Daily Dupaco

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Safe, smart auto choices for teens

When it comes to choosing a car, what parents think their new teenager will be most safe in is not always in agreement with what the data suggests.

A common misunderstanding is to give a teen the biggest car possible. But big cars are more difficult to control, and teenagers are the least experienced drivers on the road. With high centers of gravity, vehicles like SUVs and pickup trucks are more prone to roll.

Look for a reasonably sized sedan that has safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags, good crash-test results, not too much power, and a strong structure.

Earlier this year, Consumer Reports named 11 models safe for young people, based on test results as well as government and insurance-industry crash-test results.

Among the top picks:
  • Three small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008 or later), Mazda3 (2007 or later), Scion xB (2008 or later)
  • Three midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004 or later), Honda Accord (2008 or later), Kia Optima (2007 or later)
  • Two small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005 or later), Nissan Rogue (2008 or later)
If you are shopping for a new car, consider waiting until the new model year vehicles are rolled out. You may have more bargaining power as dealerships are looking to move the previous year's inventory to make room for new.

Click here for more from the Home & Family Finance(R) Resource Center.
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