1. 2015 VOLKSWAGEN GOLF
Starting price: $18,815
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf is one of the best cars for teenagers on the market. The car is one of the most affordable compact autos on the market today and is available in both two and four-door options for consumers. Even though the Golf is small in size, the large amount of cargo space (46 cubic feet) makes it perfect for teens that have to haul around sports gear and other necessities for high school or college.
The Golf also gets extremely nice gas mileage. The V-4 1.8 liter stock engine that is rated at 170 horsepower, gets above average fuel economy with a 23 MPG (city) and 37 MPG (highway) overall rating. If parents upgrade their teens to the TDI model of the Golf, they will see an even bigger savings at the pump out of the 2.0 liter turbo-diesel with a 45 MPG (highway) fuel efficiency rating. The top overall speed of the Golf is 123 MPH.
2. 2016 CHEVROLET SONIC
Starting price: $15,570
The 2015 Chevrolet Sonic is one of the most popular cars for teenagers to drive both in high school and in college. Affordably priced, the car also has the benefit of being one of the best looking subcompact cars on the market. Chevy also makes a number of features available in the car not seen in other compacts such as Bluetooth, imitation leather upholstery, OnStar, and 10 standard airbags giving a higher overall safety rating than other cars in its class. The car is powered by a 1.8 liter four cylinder engine rated at 138 horsepower, and consumers can choose to upgrade to a 1.4 liter V-4 that boost the overall fuel economy to 40 MPG (highway) with the same power rating.
3. 2015 HONDA FIT
Starting price: $16,610
The Honda Fit is one of the best autos for teenagers when it comes to being able to fit everything that he or she will need into a subcompact car when it comes time for college. The 2015 Honda Fit has a ‘Magic Seat’ feature that lets the driver rearrange the passenger compartment to best leverage the car’s greater than 52 cubic feet of storage space.
The car is powered by a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine that is rated at a decent 130 horsepower for the size of the car. The Fit’s overall fuel efficiency comes in above average with a 29 MPG (city) and 37 MPG (highway) overall rating. Parents can choose between a six-speed manual or CVT transmission for the auto, and the car has a top speed of 118 MPH.
4. 2015 SUBARU IMPREZA
Starting price: $18,990
The Subaru Impreza was remodeled by the company for the 2015 model year, and it remains one of the top cars for teenagers to drive on the roadways today. The car is especially suited for teens who live in cold weather climates with all-wheel drive coming standard on the auto, and it comes in either a wagon or sedan body style.
The Impreza is powered by a four cylinder, 2.0 liter engine rated at 148 horsepower and a top speed of 122 MPH. The overall fuel economy of the vehicle is not too bad either, with a 25 MPG (city) and 34 MPG (highway) rating. The car is available with either a five-speed manual or CVT transmission depending on which option is best for the teenager who will be driving the vehicle.
5. 2015 MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
Starting Price: $24,790
The Mazda MX-5 Miata has quietly become a trendy parental favorite for teenagers to drive. A big advantage to the vehicle only offering two seats is that they cannot physically give large groups of friend’s rides in the vehicle. The car is powered by a V-4, 2.0 liter engine that is rated at 167 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. Mazda uses a fair amount of aluminum in the construction of the MX-5 which helps keep the curbside weight down to 2,325 lbs. The overall fuel rating of the car is an above average 27 MPG (city) and 34 MPG (highway), and combined with the low price point when compared to other sports cars has quickly become one of the best cars on the market for teenagers.
6. 2015 HONDA CIVIC
Starting price: $19,110
The 2015 Honda Civic is one of the top cars on the road today for teenagers to drive. The Civic has been a popular choice for parents for their children to learn to drive on and use as first car for several decades now. With an entry-level price point below $20K the Civic is one of the most reliable sedans on the market, and it gets above average fuel economy with a 28 MPG (city) and 39 MPG (highway) rating. The car is powered by a 1.8 liter four-cylinder engine that is rated at 129 lb-ft of torque and 143 horsepower. The car can be purchased with a five-speed manual transmission, or one can upgrade to a continuously variable transmission that gets slightly better highway gas mileage. There is also a hybrid version of the car available that combines a 1.5 liter four cylinder engine with an electric motor rated at 133 horsepower.
7. 2014 MAZDA MAZDA2
Starting price: $15,515
Although Mazda took the 2015 model year off for production of the Maxda2 car, it remains one of the best cars on the market for a teen to drive. It is very efficient, and a slightly used model can be had for under $15K, and it delivers above average handling for a sub-compact automobile.
The auto is powered by a 1.5 liter V-4 that is rated at 100 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque. The Mazda2’s fuel economy comes in above average at 29 MPG (city) and 35 MPG (highway) and can (in theory) fit up to five passengers in the automobile depending on their size. The engine delivers suitable power for teens to keep up with traffic, but alleviates parental concerns over their child driving too fast in most environments.
8. 2015 DODGE DART
Starting price: $17,690
The 2015 Dodge Dart is one of the best cars for a teenager to drive on the market today. The car is athletically styled as a compact sedan, and it has an attractive price point set below $20K USD. The car can set up to five passengers and has a decent storage area for cargo (13 cubic feet) compared to other sedans.
The stock engine in the Dart is powered by a 2.0 liter V-4 that is rated at 160 horsepower. The overall fuel economy of the automobile is rated at 23 MPG (city) and 35 MPG (highway). Dodge also provides some options for consumers to choose from when it comes to upgrading the engine and transmission options, and all choices deliver approximately the same driving performance on the highway.
9. 2015 TOYOTA COROLLA
Starting price: $17,785
The Toyota Corolla has been one of the top cars for teenage drivers for a number of years now. The price point for the vehicle comes in south of $20K USD, and it is one of the safest automobiles in the young adult market today. The car is powered by a very reliable 1.8 liter V-4 engine that is coupled with a four-speed automatic transmission. The LE model of the car adds a bit to the price, but it includes additional features that will cater to one’s child such as Bluetooth, a mobile device interface, and additional speakers on the audio system that will save money in the long-run for aftermarket add-ons. The Corolla’s fuel efficiency is above average at a 29 MPG (city) and 37 MPG (highway) rating, and the engine is rated at 132 horsepower with a top speed of 111 MPH.
10. 2015 KIA FORTE
Starting price: $18,300
The Kia Forte is one of the most affordable cars on the market today for teenagers to drive. The inexpensive pricing of the vehicle combined with an above average fuel economy rating make the car a solid choice for young people to drive. Add in the fact that the car is actually fun to drive, and the Forte makes it to the top of our list.
The car’s fuel efficiency rating is 26 MPG (city) and 36 MPG (highway), and it is powered by a 2.0 liter V-4 engine rated at a very decent 156 horsepower driving a six-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission coupled with front-wheel drive. The Forte sports more cargo space than a Honda Accord, and it also features keyless entry, a trip computer, iDevice interface, and a six-speaker audio system.
11. 2015 FORD FOCUS
Starting price: $18,045
The 2015 Ford Focus is one of the best cars for teenagers on the road today. Ford offers the car in both sedan and hatchback models, and it truly stands out when compared to other cars in its class. The starting price for the auto is less than $20K making it attractive as a first-time car for teenagers, and its 2.0 liter V-4 engine is rated at 140 lb-ft of torque and 160 horsepower.
The Focus also gets some of the best fuel economy on the market today with a 26 MPG (city) and 38 MPG (highway) rating. Ford also upgraded the designs of the car for the 2015 model year for both the interior and exterior finishes of the car. The Focus is sold with the choice of either a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
12. 2015 VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE
Starting price: $21,015
The 2015 Volkswagen Beetle is one of the top cars on the market for teenagers. The car gets a very nice fuel efficiency rating with seeing 28 MPG (city) and 41 MPG (highway) on average, and the design of the classic automobile has been significantly revised by VW in the 2015 model. The car has a very nice entry-level price point at just over $21K, and it is powered by a 1.8 liter V-4 engine rated at 170 horsepower. Consumers can optionally choose to upgrade to a 2.0 liter turbo-four cylinder engine that delivers an extra 40 horsepower. The top overall speed of the new Beetle is 114 MPH, and it can go from zero to 60 MPH in 8.9 seconds.
13. 2015 HYUNDAI SONATA
Starting price: $21,975
Although the Hyundai Sonata is rated as a large car, this aspect is attractive to many parents who want to have their teens behind the wheels of a sturdier vehicle than a subcompact vehicle offers. Affordably priced in the low 20Ks, the Sonata is powered by a 2.4 liter four cylinder engine rated at 198 horsepower. The car also features a driver-shiftable six-speed automatic transmission coupled with front-wheel drive as a standard option.
The auto’s fuel efficiency is rated at 28 MPG (city) and 38 MPG (highway), and it can go from zero to 60 MPH in just 6.7 seconds. Hyundai also offers a 1.6 liter Eco model in addition to a hybrid option for consumers to choose from when buying their teen a car.
14. 2015 SUBARU LEGACY
Starting price: $22,540
The 2015 Subaru Legacy is one of the best cars on the market for teenagers. The Legacy features all-wheel drive as a standard option, and it has proven very popular for young drivers in northern states and other locales that see a fair bit of snow. The car is powered by a 2.5 liter V-4 engine rated at 173 horsepower coupled with a continuously variable automatic transmission. The car’s fuel economy is rated above average at 26 MPG (city) and 36 MPG (highway), and Subaru also offers an upgrade to a 3.6 liter V-6 rated at 256 horsepower. The car can go from zero to 60 MPH in 8.8 seconds and its top overall speed is 130 MPH.
15. 2015 CHEVROLET MALIBU
Starting price: $23,390
The 2015 Chevrolet Malibu is one of the top cars for teens to drive on the roads today. The Malibu is a mid-sized car, and it provides additional mass and horsepower that helps make parents feel a little safer when having their teens behind the wheel of a car. Standard equipment on the car includes keyless entry, satellite radio, auto headlights, touch-screen interface, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Malibu is powered by a 2.5 liter V-4 engine rated at 197 horsepower, and the transmission is a driver-shiftable six-speed automatic transmission. Consumers can also choose to upgrade the engine of the automobile to a 2.0 liter turbo engine mated to a six-speed automatic transmission.