Introducing the safest vehicles for first-time drivers. Buying your first car is an unforgettable experience, especially for teenagers. Safety, reliability, and affordability are crucial factors when choosing a car for new drivers. Consider these top 10 cars that offer both safety and dependability for teens and anyone in search of a reliable and affordable vehicle in 2022.
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Mazda3 – $22,750
When it comes to the safest vehicles for first-time drivers, the Mazda3 stands out. Known for its reliability, this Japanese car manufacturer delivers an impressive option. The Mazda3 hatchback even holds a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the highest achievable score. Teens will appreciate the Mazda3’s 8.8-inch infotainment display with Bluetooth connectivity, while the 12-speaker Bose audio system adds to their driving enjoyment. Inside, the cabin offers a plush and modern feel. With its 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, the Mazda3 achieves an impressive 36 miles per gallon on the highway. Priced at $22,750, it’s an excellent purchase choice.
Hyundai Kona – $23,100
The Hyundai Kona is a standout choice when it comes to the safest vehicles for first-time drivers. This subcompact SUV offers a range of impressive qualities that make it suitable for young teens and adults alike who desire a lively subcompact SUV experience. As crossovers and SUVs gain popularity, the Hyundai Kona remains a top contender. It holds a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, providing parents with peace of mind. Additionally, J.D. Power rates the Kona with an impressive reliability score of 83 out of 100. Equipped with a wide array of technological and safety features, the Kona ensures both entertainment and safety for your teenager throughout their journey.
Mazda CX-30 – $23,200
Considering their preference for a larger road presence, crossovers become an attractive option when it comes to the safest vehicles for first-time drivers,. Among the choices available, the Mazda CX-30 shines brightly. The 2022 Mazda CX-30 has been recognized by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) as a top safety pick. While it may not be the fastest crossover in the market, it compensates with an abundance of safety features and a contemporary interior, making it an excellent first choice.
Subaru Legacy – $23,800
The Subaru Legacy is an excellent choice worth considering for first timers. With its 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, the Legacy ensures peace of mind on the road. Subaru equips the entire Legacy lineup with a range of driver-assistance features, including automated emergency braking, lane-keep assist, and lane-centering features. Standard features on the Legacy include a four-speaker audio system, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. The cabin boasts a spacious and comfortable design, with the 7-inch Starlink infotainment screen serving as the focal point. The improved Subaru Legacy also offers ample legroom in the rear, making it a hit among friends. With a reliability score of 78, the Subaru Legacy proves to be a reliable and worthy choice for a first car.
Hyundai Elantra Hybrid – $24,100
The Hyundai Elantra Hybrid has garnered widespread acclaim for its exceptional qualities, and it’s easy to see why. Hyundai has created a remarkable vehicle with the Elantra Hybrid, seamlessly combining quality, safety, and features. Recognized as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS in 2022, the Elantra Hybrid stands out for its commitment to safety. With a solid Quality and Reliability rating of 78 out of 100 from J.D. Power, the car earns high marks in terms of dependability.
In its class, the Elantra Hybrid shines with an extensive array of driver-assistance features, many of which come standard. Parents will appreciate the Hyundai Bluelink services, which offer parental advisory features like geofence, curfew, and speed alerts. Moreover, the Elantra Hybrid impresses with its remarkable fuel efficiency, achieving an impressive combined 50 MPG in city and highway driving conditions.
Hyundai Sonata Hybrid – $27,350
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is an excellent choice for first-time drivers, offering a combination of safety, reliability, and efficiency. With a high predicted reliability rating of 83 out of 100, the Sonata Hybrid provides peace of mind for owners. Hyundai equips the Sonata Hybrid with a comprehensive set of driver-assistance and crash-avoidance systems, all included as standard even on the base trim.
One standout feature of the Sonata Hybrid is its remarkable range, boasting a class-leading 686 miles thanks to its impressive fuel efficiency of 45 MPG in the city and 51 MPG on the highway. With a five-star overall safety rating from the NHTSA and recognition as a top safety pick by the IIHS in 2022, parents can trust the Sonata Hybrid to prioritize their teen’s safety. When it comes to choosing a brand-new car for your teenager, the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid is an exceptional option in a segment that offers many compelling choices.
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Kia K5 – $24,700
The Kia K5 is a standout choice among sedans, offering style, safety, and an impressive array of standard features. With its captivating exterior design, the K5 effortlessly catches the eye and sets itself apart from the competition. Safety is a top priority, as evidenced by the K5’s 5-star rating from the NHTSA, providing peace of mind for first-time drivers and their parents.
Additionally, J.D. Power awarded the K5 a remarkable reliability rating of 84/100, further highlighting its dependability. Performance-wise, the K5 excels with its quick acceleration, adding a fun factor to the driving experience. Inside, the K5 boasts a premium interior that will surely be appreciated and enjoyed by your teenager. When it comes to choosing a safe and stylish vehicle for first-time drivers, the Kia K5 is a compelling option to consider.
Honda Accord – $26,120
The Honda Accord stands out as an exceptional car in every aspect, making it a top choice for first-time drivers. With a five-star safety rating and advanced features like automated emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, and adaptive cruise control as standard, the Accord prioritizes safety and provides peace of mind for parents.
Not only is the Accord renowned as the ultimate midsize sedan, but it also impresses with its remarkable fuel efficiency. Powered by a 1.5-liter inline-4 engine, the Accord delivers nearly 200 horsepower while achieving an impressive 30 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. When it comes to selecting a safe and fuel-efficient vehicle for first-time drivers, the Honda Accord is an excellent option.
Hyundai Tucson – $25,800
The 2022 Hyundai Tucson has established itself as an impressive and reliable crossover SUV, making it an excellent choice for first-time drivers seeking safety. As one of the top compact SUVs for families, the Tucson offers exceptional value for money. It combines capability with an abundance of features, while its spacious and modern interior exudes luxury.
Hyundai has prioritized safety in the Tucson, equipping it with advanced crash-avoidance technology such as forward and rear collision-avoidance systems, lane-keep assist, and blind-spot monitoring. The NHTSA has awarded the Hyundai Tucson a four-out-of-five safety rating, and J.D. Power rates it highly with a remarkable 77 out of 100 for quality and reliability. If you’re willing to invest slightly beyond the $25k range, the 2022 Hyundai Tucson is an outstanding choice for those seeking a safe and reliable vehicle.
Honda Insight – $26,100
As Honda’s flagship sedan and a successor to the iconic Civic, the Honda Insight holds its own as one of the safest vehicles for first-time drivers. The 2022 model retains its attractive design and offers a powerful gas-electric powertrain.
Inside the Insight, premium features shine, including impressive road noise cancellation. With a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA and a reliable 77-out-of-100 score from J.D. Power, the Insight excels in both safety and dependability. Furthermore, its exceptional fuel efficiency of 51 MPG in the city and 45 MPG on the highway makes it an economical choice. Combining premium features with safety, the Honda Insight is an ideal option for teens embarking on their first car ownership experience.