best cars for teenagers

Cool, Cheap, Safe and Loaded with Tech

Buying a car for your teenager can be stressful on all levels, but don’t worry. Our list features the coolest, safest and most tech-laden ride your family can afford. From safe yet stylish sedans to a handy hatchback and solid crossover, these 2016-17 models are ideal cars for teens and their parents. Check out GAYOT’s Best Cars for Teenagers to discover which models made the grade.

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Previously Featured Cars for Teenagers

2017 Toyota Corolla

Base Price: $18,500

The “new” 2017 Toyota Corolla now attracts young drivers for both its attractive exterior, comfortable interior, top reliability, high fuel economy, five-star safety and loads of standard infotainment tech such as a 6.1-inch touchscreen (optional 7-inch screen with navigation available). Read More

2017 Subaru Crosstrek

2017 Subaru Crosstrek



Base Price: $21,695

Subaru for a teen? Really? Yes. First off, the rugged all-wheel-drive Subaru brand holds its value better than another other car company, so it is money well spent. Wanna rev up your Crosstrek crossover to make it look fast (even though it really isn’t)? Try adding the available manual transmission and the optional “short shift kit” with race-worthy STi shift knob. Although if this is for a teenager, maybe you don’t want to even mention that option. Read More

2017 Mazda 3

2017 Mazda 3

Base Price: $17,845

Mazda cars just ooze sporty sex appeal and drive like a dream, so of course, teens are drawn to the Mazda 3, a mid-sized sedan. In general, Mazdas are a winner when it comes to price, style, performance, safety and even resale value.  Read More

2017 Honda Fit

2017 Honda Fit

Base Price: $15,990



The 2017 Honda Fit has been redesigned into this efficient, easy-to-drive and surprisingly spacious vehicle that seems perfectly suited for the teenage lifestyle. With its 7-inch touch screen technology platform, Honda’s new Fit has now outpaced other great-for-teens subcompacts such as Hyundai Accent, Scion iA and Nissan Versa Note. Read More

2017 Fiat 500

Base Price: $14,995

Teens should like the affordable retro Fiat 500 because this charming roadster looks and drives like no other car on the road. If your teen is considering a minicar, don’t pass up the chance to road test a brand new “Cinquencento” (500).  Read More

2017 Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

Base Price: $19,995

The 2017 Chevy Cruze Hatchback is practical, roomy, safe, affordable and good on fuel. What could be better for teen drivers and their worried, cash-strapped parents? This vehicle offers more standard safety features (lane keep assist, rear cross traffic alert, side blind zone alert, rear park assist) than any other compact car. Plus, Chevy has added a “teen driver” feature, which the company says “helps support safe driving habits” by compiling your teen’s driving statistics. Read More

2016 Nissan Frontier

2016 Nissan Frontier



Base Price: $19,330

A truck for a teen? You betcha. If your teen wants or needs a truck, then everything points to the affordable quality-built Nissan Frontier. Get your teen to stray away from the Frontier’s larger “king cab” and opt instead for the “crew cab” seats, which are so tiny that friends may even shy away from free rides. Read More

2016 Kia Soul

Base Price: $16,750

Kia Soul ended up on our best-cars-for-teens list as a very practical ride with a good warranty and even an eco-friendly electric (EV) version. But the Soul is also known for its quirky good looks outside, incredibly roomy interior, high build quality, agile performance, top safety ratings and super cool auto infotainment technology. Read More

2016 Ford Fiesta

2016 Ford Fiesta

Base Price: $15,305



The 2016 Ford Fiesta makes the grade on our best cars for teens list. Why? Ford crafted its new Fiesta with youthful fun in mind as well as a large range of engine options, fuel efficiency (45 mpg hwy), reliability, safety, affordability and low maintenance costs. Read More

2016 Chevy Spark

2016 Chevrolet Spark

Base Price: $13,535

Teens love minicars because they can get a brand new car outfitted with the latest in-car technology for the same price as a low-tech used car. Parents, however, are understandably wary of tiny cars when it comes to accidents and rightly so. Still, the slightly redesigned 2016 Chevy Spark brings on the charm with its über low price and long list of standard features including Chevy’s MyLink infotainment operating system.  Read More