US: great cars for teens, below $12,000 image

It comes a moment in life of your beloved offspring when it’s time to become independent. While that usually happens at different moments in life, one of the generally agreed periods is when the parents buy them the first ride.

The process of getting a teen his first car is one that comes with mixed feelings for the parents: their sibling is old enough to drive and give them responsibilities, but taking the road all by itself also brings numerous woes. One would be very difficult to answer: what is the perfect ride? And from that single question a myriad of others pop up – is it safe, is it affordable enough to not spend a fortune on the traditional dents and small parking incidents associated with first time drivers? So we came up with a small list of safe cars that fit in a tight budget – let’s say under $12,000.

First off, the Subaru Forester. From 2009 onwards, the Japanese SUV got great marks in the IIHS crash tests. The Hyundai Sonata, with model years 2011 or later is another great pick. Another Subaru, this time the Legacy sedan, with model years beginning with 2010. Here comes our first American pick, the Buick LaCrosse, starting from the 2010 model year. The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport lands fifth on our list, beginning with model year 2011. The Dodge Avenger after 2011 is another US-built alternative, with prices beginning even under the $11,000 mark. Volkswagen has produced a worthy Passat alternative – the CC model, which can be had beginning with model year 2009. Be it dull and unimpressive, the Chevy Malibu still remains a worthy pick, with model year 2010 offers approaching the ten grand threshold. The Ford Fusion has enough momentum to reach our top ten list and model years 2010 or later can even be had under $10,000. Our top ten list is rounded up by Audi A3, which starting with model year 2008 can be a great foray into the premium segment.

Via Forbes