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So you’re looking for a cheap used car to get your teen from home to school or work? No problem. The real issue is doing so without breaking the bank, compromising on reliability, or ignoring safety. Don’t fret; here are three of the best big, cheap cars for your teen, like the 2013 Toyota Avalon. 

  • 2011 Ford Taurus
  • 2011-2014 Toyota Avalon
  • 2011 Hyundai Genesis

Is Ford Taurus a reliable car?

The 2011 Ford Taurus has excellent reliability scores. The Taurus also offers all-wheel drive (AWD) and reasonably decent gas mileage, with as much as 22 mpg combined. Also, the sixth generation Taurus is quite affordable. With a starting market average of $6,300, it is an accessible means to put your teen in affordable transportation. 

The Ford Taurus is a big, cheap car that is great for a teen.
Ford Taurus | Andrew Harrer, Bloomberg via Getty Images

However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn’t award the Taurus top marks for safety. Instead, the four-door sedan got a four-star rating from the NHTSA. Specifically, the rollover protection and passenger side-impact scores were four stars, which brought down the overall rating. 

Is the Toyota Avalon a good car?

The Toyota Avalon is a habitually underrated sedan. Even today, the Avalon is a benchmark in affordable luxury, comparable to much more expensive European rivals. As for your teen, the 2011 to 2014 Toyota Avalon is a dependable, safe, and cheap car. Consumer Reports says an Avalon from that generation will set you back an average of $9,400. 

The Toyota Avalon is a benchmark in safety and reliability, making a great big car for a teen.
Toyota Avalon | Frank Polich, Getty Images

The news gets better on the safety front, too. A 2013 Toyota Avalon has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Also, the 2014 model receives the top NHTSA rating overall, except for a four-star score in frontal driver side impact and rollover protections. Still, Consumer Reports gives the 2011 through 2014 model years top scores in reliability.  

Is the Hyundai Genesis a good car for a teen?

The 2011 Hyundai Genesis is a good car for a teenager. However, your teen might be better off with a Ford Taurus or Toyota Avalon. First, the 2011 Genesis gets above-average reliability scores, if not as good as the 2015 model year. Next, with 20 mpg overall, it is moderately fuel efficient. 

A Hyundai Genesis is a solid choice for a teen, with safety and reliability credentials among cheap cars.
Hyundai Genesis | Jean-Marc Zaorski , Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

However, the Hyundai Genesis hasn’t been tested by the NHTSA. Instead, the Genesis was reviewed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), another agency focused on safety testing. The IIHS awarded the Genesis its Top Safety Pick award, which falls just below the Top Safety Pick+. 

Which car should you buy for your teen?

If you’re in the market for a reliable, big, and cheap car for your teen, it’ll be challenging to choose a better vehicle than the Toyota Avalon. The 2013 Toyota Avalon is typically more expensive than a comparable Hyundai Genesis or Ford Taurus, but it shines elsewhere. For instance, the 2013 Toyota Avalon has both an IIHS Top Safety Pick and a five-star rating from the NHTSA. Neither of the other two cars has that to boast. 

After all, most parents want the car they choose for their children to be safe above all else. Scroll down to the following article to read more about safe vehicles!


Buy These Cheap, Safe Cars for Your Teen