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IIHS Recommends Safest Used Cars for Teen Drivers

According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety survey, 83 percent of parents who bought cars for their teen drivers said they purchased a used vehicle

For many families with teenage drivers, a new car just isn't in the budget.

According to an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety survey, 83 percent of parents who bought cars for their teen drivers said they purchased a used vehicle.

The IIHS has compiled a list of the safest, affordable used cars for teenage drivers. The recommendations are based on four principles: young drivers should avoid high horsepower; bigger, heavier vehicles are safer; Electronic stability control (ESC) is a must; and vehicles should have the best National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) safety rating possible.

The IIHS also recommends looking at the Vehicle Identification Number to check for outstanding recalls before buying a used vehicle. 

Here are IIHS' best choice cars for your teenage driver under $20,000. 

LARGE CARS 

  • Volvo S80
    2007 and newer
    $4,000
  • Toyota Avalon
    2015 and newer
    $18,800
  • Infiniti M37/M56/Q70
    2013 and newer
    $19,800

MIDSIZE CARS

  • Dodge Avenger
    2011-14
    $5,300
  • Chrysler 200 sedan
    2011 and newer
    $5,900
  • Kia Optima
    2011 and newer
    $7,600
  • Volkswagen Passat
    2013 and newer; built after October 2012
    $8,700
  • Volkswagen Jetta
    2015 and newer
    $9,200
  • Nissan Altima sedan
    2013 and newer; built after November 2012
    $9,500
  • Ford Fusion
    2013 and newer; built after December 2012
    $9,600
  • Volvo S60
    2011 and newer
    $9,800
  • Subaru Legacy
    2013 and newer; built after August 2012
    $10,700
  • Chevrolet Malibu
    2014 and newer
    $10,900
  • Honda Accord sedan and coupe
    2013 and newer
    $11,100
  • Toyota Camry
    2014 and newer; built after December 2013
    $11,200
  • Mazda 6
    2014 and newer
    $11,400
  • Hyundai Sonata
    2015 and newer
    $11,900
  • Acura TL
    2012-14; built after April 2012
    $12,400
  • Lincoln MKZ
    2013 and newer
    $13,300
  • Subaru Outback
    2013 and newer; built after August 2012
    $13,600
  • Chevrolet Malibu Limited
    2016
    $13,700
  • Toyota Prius v
    2015 and newer
    $16,300
  • Volvo V60
    2015 and newer
    $18,400
  • Audi A3
    2015 and newer
    $18,500
  • Infiniti Q50
    2014-15
    $19,100

SMALL SUVS MODEL YEARS PRICE

  • Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
    2011 and newer
    $6,900
  • Mitsubishi Outlander
    2014 and newer
    $10,700
  • Chevrolet Trax
    2015 and newer
    $11,800
  • Fiat 500X
    2016 and newer; built after July 2015
    $12,600
  • Nissan Rogue
     2014 and newer
    $12,900
  • Buick Encore
    2015 and newer
    $13,800
  • Subaru Forester
    2014 and newer
    $14,900
  • Honda CR-V
    2015 and newer
    $15,600
  • Hyundai Tucson
    2016 and newer
    $16,000
  • Toyota RAV4
    2015 and newer
    $16,000
  • Mazda CX-3
    2016 and newer
    $16,600

MIDSIZE SUVS 

  • Volvo XC90
    2005 and newer
    $2,500
  • Ford Flex
    2010 and newer; built after January 2010
    $7,200
  • Chevrolet Equinox
    2014 and newer
    $12,100
  • GMC Terrain
    2014 and newer
    $13,300
  • Nissan Pathfinder
    2015 and newer
    $15,800
  • Kia Sorento
    2016 and newer
    $16,500
  • Volvo XC60
    2013 and newer
    $16,500
  • Ford Edge
    2015 and newer; built after May 2015
    $17,400
  • Nissan Murano
    2015 and newer
    $19,100

MINIVANS

  • Kia Sedona
    2015 and newer
    $14,700
  • Honda Odyssey
    2014 and newer
    $16,100
  • Toyota Sienna
    2015 and newer
    $18,100

PICKUP

  • Toyota Tundra extended cab
    2014 and newer
    $15,600

The IIHS has also compiled a list of "Good Choices" vehicles for teens starting under $10,000. You can see that list here.

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