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Buying a new SUV for a teen driver can be a daunting process. After all, you want something safe and sensible for your inexperienced teenager. At the same time, you may not want to buy something too big that is difficult to handle or allows them to carry too many passengers. If that’s the case, you may be interested in the list of the Best Small SUVs for Teens, put out by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and Consumer Reports.

The two non-profit organizations have teamed up to determine which vehicles are the safest for new drivers. Although they note that larger vehicles (within reason) tend to be a little safer, there are a few small SUVs on their list. Here are the five cheapest small SUVs that you just might want to let your teen drive.

A front corner view of the 2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature on an open road.
A front corner view of the 2022 Mazda CX-5 Turbo Signature on an open road. | Joe Santos, MotorBiscuit

The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is the best SUV

The 2022 Chevy Trailblazer is the IIHS and Consumer Reports’ cheapest pick for a small SUV. The Chevrolet Trailblazer price starts at $21,900 and it offers all of the safety you’d want in a small SUV. The Trailblazer is a Top Safety Pick+, which means that it has all good crashworthiness scores. In addition, its headlights are rated good and acceptable, and its safety systems are advanced and superior. 

The 2022 Mazda CX-30 is one of the safest small SUVs for teens

Another great option for teen drivers is the 2022 Mazda CX-30. The Mazda CX-30 is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+. It has all good crashworthiness scores, good headlights, and superior safety systems. In fact, both the vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-pedestrian systems are rated superior. You’ll pay $23,200 for the CX-30.

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is a super-safe SUV

The 2022 Hyundai Tucson is another Top Safety Pick+ that makes the IIHS and Consumer Reports list of the best vehicles for new drivers. The IIHS says that “the combination of immaturity and inexperience makes driving especially risky” for teen drivers, and the Tucson can help you feel a little bit better about letting your teenager drive. A new Tucson will cost you about $25,800.

The 2022 Mazda CX-5

Related You Should Buy the 2021 Mazda CX-30, Not the CX-3

You Should Buy the 2021 Mazda CX-30, Not the CX-3

The 2022 Mazda CX-5 makes the list of the best new vehicles for teen drivers in part because of its affordability. A new Mazda CX-5 will cost you roughly $26,800. The IIHS says that “In addition to safety, reliability, and affordability are also top concerns for families.”

The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport is a fun, inexpensive SUV

The 2022 Ford Bronco Sport is a brand-new SUV that has a really fun vibe that teenagers will love. A new Bronco Sport will cost you about $28,200. It also comes standard with vehicle-to-vehicle automated emergency braking.

If you’re in the market for one of the best SUVs for new drivers, you have a good range of vehicles to choose from. The best part of this list is that these brand-new SUVs are pretty affordable. This makes them more viable options for teen drivers.