Finding the best cars for teens is a tough choice. Families want to prioritize safety and affordability, while the teen usually wants something more fun.

To help you make the best choice for your family, here are seven of the best cars for teens you can buy today.

Kia Rio

Blue 2019 Kia Rio driving

Kia produces very high quality vehicles, and the Kia Rio is no exception. Available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Rio combines affordability and the best warranty in the business. Kia covers their drivetrains for 10 years or 100,000 miles.

Teens will appreciate that every Rio comes with satellite radio capability and a 5.0-inch touchscreen.

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Nissan Versa Note

Orange 2017 Nissan Versa Note outside building

The Nissan Versa Note is the five-door hatchback version of the popular Versa four-door sedan. This car comes with a peppy 1.6-liter engine and a continuously variable transmission with front-wheel-drive.

Air conditioning, Bluetooth for hands-free phone use, and a standard backup camera help to make the Versa Note one of the best cars for teens that you can find.

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Subaru Impreza

Blue 2020 Subaru Outback parked outside Diner

The Subaru Impreza is unique because it’s the only affordable car for teens that includes all-wheel-drive as standard equipment. If you live where winters can be harsh, that makes the Impreza a very safe choice.

The Impreza will seat five passengers, and Subaru offers a choice between a continuously variable transmission or a five-speed manual gearbox. Subaru also offers its advanced EyeSight driver assistance package on CVT-equipped Imprezas.

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Chevrolet Spark

Blue Chevrolet Spark Activ parked outside cafe


The smallest car from General Motors is the Chevrolet Spark, and it’s a great choice for teen drivers. This model is one of the most affordable on the market, and while it’s not luxurious, it does include the basics of transportation and safety.

Teens will like the fact that the car has its own data receiver, and can create a wifi hot spot inside the vehicle. A seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard.

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Ford Fiesta

two 2018 Ford Fiestas

The Ford Fiesta is available as a convenient hatchback or a more traditional four-door sedan. The Fiesta offers more interior space than other cars in this class, and carries five passengers easily.

The standard engine is a thrifty 1.6-liter, but you can also choose a turbocharged option. Both five and six-speed manual transmissions and a six-speed automatic are available. If you want a Fiesta, it’s best to act now because Ford is discontinuing this model.

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Honda Fit

Orange 2019 Honda Fit driving in desert hills

Honda is always a good choice for value and reliability, and the Honda Fit is one of the best cars for teens or college-age drivers. This five-door hatchback delivers plenty of carrying capacity and seating for five passengers.

From a teen perspective, Honda’s “Magic Seat” offers enough configurability to carry a bicycle or even a surfboard in the Fit. Honda’s front-wheel-drive gives the Fit excellent traction for winter driving, so if snowboarding is part of your life, this car can handle it.

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Mitsubishi Mirage

White 2018 Mitsubishi Mirage G4

The Mitsubishi Mirage is the most fuel-efficient non-hybrid vehicle sold in North America. The 1.2-liter engine is rated at 41 MPG on the highway and 33 MPG in city driving.

This subcompact offers seating for five people whether you choose the hatchback or sedan versions. However, no one would say that the Mirage is luxurious. It’s one of the most Spartan cars you can buy.

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The best cars for teens offer style and fun as well as safety and an affordable price. You can check for the best prices on new and used vehicles at

Best Cars for Teens (a Pro's Selection)
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Best Cars for Teens (a Pro's Selection)
Seeking best cars for teens is often a question of what parents want versus teens want. We've gathered some of the best cars that find the happy medium.
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Jeff Zurschmeide has been covering the automotive industry for more than 15 years as a writer, editor, and photographer. His work has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines, and websites, and he has written nine books on automotive topics. Because cars cost money, Jeff is also a keen student of personal finance. In fact, he went to graduate school for an MBA degree just to understand how the auto and finance industries work. Jeff makes his home in Tillamook, Oregon.

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