Safest cars for your teen to drive

They put all vehicles through a three part safety test, beginning with a dynamic driving course.

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“We also look at the crash test results from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety as well as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.” explains Jonathan Linkov.

Linkov is the deputy autos editor at Consumer Reports and he says cars must also pass a narrow offset test, which mimics two cars hitting each other at a glancing blow. If a vehicle fails any of the tests, Consumer Reports will not recommend it.

This year the top pick for safety is the Subaru Imprezza.

“We are all just really impressed because of its all wheel drive nature as well as the fuel economy, but the Honda Civic by no means is a bad choice.” said Linkov.

One thing Consumer reports does not like about the Civic is the controls. They think the touch screen can be confusing and could be a distraction for the driver.

Linkov did point out that the No. 1 safety feature for any vehicle is the driver.

“You can have a vehicle that doesn’t do well in crash tests but the driver is safe and they don’t engage in any kind of risky behavior. You’re gonna have a much better opportunity than a crazy driver in a very safe car,” says Linkov.

If you cannot afford to put your teen in one of the very best cars, make sure you put them in a car with electronic stability control.  Many older model used cars have it and it can mean the difference between life and death.

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