Consumers Reports Releases List Of Best Cars For Teens, Devoid Of Supercars Or Pickups

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler

For most teenagers, a list of cars most suitable for their age group would likely be made up of low slung Italian droptops or monstrous pickup trucks. But for all but a few lucky “My Super Sweet 16” participants, the fact is that something more bland is in the cards for young drivers.

That’s not to say that Consumers Reports picks are boring. They may not be flashy, but cars like the Mazda3 and Acura TSX let you have some fun behind the wheel, and even the Honda Accord has a bit of agility while being practical enough to hold 5 adults and their stuff. Interestingly, Consumers Reports did include on truly fast car on their list of Best Cars for Seniors, the Subaru Forester XT. With a 2.5L turbocharged flat-four, the Forester XT will spirit grandma and grandpa to the early-bird special in no time. Perhaps teenagers are better off borrowing grandma and grandma’s ride rather than getting their own.

[Source: Consumers Reports]

Hit the jump to read the official press release

Consumer Reports Picks Best Cars for Teens and Seniors
Honda Accord is the right fit for the young, old, tall and small

YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — With the fall semester just around the corner, Consumer Reports offers its best choices for parents and teens out shopping for a car to bring back to school.

When looking for the right car for teens, including used models, Consumer Reports recommends picking cars with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags and good crash-test results.

“Often parents think that putting their child in the biggest car is the safest thing they can do, but that’s not so. Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, so you want to make sure they’re driving something that handles well, is agile and has as many safety features as possible–especially electronic stability control,” said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut.

In addition to naming good cars for young and older drivers, Consumer Reports also names good picks for all sizes and types of drivers including the tall and small. All the models on Consumer Reports’ lists have at least average reliability and are Recommended vehicles. Consumer Reports named only one car suitable for all four driver types: the Honda Accord.

“When it comes to finding the right cars for seniors, we recommend vehicles that offer easy access, good visibility, a roomy driving position and comfortable seats,” Champion added.

Here is a look at some of Consumer Reports’ picks for teens and seniors:
Good Models for Teen drivers: (ESC is standard or optional starting with the years listed below).
— Small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010), Mazda3 (2007-), Scion xB
— Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-), Honda Accord (2008-), Kia Optima
— Small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005-), Nissan Rogue (2008-)

Good Models for Senior drivers:
— Minivans: Honda Odyssey
— Small SUV: Subaru Forester XT Limited
— Upscale sedan: Hyundai Azera
— Family sedan: Honda Accord
— Microvan: Kia Rondo

More information can be found in the September issue of Consumer Reports, available on newsstands August 3 and online at

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Trish Trish on Aug 04, 2010

    We were very close to buying an acura tsx this week for family as well as new teen driver. In fact, we were ready to make the deal until the vw dealer (we were looking at the jetta) pointed out that the tsx does not have a drive by wire failsafe. Is this important? With the recent publicity about unintended acceleration it has spooked me as a mom.

    • Colum Wood Colum Wood on Aug 07, 2010

      A drive by wire failsafe should be mandatory in all cars, as much to prevent drivers from accidentally hitting the accelerator as to stop some sort of "unintended acceleration." Many of the latest reports indicate that in the vast majority of cases the accidents caused by "unintended acceleration" were actually due to driver error - not a mechanical or electrical issue. And with the TSX (to the best of my knowledge) not using the same pedal system that was recalled by Toyota, I wouldn't worry about it.