With the fall semester just around the corner, Consumer Reports offers its best choices for parents and teens out shopping for a car to bring back to school.


When looking for the right car for teens, including used models, Consumer Reports recommends picking cars with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags and good crash-test results.


In addition to naming good cars for young and older drivers, the magazine also names good picks for all sizes and types of drivers including the tall and small.


All the models on Consumer Reports’ lists have at least average reliability and are “Recommended” vehicles. Consumer Reports named only one car suitable for all driver types: the Honda Accord.

Here is a look at some of Consumer Reports’ picks for teens (ESC is standard or optional starting with the years listed below):

  • Small Sedans

    • Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010)

    • Mazda3 (2007-)

    • Scion xB (2008-)

  • Midsized sedans

    • Acura TSX (2004-)

    • Honda Accord (2008-)

    • Kia Optima (2007)