These Are the Best Cars for Teens

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

With graduation season in mind, these are the best cars for teens.

At least according to U.S. News & World Report, anyway. John Vincent, the Senior Editor and Correspondent/Vehicle Testing at U.S. News, stops by to chat about their findings.

Matthew Guy and I also discuss NASCAR's rain-shortened Coca-Cola 600 and a wet 'n' wild weekend in racing -- while we primarily focus the conversation on NASCAR, you'd best believe some IndyCar and F1 talk snuck in to the proceedings.

Plus, we chat about the best oil drains pans that we use. Well, the best that Matthew uses, anyway. It's been a minute since yours truly changed oil on a vehicle.

Click  here to find us -- we're available wherever you get your podcasts. As always, thanks for listening!

[Image: Kia/VerticalScope/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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7 of 24 comments
  • Ajla Ajla on May 31, 2024

    An Infiniti G25x?

  • Lou_BC Lou_BC on Jun 01, 2024

    Kia and Hyundai love fest.

    This smells of those advertising articles weakly disguised a legitimate article.

  • Jeff Jeff on Jun 02, 2024

    I don't believe that a teenager should have a brand new vehicle nor should they be driving a really old vehicle. Most teenagers will not fully appreciate being given a brand new vehicle and need to learn that there is a responsibility to owing and driving a vehicle. An older vehicle especially one that is very old lacks the safety equipment that newer ones have.

  • MaintenanceCosts MaintenanceCosts on Jun 03, 2024

    I absolutely hate the car size arms race we have on US roads, but when thinking about my own kid's safety I have to admit it exists. As much as my natural instinct would be to hand the kid a ten-year-old Civic with a stick, the death rate differences between compacts and most larger vehicle classes make me say I have to do something different.

    Body-on-frame SUVs and pickups have higher death rates than large unibody vehicles, probably because of a combination of more aggressive driver demographics and higher rollover risk.

    But with a new driver large unibody vehicles often have too much power. Even if the power isn't excessive at lower speeds, because the vehicles are heavy and need it to accelerate, it can get the vehicle to seriously high speeds faster in the regime where aerodynamics matters more than weight. Big CUVs, vans, and full-size sedans with 280 hp+ engines are in this category.

    I feel like the right answer is one of the big vehicles out there with a four-cylinder NA powertrain. There are a few. Avalon and ES300 Hybrid and AWD versions, the most recent Highlander Hybrid, the previous Santa Fe and Sorento, and the like.