What should you buy?
AAA recommends a midsized sedan or crossover with a 4-cylinder engine, automatic transmission, and high crash-test scores. We also set a base price limit of $40,000.
- A midsized car—based on EPA interior volume classification—is big enough to protect occupants in a crash but small enough for a new driver to handle easily.
- A crossover can be a good alternative to a midsized car. With their higher seating position, crossovers afford a better view of the road.
- A 4-cylinder engine limits a car’s acceleration (and hopefully a teen’s desire to show off) and generally provides better fuel economy and a smaller carbon footprint.
- Cars with automatic transmissions are easier to drive, allowing teens to focus on steering, proper speed, and braking.
- Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths. A car with a high crash-test score could reduce the chance of your teen being killed or seriously injured in a crash.