If you live in an area where winter weather is a frequent occurrence, you will likely want to find a safe car with all-wheel drive capability for your novice driver. The Subaru Impreza is an excellent option. Both the sedan and hatchback models offer all-wheel drive coupled with good reliability and crash test records. Fuel economy improved after the 2012 makeover, so consider going for a newer version.

Mazda 6 (2009-2013)

If you like the Mazda 3 but prefer something a little bigger for your teenage driver, the Mazda 6 is a good option. Considered a midsized sedan, the Mazda 6 has a more spacious interior than the 3. It has an attractive exterior that will appeal to your teenager and is fun to drive too. Opt for the four-cylinder if you're worried about fuel economy.

Remember, the bottom line is that you want to choose the safest, most reliable option available within your budget. Additionally, to ensure that your teenager learns how to drive safely and defensively, consider our online driver's education program. Contact us today for more information.

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