Consumer Reports Has Tips If You're Buying Your Teen a Car for the Holidays

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole

It’s never too late to snap up a last-minute gift for your teenager, such as a car. Consumer Reports has nifty practical advice for parents looking to make this Christmas one to remember for their teen — until next Christmas when you have top a friggin’ car.

For your teen’s first ride, according to Consumer Reports, avoid anything with a big engine (“Generally speaking, the ideal car for a teenager is a four-cylinder mid-sized sedan”), lots of numbers on the speedometer (“If too much speed is to be avoided, then it should be a no-brainer to avoid high-performance sports cars.”) or minivans (” … a carload of teens is not a recipe for safety.”)

There are other considerations, according to the report:

Braking ability and handling are also important for avoiding crashes. We only recommend vehicles that stop on a dry surface in 145 feet or less in our tests, and perform adequately in our accident avoidance maneuver test. Electronic stability control is a must-have feature.

The handy guide comprehensively narrows the list: small engine, low horsepower, good brakes, no SUVs or pickups, swift handling, small passenger compartment, cheap to fix when it breaks — no Corvettes, obvi.

So it’s clear, the best car you can buy your teen for the holidays, according to Consumer Reports guide is:

consumer reports has tips if you re buying your teen a car for the holidays

Thank you, Consumer Reports.

[Image: Mazda]

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7 of 131 comments
  • Corey Lewis Corey Lewis on Dec 21, 2015

    She won't get far in a VW CC with Dodge keys.

  • Tbe30ll Tbe30ll on Dec 21, 2015

    Does it bother anyone else that the keys dont match the car in the lead image?

  • Colin42 Colin42 on Dec 21, 2015

    There is 1 car that is often over looked (for good reasons) that make it a perfect Teen car. Honda CRZ 2 seater - prevent being the friends taxi Available in Manual - no other friends could drive it Looks sporty (but isn't) Good fuel economy Good reliability - It's a Honda reasonable low purchase price due to not being popular

  • VatizzleMcDilderjazz VatizzleMcDilderjazz on Dec 23, 2015

    I have been thinking a lot about this. 2011/2012 Nissan Leaf. 1. Electric cars do better over gas cars in crash tests on average. 2. Those things are super cheap now, about 10k 3. in order to get battery life to the max, they have to drive it like old ladies. 4. and no matter what you do, your child will never ever leave town with it. Perfect car.