Want to double your annual car insurance premium? Add a teen driver to your policy. Insurers increase premiums substantially for teen drivers because they’re likelier to drive recklessly and get into accidents. To keep your premiums down and your teen safe, provide them with a vehicle designed for safety. If you’re looking for one, the 2021 Toyota Camry fits the bill.
Inside the 2021 Toyota Camry
Indeed, industry experts and consumers have long considered the Toyota Camry one of the most dependable sedans. You won’t get the flashiest exterior or interior, but you will get good efficiency, reliability, and safety. The 2021 Camry’s base-model LE delivers on the first, with a 2.5-liter inline-four that produces 203 to 206 hp and 182 to 186 lb-ft of torque.
Publications such as MotorTrend, Car and Driver, and U.S. News have criticized the Camry for its poor handling (although its perennial popularity may be evidence to the contrary). However, while it may not take you from Point A to Point B with grace, it will get you there efficiently. The front-wheel-drive version provides an impressive 28/39 mpg city/highway (though the all-wheel-drive versions drop to 25/34 mpg).
The five-seater offers fairly generous legroom and headroom, as well as a trunk with 15.1 cubic feet of space. Also, expect a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, six-speaker audio system, and Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Amazon Alexa, and Bluetooth compatibility. The interior materials are fairly spare compared with other base models in this segment. But for a starting price of $25,965, you won’t feel cheated.
But before we get to safety, note that higher-level trims provide far richer interior styling and amenities. Splurge on the top trim, the sporty TRD, and get AWD, larger rims, a sport-tuned suspension, exhaust tips, a rear spoiler, and flashy paint. The TRD packs a 3.5-liter V6 producing 306 hp and 267 lb-ft torque. It gets a decent 22/33 mpg. Enjoy a larger 9.0-inch touchscreen, a nine-speaker sound system, and leather upholstery. But keep the TRD for yourself; you don’t want to give your teen any ideas.
The Toyota Camry’s true value: safety
For your teen driver, you’ll want a lower-level trim with all the advanced safety features the Toyota Camry offers. Luckily, all trims come with advanced safety features. So with the LE, you get automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assistance, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, and automatic high beams. They’re part of the Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-P) 2.5+ suite. And on higher trims, you can get rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot monitoring, too.
In addition to its excellent safety features, the 2021 Camry has earned high safety ratings. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded the Camry 5 out of 5 stars. And the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) named it a Top Safety Pick+. In IIHS testing, the Camry earned the highest scores for crashworthiness, front crash prevention, child seat anchor ease of use, and headlights.
With these scores, it’s easy to understand why the Camry has earned a reputation for safety.
Protecting your teen driver — and your wallet
The 2021 Toyota Camry is an excellent choice for your teen. With excellent driver aids, this sedan can help reduce the risk of your teen getting into an accident. And if they do get crash, the airbags and robust body can mitigate the risk of serious injury.
Further, when you add your teen to your policy, you’ll mitigate your own heartburn. Auto insurers determine premiums based in part on how safe a vehicle is, as well as the driver’s age and driving history. And the Camry is well-established as a safe vehicle.
So while your rates could double depending on various factors, rest assured you’ll be paying less than you could be. Check with your insurer about how much your premium would jump if you bought your teen a new Lamborghini and added them to your policy.
Better yet, save yourself the sticker shock and get them a safe and efficient car like the Camry.