Consumer Reports: Best New Cars for Teens

Car shopping is stressful, whether it’s new cars or used ones. Adding a teenage driver into the mix can only heighten the stress level. From teaching them to drive to shopping for their new ride, in addition to used car prices are skyrocketing right now. In response, many families have turned to buying or leasing a new car for their children. Happily, Consumer Reports’ list of the best new cars for teens is looking to help out a little. They’ve put together a list of the best new metal for your teenage dirtbag, baby.

Consumer Reports: Is the Mazda3 the one for you?

A top Consumer Reports pick, the 2020 Mazda3 in grey is shown under a light box at the L.A Auto Show
The Mazda3 | Photo by Victor Decolongon via Getty Images

Small cars are just about as good as new cars for teens get, and the Mazda3 is no exception. All-new for 2020 and 2021, Consumer Reports ranks the Mazda3 highly for a plethora of reasons.

The new Mazda3 can be had as either a sedan or the more practical hatchback configuration. It’s also great to see some interesting color options like “Soul Red Crystal Metallic” on offer. If your teen prefers to row their own, there’s also a manual transmission on offer. Plenty of useable space, quiet ride, and strong brakes help to keep the Mazda3 safe and comfortable to boot.

Consumer Reports: The Toyota Corolla is just right

A silver Toyota Corolla shown under the lights at the Paris Motor Show
The Toyota Corolla hybrid | Photo by Chesnot via Getty Images

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Perhaps the most economically-minded of Consumer Report’s choices, the Toyota Corolla made the list for a reason. The Corolla comes standard with some excellent safety and convenience features. Lane-keep and radar cruise are fantastic for distraction-prone teen drives. Like the Mazda3, the Corolla can be had in either a sedan or a hatch, with or without the stick shift.

Interestingly, the Corolla can also be specced as a hybrid for those teens who have to scrounge up their own gas money. However, the Corolla can be a little loud on the highway per Consumer Reports, but standard Car Play and J. Cole’s new album can help with that. Interior quality is far below that of the Mazda3, but who cares when your teen will cover it in filth anyway? As long as the seats are easy to clean and comfy (which they are) that’s all that matters.

Consumer Reports: Safest of them all, the Honda Accord

A cherry red Honda Accord with a sunroof is crowded by media at an auto show.
The Honda Accord | Photo by Jewel Samad via Getty Images

Though the 2021 Honda Accord only comes offered as a sedan, it is larger than both the Corolla and the Mazda3. Unfortunately, Car Play and Android Auto will have to be added to the options list, as they aren’t standard for the Accord.

More importantly, the Accord is arguably the safest of the three cars listed here according to Consumer Reports. Automatic highway and city emergency are standard, and the Accord boasts excellent crash safety ratings. However, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic warning systems are both optional and necessary for new drivers. Looks are subjective, but testers agree that of the three, the Accord isn’t much of a looker, with the Mazda3 handily winning in that category.

Regardless of which car you choose, Consumer Reports has picked some real winners for their best new cars for teens. The Corolla is easily the most affordable option, the Mazda the best all-rounder, and the Accord the safest. No matter what, teens will be safe, comfortable and happy in any of these choices.