Top 7 safest, used cars for teens

By Jena Johnson - bio | email | Twitter

TYLER, TX (KLTV)- Picking a used car for your new driver is no longer a gamble. With the help of insurance agent Chip Crist and several credible online auto guides, KLTV 7 has created a list of the safest, used cars for your teen.

"This would definitely be in one my top ten list," said Crist while looking at a 2008 Mazda 6.

The Mazda 6 model years 2003 to 2008 is compact enough for teens to maneuver, but safe enough for parents approval. The car earns a five star crash rating test score.

"The Mazda 6 has the side curtain airbags. It has the driver's side and passenger's side airbags," said Crist.

Crist says it's a good fit for teens. "It has the power seat that can lift up a young driver that's short, maybe not as tall as the rest," he said,

As Alan Beam and his 16-year-old son Brandon search for a safe, reliable car in the Loop East Motor Company used car lot, the 2007 Ford Five Hundred caught their eye. With a five star crash score, this car makes KLTV 7s list. It also makes Brandon's.

If you're looking to pass down a used car to your teen and have a 2007 Toyota Camry or a 2007 Chevrolet Equinox, you're in luck. Both cars are equipped with Electronic Stability Control, a tool to prevent spin outs and rollovers. According to Consumer Reports, ESC has been found to reduce the risk of deadly, single-vehicle accidents by 51 percent.

Weight, according to Crist, can also prevent rollovers. He says the 2009 Ford Fusion is the ideal size for a new driver. It has a five star crash rating with an engine Crist says parents will go for.

"A  4-cylinder like this being a front wheel drive car is much safer," said Crist. "It provides plenty of pep and a car to be able to merge into traffic."

The 2003 to 2007 models of the Honda Accord are highly recommended for teens. "It has side impact air bags, dual front air bags and you always want an automatic transition," said Crist.

Experts rate the 2005 Honda Civic as a teen favorite. Di'Anda Jefferson, 17, couldn't wait to get in, buckle up and start the engine,

"I wish I could just go driving in it right now on the road. It would be a long test drive," said Jefferson.

The Civic appeals to parents with its five star crash score, and teens like the stylish, sleek body.

"I don't like really big cars and I like the small fitted cars," said Jefferson.

Seven used cars that experts say will keep teens like Jefferson safe when it's their turn behind the wheel.

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