1. FORD MUSTANG
Starting price: $33,200
The Ford Mustang is one of the best cars one the market today. Unfortunately, it is one of the worst cars for teen drivers for a number of reasons. The new Mustangs offer significantly more power than the average sedan, and in many cases this has proved to be too much for teens who are first learning how to drive responsibly. When you add in the greater insurance cost that comes with the Mustang, it is easy to see why it is a poor choice for younger drivers. The Mustang is powered by a 3.7 liter V-6 engine rated at 310 horsepower, and it gets below average fuel economy with a 15 MPG (city) and 25 MPG (highway) rating. The top speed of the vehicle is 164 MPH which is definitely north of the range that most parents want their teenager driving on the roads today.
2. BMW X6M
Starting price: $103,095
One of the worst cars for teen drivers is an auto that can go really fast. Besides the fact that it costs more than $100K USD, the BMW X6M is a car that is not one of the best for a teen driver to get behind the wheel of for their first car. Many parents believe that all SUVs are suitable for young drivers; however, the X6M is more appropriate for the older driver. The car is driven by a twin-turbo 4.4 liter V-8 engine that is rated at 567 horsepower coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive. The X6M has a top speed of 155 MPH, and it can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 3.9 seconds which is faster than many of the sports cars on the road today. The auto can also run the quarter-mile in just 9.8 seconds, and it gets below average fuel economy with a 14 MPG (city) and 18 MPG (highway) overall rating.
3. MCLAREN-MERCEDES SLR
Starting price: $495,000
The McLaren-Mercedes SLR is a lot of car for the most experienced and well-off of adults. Needless to say, this much automobile makes it one of the worst cars for teens on the road today. The supercar is one of the most highly performing automobiles on the road today that is street-legal, and it can prove to be a huge hit on the insurance bill for any teen drivers that are on the account. The car is powered by a 5.4 liter supercharged V-8 engine that can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 3.6 seconds. The auto does the quarter mile in an impressive 11.6 seconds at 125 MPH making it one of the fastest cars on the roads today. The car’s engine is rated at an industry-leading 575 lb-ft of torque, and even the most experience race car drivers have to concentrate when driving this vehicle.
4. CHEVROLET CAMARO
Starting price: $75,000
The Chevrolet Camaro is one of the worst cars for teen drivers on the road today. Besides a high entry-level price, the Camaro is an extremely powerful car with the stock turbocharged V-8 engine (6.2 liter) coming in with a 556 lb-ft of torque and 580 horsepower overall rating. The car can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 4.0 seconds, and it runs the quarter mile in 12.3 seconds at a speed of 116 MPH. Most teen drivers are simply not experienced enough to be able to handle this much power in an automobile. The Camaro is also sold with a six-speed manual transmission that gives the young driver just one more thing to worry about instead of being safe on the road. The overall fuel economy of the vehicle is below average with a 14 MPG (city) and 19 MPG (highway) overall rating.
5. JEEP WRANGLER
Starting price: $24,190
Although the Jeep Wrangler at first seems like a ‘no brainer’ for parents looking for a first car for their teenagers with the low entry-level price, it does pose a number of traps for teenagers who are new to driving. The auto can be extremely prone to flipping over and rolling if taking corners too quickly, and it also gets below average on the fuel economy ratings. If your child is experienced with driving off-road before getting their license, it may make more sense to get the auto for them, but only in those limited cases. The Wrangler is powered by a 3.6 liter V-6 engine that is rated at 285 horsepower, and it gets a 17 MPG (city) and 21 MPG (highway) fuel efficiency rating. The top overall speed of the car is 114 MPH which is a bit north of what most parents want teens to be able to drive on the highways around the United States.
6. CHEVROLET CORVETTE
Starting price: $56,395
The Chevrolet Corvette Stingray is the seventh generation of the famous sports car, and it is not a good option for a teen driver to use for their first automobile. With a stock engine that is a 6.2 liter V-8 rated at 465 lb-ft of torque and 460 horsepower, the Stingray just has too much power for young drivers. Chevy does give new owners the choice between a seven-speed manual transmission or an eight-speed automatic if parents are looking to reduce the number of items that they want their teenager to worry about while behind the wheel. The car can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 3.7 seconds, and it has a top overall speed of 181 MPH. The fuel efficiency of newer models of Corvette have gotten better over the years, with the current year’s model coming in with a 16 MPG (city) and 29 MPG (highway) overall rating.
7. DODGE VIPER
Starting price: $86,990
Conventional wisdom tells us that buying any sports car or roadster is a bad idea for a teen driver. This remains true for the Dodge Viper as it is one of the worst cars for teen drivers on the market. Besides the extreme power that the Viper offers the young driver, the added insurance cost and high speed of the vehicle will leave most parents staying up late at night when their teen is out driving the car. The Viper is powered by an 8.4 liter V-10 engine rated at 645 horsepower. The Viper has a zero to 60 MPH time of just 3.0 seconds, and it can triple parent’s insurance rates overnight. The car is coupled to a six-speed manual transmission, and its fuel efficiency is rated at 12 MPG (city) and 21 MPG (highway).
8. SUBARU WRX
Starting price: $27,390
The Subaru WRX is a great car for those who like to get a car with power for a decent price. Unfortunately, the stock turbo-four cylinder engine is rated at 268 horsepower making it a bit too strong for most teenagers. When you add in the attention the vehicle can get from law enforcement and the potential to negatively impact the parent’s insurance bill in a big way, and the WRX quickly becomes one of the worst cars for teen drivers on the market today. The car can go from zero to 60 MPH in 5.0 seconds, and it has a top overall speed of 144 MPH. For those who insist on getting their teen this vehicle, it does get slightly above average fuel economy with a 21 MPG (city) and 28 MPG (highway) overall rating.
9. NISSAN 300ZX
Starting price: approximately $30,000
The Nissan 300ZX has not been in active production since 2000; however, the cars can be found on the second-hand market for a decent price. Unfortunately, many parents mistakenly believe that buying a used sports car is still a good idea for their teenager. The 300ZX was produced with a 3.0 liter V-6 turbo engine that is rated at 222 horsepower at 6,400 RPM. The sports car’s fuel efficiency is not bad for a roadster with a rating of 18 MPG (city) and 24 MPG (highway); however, when the power is combined with the poor handling of the car on the roadways, it still makes it one of the worst cars that can be purchased for teen drivers today.
10. PORSCHE 911 TURBO
Starting price: $152,095
If the greater than $150K price tag on the Porsche 911 Turbo doesn’t immediately qualify it as one of the worst cars for teen drivers, then the excessive insurance bill hit and speed behind the sports car definitely put it at the top of the list. The turbocharge car is one of the fastest on the road, and the stock engine in the car is rated at 560 horsepower. The 911 turbo can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 2.5 seconds, and it is a lot of power for experienced drivers to be able to handle, let alone someone who has just gotten their driver’s license. The car also features an extremely luxurious interior that can quickly be damaged by one’s teen going through the local fast food drive through or by hauling around sports gear for school. Needless to say, the 911 Turbo is not one of the best cars on the market today for teen drivers.
11. HUMMER H1
Starting price: $103,500
If there is a worse car to get a teenager other than a sports car, then a monster SUV like the H1 has to be the next worst choice. Many parents mistakenly believe that bigger is better when it comes to buying a car for their teen; however, the H1 is a bit over-sized for most teen drivers. The data shows that aggressive driving is the root cause of more than one in three fatal accidents a year in the United States, and by buying one’s teen a H1, it is likely to make the child learn to be aggressive behind the wheel from the start. The later models of the original Hummer sold to the public were upgraded to the Duramax turbo-diesel rated at 300 horsepower; however, the fuel economy of the auto still lacks significantly when compared to other vehicles suitable for teenagers.
12. CHEVROLET AVEO
Starting price: approximately $11,000
Although the Chevrolet Aveo has not been in production for several years, it is still readily available via aftermarket sales through dealerships and third party sales for less than $12,000 USD. Although the price point and decent fuel economy rating of 25 MPG (city) an 34 MPG (highway) are attractive to parents, the Aveo consistently ranked below average when it comes to safety features. Combined with most road accidents coming from inexperienced drivers, and this makes for the Aveo being one of the worst cars for teen drivers sold today. When looking for a small car for one’s teen, it is generally recommended to look at newer options that offer an equally low price, but with a wider array of safety features to protect the driver and car occupants.
13. MITSUBISHI ECLIPSE
Starting price: approximately $24,000
Although it has been several years since the Mitsubishi Eclipse was sold new, it remains a tempting choice for parents to buy as a new car for their teenagers. With a decent fuel efficiency rating at 20 MPG (city) and 28 MPG (highway), and a sleek look, most teens would still kill to drive an Eclipse. Similar to other sports cars; however, the Eclipse is not a good choice for the teen’s first or even second driver. Besides the speed of the car, one of the biggest drawbacks when it comes to safety is the limited rearward view afforded by the car. This makes for higher odds that an inexperienced driver will not see other cars in the larger blind spots of the vehicle and get into accidents. The GT version of the car is powered by a 3.8 liter V-6 engine rated at 265 horsepower, making it a bit too powerful for most teen drivers.