Safest Cars for Teens and Young Drivers

 In Auto Grades, Auto Professor's Safest, Family Cars, Vehicle Safety

Safest Cars for Teens among Model Years 2017-2019

Picking the safest cars for teens can be a very difficult process. That’s because you worry about keeping them safe and they want something fun to drive. This can make it difficult to find a car that suits both of you.

To help you in your search, we have pulled out a list of sedans model years 2017-2019. These popular sedans earned top tier Auto Grades (A or A-) for teens and young drivers ages 16-22.

Different age-and-gender combinations may get different Auto Grades. For example, a sedan may get the top tier safety rating (A or A-) for a young woman but not for a young man. The reasons for these different ratings can be related to both behavior and physical condition of the young driver.

Other safety rating systems can not give personalized ratings because they base their ratings on laboratory tests with dummies.

We are able to give personalized ratings because we are using real data, from on-the-road crashes. In other words, our ratings tell you the historical track record of these cars for protecting other young drivers, like yours. Of course, we can only do this for the most popular cars. Read more about how we do this.

Since these Auto Grades are based on actual, on-the-road statistics,  sometimes the results are surprising.

Top Safest Cars for Teens and Young Drivers (Ages 16-22), Model Years 2017-2019


  • BMW 3-Series
  • BMW 4-Series
  • Chrysler 200 (2017 only)
  • Chrysler 300
  • Chevrolet Sonic
  • Dodge Challenger
  • Ford Fusion
  • Ford Taurus
  • Honda Accord (2017 only)
  • Hyundai Sonata


  • BMW 3-Series
  • BMW 4-Series
  • Ford Taurus
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Nissan Altima (2018 only)

Other Factors to Consider

The general rule of thumb in car safety is a bigger car is better than a smaller car.

…But putting a young driver in a bigger car can cause problems.

The problem is that teens may tend to take more risks in bigger cars. They think that the bigger car will protect them. So, they may misbehave, like going too fast or not buckling up. Giving a young driver a bigger car can also be a problem for other drivers in smaller cars. The combination can be lethal.

In our earlier post, we gave some advice about how to speak with your teenage driver.

Good driving behavior is one of the most important parts of keeping young drivers safe. But, we share the road with drivers who do not practice good habits. We see it all the time. Drivers texting or looking at a phone for directions or talking on the phone. Distraction is now one of the biggest causes of car accidents. So, what can you do to protect our teen drivers? Speak often about good behavior.


What is the safest car for a teen driver?

Not every safe car is safe for your own teen driver. It depends on who they are in terms of age AND gender. Use our tool to check the safety of the car you have or are considering to buy for your teenager.

Are IIHS Best Vehicle for Your Teen the safest cars?

While we agree with the guiding principles associated with IIHS list of cars for teens, our safety ratings are different. Our safety ratings are based on the real experience of teen drivers, not laboratory tests using average size male dummies.

What is the safest car for new drivers?

Remember that a new driver can be of any age, although they are typically teenagers. Do a check of the Auto Grade for your new driver’s age and gender on each car you are considering.

Are Jeeps safe for teenage drivers?

Big cars aren’t necessarily better in the case of teens. The actual crash data shows that teens tend to take more risks in a bigger car than a smaller one. Pick a car that is well-rated for your teen personally.

What is the best car for a teenage driver?

It all depends on the teenage driver themselves. Our top tier ratings may be different for a young woman than a young man. Auto Grades are based on actual accident statistics, so the results are sometimes surprising.

Personalize It!

Want to find the safety rating of other cars? We are here to help. Just use our simple search menu below. We first give the car an overall Auto Grade. Then, if we have lots of data for that car, you will see an option to get a personal Auto Grade. If you want to see how this is done, then see our video.

We want to help you pick a car that personally suits you and your young driver.

Working together to create a world where everyone walks away from a crash.