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The Safest Cars For Teens According to The IIHS

The Safest Cars For Teens According to The IIHS

While it may be viewed as a rite of passage by every teen in North America, giving your child their first set of car keys is also a watershed moment for parents. It is another sign that they are growing up and another step towards their complete independence of you. So if you’re buying them a car, you want it to be a safe one.


The good news is that the US IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) has just published a list of what they consider the safest cars for teens. As well as the list, there are also some practical tips for parents preparing to buy that car.


  • Avoid high horsepower vehicles. This should be a no-brainer but should be stated anyway. More power equals more risk and more temptation to let loose without the experience to back it up.
  • Bigger and heavier vehicles are safer. For the driver at least, not for those unfortunates they may crash into.
  • Electronic Stability Control is essential. This is a useful tip as stability control can do a lot to help a young driver stay out of trouble.
  • The highest safety rating is best. Another tip that shouldn’t need stating. The higher the rating, the safer it is.


IIHS safe teen car list

This link takes you directly to the IIHS safe teen car list but the headlines are shown below. The list is collated from recent vehicles that perform well in NHTSA testing. Those that perform best in the various tests appear here. Those that performed not quite so well but are still safe options are provided as ‘good’ options instead of ‘best’.


  • Best large car - Volvo S80     2007 and newer.
  • Best midsize car - Dodge Avenger 2011-14, Chrysler 200 sedan 2011 and newer and the Kia Optima 2011 and newer.
  • Best small SUV - Mitsubishi Outlander Sport 2011 and newer.
  • Best midsize SUV - Volvo XC90 2005 and newer and the Ford Flex 2010 and newer built after January 2010.
  • Best minivan - Kia Sedona 2015 and newer.


The list then goes on to good cars, with a wide range of sedans, SUVs and others within the list.


One dimensional

The title for the IIHS list is ‘Choosing the best vehicle for your teen’ but only takes into account one single criteria, that of safety. While it is incredibly important, it isn’t the only criteria to use when choosing a new car.


You also need to consider running costs, reliability, the number and nature of recalls, service history, insurance, theft preference and desirability into the mix too. We all want to keep our children safe, but to say just because a car is safe means it is the best is a little one dimensional. Nevertheless, we can attest to the quality of some of those car in the list as we sell them!


Visit your local Car Nation Canada location for the widest range of certified used cars. We’ll show you what’s best!

Categories: Car News