Find the Best Cars for Teens

Your teen has a newly minted driver’s license now, and you're both rightfully excited. You no longer have to drive your kid around, but now you’ve grown tired of surrendering your car keys to your teen every day. Not to worry — there are some great cars out there for teens, and we’d like to recommend a few. We’ve whittled the available options down to our top four picks — a curated mix of safety and affordability. Our choices have either received a Top Safety Pick designation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) or a recommendation from Consumer Reports, based partially on road-test and crash performance.

Subaru Legacy

A great pick on our list of the best cars for teens is the 2022 Subaru Legacy. This sedan has a starting MSRP under $23,800 and still goes toe-to-toe with the competition in terms of standard features. Considered a comfortable, quiet and sensible choice for teen drivers, the Legacy features a 4-cylinder turbo-charged engine under the hood and is a smart choice for drivers in snowier states, thanks to its standard Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. 

It features EyeSight® Driver Assist Technology and a rear-vision camera for safer backing up, and your teen will also be happy to know that they can connect to their favorite music inside the Legacy’s roomy cabin. Get standard Apple CarPlay®, Android Auto™ and Bluetooth® integration with SUBARU STARLINK Multimedia. Notably, Subarus are known for their remarkable reliability. In fact, 95 percent of all Subaru Legacy models sold in the last decade are still on the road today.

Mazda 3 2.0 Sedan

For the more sophisticated teen, the Mazda 3 2.0 Sedan is sure to make their peers jealous. Starting at $21,150, this sedan offers Bluetooth® hands-free phone and audio streaming capability, Apple CarPlay™ integration and Android Auto™ integration standard. Mazda Connected Services is also included for three years, letting drivers lock/unlock doors, start the car’s engine and even view its health status report from a smartphone or tablet. 

Parents can appreciate the Mazda 3’s safety features, which includes the manufacturer’s iACTIVSENSE suite with front and rear parking sensors, Smart Brake Support-Rear Crossing, 360-degree monitoring and Traffic Jam Assist. The Mazda 3 2.0 also has standard advanced dual front air bags, front seat-mounted side-impact airbags and side-impact air curtains, knee airbags and whiplash-reducing front seat headrests.

Toyota RAV4

The Toyota Rav4 LE starts at $26,975 and is a reliable car-based SUV option for your teen. You'll get a whole suite of active safety features standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. The Rav4 LE has available Front and Rear Parking Assist with Automatic Braking to give your teen both visual and audible warnings about stationery and rear-approaching objects and vehicles. 

Eight airbags help protect your teen and their passengers, while a Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross-Traffic Alert (RCTA) is another available safety feature. For teens that want to pump up the jams, the Rav4 also comes standard with Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay® and Amazon Alexa compatibility. An available JBL Audio System package also includes 11 speakers for surround-sound listening, always a plus with young drivers.

Honda Insight

The 2022 Honda Insight is a Top Safety Pick+ with IIHS, making it a popular choice among parents for a teenager's first car. Teens swoon for the Insight’s savvy look and available amenities, including remote engine start and power moonroof. The base price of $25,760 makes it one of the more affordable new cars for teens. Not only does it have a reasonable price, it also comes with a lot of standard features. 

For standard safety, the Insight has Honda Sensing® Safety & Driver-Assistive Technologies that help keep an eye out to help prevent accidents. The Insight’s Collision Mitigation Braking System and Road Departure Mitigation System both work to keep your teen safer behind the wheel. Aside from advanced safety, the Insight also has good fuel economy ratings — with an estimated 55 mpg city and 49 mpg highway. Young drivers appreciate that the Insight is brimming with tech, including Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay®, so they can stay safely connected while traveling.

Your Partner for Top-Quality Auto Care

Now that your young driver is behind the wheel of a safe, reliable vehicle, make sure your teen is armed with the knowledge they need for taking care of their car and preparing for longer trips. Caliber Auto Care offers all the necessary services your teen’s car may need — from quick, drive-through oil changes to brake service, tire care, and general auto repairs.

Our team also offers a complimentary trip check to help your teen be sure their car is ready for that spring break road trip or trip back to campus in the fall. Our expert technicians give your teen’s car a thorough inspection that includes:

  • Battery check. Your teen’s car battery should be corrosion-free, and its connections should be tight.
  • Belts and hoses check. Signs of wear can indicate potential problems on longer road trips.
  • Headlights, windshield wipers, and signals check. These parts of your teen’s car should be in excellent working order so your young driver can see and be seen on the roadway.
  • Fluids and filters check. All fluids, including power steering, transmission, engine oil, and wiper fluids and related filters should be topped off.
  • Brake system check. Brake pads and brakes must be in perfect working order to ensure your teen’s safety.
  • Tire check. Tire pressure and tire tread depth checks by our technicians ensure that the car’s tires (including the spare) are properly inflated and safe.

Any problems Caliber Auto Care finds during the inspection process can be addressed right away, but we recommend opting for an appointment with us a week or so before your child’s trip in case we need to order parts. Our complimentary trip check is designed to give you peace of mind that your teen’s car is ready for the adventure your child has planned, even if you aren’t. 

Find a Caliber Auto Care location

Caliber Auto Care takes the place of your dealership’s service department and your local quick oil and mechanical repair shop with efficient, high-quality auto repair or maintenance services at an affordable price.

We know that scheduling car care services between work, school and play can be a hassle. That’s why we make it as easy and straightforward as possible, offering you neighborhood convenience, superior service, comfortable waiting areas or free local shuttle service and the option of staying in your vehicle for some services while we work. It’s all about meeting your needs and standing behind our work.

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