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Consumer Reports Recommends the Best Cars for Teens

Young drivers tend to be highly image-conscious, but aren’t always aware of safety features and handling variances in different vehicles. Many people think that bigger is better when it comes to safety, but that’s not always true. SUVs and large pick-ups have a higher center of gravity and are often more difficult to handle, which can put teen drivers at risk. Focusing on safety doesn’t necessarily mean buying a big old clunker, though. Using an auto loan calculator, you can figure out the total cost of buying a newer, safer car that your teen will love to drive.

Consumer Reports recommends making safety and agility your top priorities when choosing vehicles for young drivers. Reliability is also ranked high, since young people often aren’t able to cope financially with costly auto repairs.

The most important safety features are electronic stability control, side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, cars without side curtain airbags often rate poor, the lowest score given by the organization.

Sports cars are a very bad option for young drivers, since they encourage unsafe driving habits, such as driving too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, and excessive use of sudden stops. Not only are they dangerous, but they’ll really hurt your wallet, too. You don’t need an auto loan calculator to tell you that your monthly payments will be ridiculous, but the insurance rates on teen drivers (especially males) who drive sports models are also through the roof.

Consumer Reports has 24 models on their teen-approved list. We chose the Pontiac Vibe to use as an example. It offers great handling, a solid reputation for reliability, and very high fuel economy. As an added bonus, we think it’s sexy, which will certainly boost its appeal for teen drivers.

Edmunds.com lists the true market value (what you should pay at the dealer) of a 2010 Pontiac Vibe at $13,758 – $17,533, meaning you’ll pay a lot less to get the combination of safety features parents want with the sex appeal teenagers demand.

For a fully loaded 2010 vibe, we used an auto loan calculator to determine the monthly payments. Using a purchase price of $17,533 and interest rate of 4.49%, with $1500 down, the payments will be just $393.52 on a 48-month loan. The total cost of the car would be $18,888.87 at those rates. Add in factory rebates and you could be saving even more. Use an auto loan calculator to determine the monthly payments on the vehicle you choose.

Young drivers tend to be highly image-conscious, but aren’t always aware of safety features and handling variances in different vehicles. Many people think that bigger is better when it comes to safety, but that’s not always true. SUVs and large pick-ups have a higher center of gravity and are often more difficult to handle, which can put teen drivers at risk. Focusing on safety doesn’t necessarily mean buying a big old clunker, though. Using an auto loan calculator, you can figure out the total cost of buying a newer, safer car that your teen will love to drive.

Consumer Reports recommends making safety and agility your top priorities when choosing vehicles for young drivers. Reliability is also ranked high, since young people often aren’t able to cope financially with costly auto repairs.

The most important safety features are electronic stability control, side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, cars without side curtain airbags often rate poor, the lowest score given by the organization.

Sports cars are a very bad option for young drivers, since they encourage unsafe driving habits, such as driving too fast, weaving in and out of traffic, and excessive use of sudden stops. Not only are they dangerous, but they’ll really hurt your wallet, too. You don’t need an auto loan calculator to tell you that your monthly payments will be ridiculous, but the insurance rates on teen drivers (especially males) who drive sports models are also through the roof.

Consumer Reports has 24 models on their teen-approved list. We chose the Pontiac Vibe to use as an example. It offers great handling, a solid reputation for reliability, and very high fuel economy. As an added bonus, we think it’s sexy, which will certainly boost its appeal for teen drivers.

Edmunds.com lists the true market value (what you should pay at the dealer) of a 2010 Pontiac Vibe at $13,758 – $17,533, meaning you’ll pay a lot less to get the combination of safety features parents want with the sex appeal teenagers demand.

For a fully loaded 2010 vibe, we used an auto loan calculator to determine the monthly payments. Using a purchase price of $17,533 and interest rate of 4.49%, with $1500 down, the payments will be just $393.52 on a 48-month loan. The total cost of the car would be $18,888.87 at those rates. Add in factory rebates and you could be saving even more. Use an auto loan calculator to determine the monthly payments on the vehicle you choose.

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