If you’re a parent who now has a child old enough to drive, and has—or will shortly get—a driver’s license, you know that this is a huge step for the entire household. Getting a license is a big sign of your child’s maturity, but it also means putting that kid on the road, unsupervised, and hoping that him or her safe.
One way you can increase the odds of a safer driving experience is to put your child behind the wheel of an SUV. Which one is right for your teenage driver?
2012+ Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4 is one of the best small SUVs for teenagers providing a great combination of space, comfort, and reliability for operation, with good, responsive driving that ensures teen drivers remain in control when on the road. However, it also comes with some very well regarded safety ratings.
People who go with a Toyota RAV4 from 2012 onwards get a wide range of safety features. At a minimum, you can expect comprehensive airbag coverage for the driver and passengers, both front and rear, as well as 4-wheel ABS and disc brakes. It also has good traction control. Of course, as with other SUVs, if you opt for more recent models and upgrade beyond the basic trim, you get more safety features.
2010+ Honda CR-V
One of the best small SUVs for teenage drivers, if you’re concerned about safety, is the Honda CR-V. Depending on your priorities and budget, you can enjoy very reasonably priced safety features for used cars from 2010, or make the jump to a 2015 model for increased safety. One of the reasons many people prefer the Honda CR-V is that the responsiveness of this SUV makes it feel more like driving a car, rather than a larger, less agile vehicle.
The Cr-Vs design gives teen drivers an extra degree of safety. For example, there are a host of thoughtful safety features like comprehensive airbag coverage, and seatbelt features like pretensioners. Pretensioners automatically tighten seatbelts in as sensors detect a crash, to lock in the passenger or driver into the safest position in the seat on impact.
If you are looking for a quality SUV for your teen, visit Autopark today for a great selection and affordable pricing.
2011+ Kia Sportage
The Kia Sportage got a complete redesign in 2011, so looking at any model from this year onwards can mean getting a wealth of improvements and updates that make it one of the best small SUVs for teenage drivers. For people looking for something more recent, the Sportage got a redesign again in 2017, but the watchword here remains the same, with safety being the biggest feature.
Stability control, for example, senses when the car is exceeding handling limits and cuts down on horsepower and even selectively applies brakes. For airbags, the Sportage comes with front-impact, side-impact, and overhead airbags. There’s even an anti-whiplash head restraint system in place for rear collisions.
2014+ Mazda CX-5
One of the best small SUVs for teenage drivers is the Mazda CX-5. If you’re looking for an affordable used vehicle, you should look at the 2014 model year onwards. This is an affordable choice that doesn’t compromise on the two things you’re looking at for a teen driver: agility and safety.
The CX-5 is a very responsive SUV, meaning that teen drivers won’t have to worry as much about late steering or fighting the wheel. This is thanks to the good suspension and agile qualities of the vehicle. At the same time, however, the CX-5 is built tough to protect the driver. The standard trim doesn’t come with any additional electronic safety features, but upgraded trims do include features like blind-spot monitoring and a rearview camera if these are things you want your teen driver to benefit from.
2010+ Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester got a redesign in 2009 and then got a major tweak in 2014 for top trim models. But even without the additional measures, there’s a huge margin of safety in this SUV for a teenage driver, making it the ideal choice for teens and their parents.
However, if you want the best protection this model can handle, look at the 2014 trims that offer EyeSight for front crash prevention. With this feature, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision throttle management, and lane departure/sway warning are all built into a dual, stereoscopic camera and digital safety system.