If you’re the parent of a new driver and are considering buying a car for your teen, the safety of that car is your biggest concern.

You want to be sure that when your son or daughter drives off alone, he or she will have the greatest amount of protection in the event of an accident. Of course, your teen doesn’t just want to drive a car that’s safe; he or she also wants to drive something “cool.” Fortunately for you, there are plenty of reasonably-priced cars on the market that have high safety ratings and look great. Here are the top five.

1. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta
The Jetta sedan has always been a popular pick for teens because of its stellar crash test ratings and its smooth, nimble handling. The 2012 Jetta boasts a classy European look and plenty of cargo room. It’s also equipped with stability control and frontal and side curtain airbags. In addition, the Jetta features a special system that activates the emergency flashers, unlocks all four doors and cuts off electricity to the fuel pump if the airbags deploy.

2. 2012 Ford Focus
Available as a sedan or a four-door hatchback, the redesigned Focus is compact yet tough. It features six standard airbags, stability control and a stronger frame than ever. The Focus comes available with MyKey, a program that allows you to remotely control your teen’s maximum speed and stereo volume. MyKey can even remind your teen to wear a seatbelt!

3. 2012 Hyundai Elantra
The Elantra has come a long way since its early days, when it was rather nondescript. In addition to a stylish, eye-catching exterior and a comfortable interior, this sedan now boasts a five-star safety rating. It’s equipped with numerous head and side-mounted airbags and features a whiplash protection system for drivers and front-seat passengers. The Elantra also comes available with a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty.

4. 2012 Honda Civic
The Honda Civic has long been a favorite among teens and parents alike. It comes available as a sedan or a coupe and is equipped with all of the important safety features, including two front airbags and four side curtain airbags. It also has the technology to spread the energy from a head-on collision evenly, reducing the risk of severe injury. The Civic has a consistent record of high crash test ratings and is well-known for its reliability. It’s also the perfect size for a new driver to handle.

5. 2012 Subaru Impreza
This attractive sedan or hatchback is ideal for teens living in cold, snowy climates. Besides six airbags and traction control, the Impreza comes standard with all-wheel drive. This means that if your teen is behind the wheel of an Impreza, you’ll have to worry a lot less about him or her sliding on icy roads.

 

 

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