If you have a teen itching to get behind the wheel because he or she now has a license, you shouldn't be surprised if the next itch is to have his or her own wheels.
When it comes to reliability, safety and insurance costs, however, you might be at a loss in deciding which vehicle best suits your teen's needs and your wallet.
The website carinsurance.com hopes to eliminate some of the guesswork with its latest 14 Best Cars for Teens. The website focused on 2009 models, since they are not too new or too old, with a price tag below $15,000 and top safety ratings that reflect such features as electronic stability control. Carinsurance also looked at above-average reliability ratings, fuel economy and insurance costs.
Among the 14 cars, premiums range from $3,300 to $4,400 annually. "A teenage driver is going to pay a small fortune even if he chooses the most insurance-friendly car," managing editor Des Toups said in releasing the study.
The vehicles and their average annual insurance premiums, as if an 18-year-old were buying his or her own policy:
1. Ford Taurus: $3,322
2. Honda Accord: $3,334
3. Ford Fusion*: $3,494
4. Scion xB: $3,506
5. Subaru Legacy: $3,518
6. Volkswagen Jetta sedan: $3,524
7. Audi A3 2.0T: $3,622
8. Toyota Corolla*: $3,656
9. Subaru Impreza 2.5i: $3,732
10. Honda Civic four-door*: $3,738
11. Ford Focus coupe*: $3,800
12. Volkswagen Rabbit four-door: $3,974
13. Honda Fit Sport*: $3,976
14. Mitsubishi Lancer GTS*: $4,392
*Electronic stability control optional or available only on some models.