Sure cars need to be safe, reliable and reasonable, but they also need to look and feel cool. VroomGirls.com, a car site for women, just put together a list of what they think are the top 6 cars any teen would be happy to drive.
The Toyota Yaris reminds us of the hatchbacks we drove when we were kids — small, simple cars that were cheap to run and utterly reliable. That’s the Toyota Yaris in a nutshell. Simple stereo and air conditioning controls help your teen keep her eyes off the dashboard and on the road, and the Toyota badge on the rump is as close as you’ll get to a guarantee of longevity and reliability. Toyota Yaris pricing starts at just over $14k, including standard air conditioning, and a Yaris LE with power windows, Bluetooth, and a decent stereo goes for under $16,500. Other Toyota Yaris highlights include good gas mileage (especially with a manual transmission), a usefully large cargo bay, and a whopping nine airbags, including a driver’s knee airbag, which protects against nasty knee and leg injuries. And once your teen is ready to move on to something bigger and better, Toyota’s blue-chip resale values should provide one last bonus in the form of a high trade-in value.
If your teen is a budding car enthusiast, the Volkswagen Golf is a great set of wheels. In terms of pure driver appeal, the VW Golf is a cut above the others on this list thanks to responsive steering, sharp handling, and well-designed manual transmissions that are perfect for inexperienced stick-shifters. The Volkswagen Golf’s simple, driver-centered interior is designed for distraction-free driving, and the Golf’s modest engines mean that your teen is less likely to get herself in trouble than she would be in a proper sports car. If you and your teen are concerned about the environment, consider the VW Golf TDI, which has a fuel-efficient, low-emission diesel engine that can run on up to 5% vegetable-based biodiesel. Note: Be wary of the two high-performance versions, the GTI and the Golf R. Though great cars, they are very powerful and very fast, and can spell trouble for inexperienced drivers.
Ever notice that the bigger your kids get, the bigger their stuff seems to get? Not just shoes and clothes, but the stuff they carry — preschool lunch boxes and macaroni artwork give way to drum sets and football gear. If you’ve got a teen who loves to take camping trips or who plays a musical instrument the size of a bookcase, the Scion xB is a great choice, thanks to a 22 cubic foot cargo bay that expands to an SUV-like 70 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. But the Scion xB doesn’t drive like an SUV — it’s reasonably sized and responds like a car in an emergency swerve. The Scion xB’s unusual dashboard, with its center-mounted gauge cluster, is youthful in its styling but simple and straightforward in its layout. And since Scion is a division of Toyota, you can count on the xB to provide your teen driver with years and years of reliable service.
Click below to see the last three cars on the list.