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As a parent, you laud the day when you no longer have to drive your teenagers to and from school, team practices, and the mall. When they learn to drive, you can’t wait to be able to prevent unwanted windshield time, save gas money, and send them to the grocery store for that gallon of milk you forgot to grab on your way home from work. But, of course, there is a genuine worry they’ll find themselves behind the wheel of a cheap used car that threatens their safety. 

Fortunately, plenty of safe and affordable used cars are on the market today, even well-trimmed examples to ensure your child is protected on the road. To make your decision easier, iSeeCars determined these were the six safest and most reliable used luxury cars and SUVs for teens, and all for under $25,000.

The 2017 Volvo S60 is a safe used car that’s stocked with safety features

Like any Volvo, the S60 comes standard with premium safety features inside a vehicle renowned for its impact damage-mitigating qualities. For example, the Volvo City Safety feature triggers emergency braking in low-speed conditions—under 31 mph—where a collision is imminent. Other active safety features to keep your teen safe are automatic emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), and active lane control. The 2017 Volvo S60 was also designated as a Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).

The 2015 Volvo V60 Wagon is an IIHS Top Safety Pick+

Like the previous used Volvo sedan, the V60 Wagon features the City Safety suite of crash avoidance electronics. Yet, the station wagon also offers 24 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, offering college-bound teens plenty of room to transport personal effects. 

Also given the coveted Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, other available safety features include adaptive cruise control (ACC), adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring (BSM), driver drowsiness monitoring, front and rear parking sensors, lane departure warning (LDW), lane keep assist (LKA), and road sign information (RSI) detection.

The 2015 Lexus ES 350 is a roomy and safe used car

With a roomy and luxurious interior, teenagers will enjoy showing off this opulent used Lexus, but parents will also have peace of mind about the used car’s many safety features. The Lexus has a long list of standard safety features, including ACC, FCW, LDW, and RSI. Apart from the car seat mechanism, the IIHS highly rates all other safety equipment supporting superior crashworthiness.

The 2015 Lexus ES 350h is a used hybrid that puts safety first

A white 2015 Lexus ES 350h hybrid sedan parked outdoors
2015 Lexus ES 350h | Lexus

The lonely hybrid on the list takes the used Lexus’s well-appointed interior and safety features and teams it with a drivetrain that provides an EPA-rated 40 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway. 

The 2015 Lexus ES 350h also comes standard with ACC, AEB, BSM, LDW, Lexus park assist (LPA), rear cross-traffic alert (RCTA), and a rearview camera. The IIHS rates the hybrid-powered ES 350h with the same crashworthiness as its ES 350 sibling.

The 2015 Acura RLX is a used car that earned near-perfect safety ratings

With near-perfect safety and crashworthiness ratings from the IIHS, the Acura RLX was a Top Safety Pick+ for 2015, meaning it’s an all-inclusive safeguard for your teenage child. Standard safety features include ACC, daytime running lights, and LDW. With a 310-horsepower V6, teenagers will also like the grunt that comes with this luxury midsize sedan that won’t break the bank.

The 2015 Acura MDX is a Top Safety Pick+

A red 2015 Acura MDX driving, the 2015 Acura MDX is one of the safest used luxury cars for teens
2015 Acura MDX | Acura

No Pickup Trucks Made the IIHS’ List of the Best Vehicles for Teens

Beyond a backup camera, the MDX’s ACC, BSM, FCW, LDW, LKA, and front and rear parking sensors are optional extras. Regardless, the 2015 MDX was awarded the Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS, so parents won’t have to worry about their teenagers’ protection in a traffic collision when they’re behind the wheel of this safe used car.

Which safe used car should you buy for your teenager?

Realistically, all these examples have something unique to offer. The Volvo S60 provides smallness for easy parking. The Lexus ES 350 delivers luxury on a budget. The Acura RLX can please your teenager with a powerful engine. The Lexus ES 300h gives eco-minded teens satisfaction. The Acura MDX can ensure your child has a high-riding position on the road. The Volvo V60 Wagon can recruit your teen into the movement of bringing back station wagons with enough room to drive all their friends to the movie theatre.