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When it comes to finding an SUV for new drivers, there are several options available that start under $30,000. Ford, Toyota, and Honda make these safe SUVs for new drivers. All of the sport utility vehicles below also have high scores from important national safety groups.

The Toyota RAV4 is a safe SUV for new drivers

What makes a sport utility vehicle good for young drivers? U.S. News says the 2023 Toyota RAV4 is fuel-efficient, comfortable, and safe. It also comes packed with features without breaking the budget. The RAV4 has room for five and 37.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the seats. That increases to 69.8 cubic feet with these seats down.

Toyota included many standard safety systems like traffic-sign recognition, lane-departure warning with lane-keep assist, and adaptive cruise control. Automatic high-beam headlights and forward collision warning are also included on the SUV.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2023 RAV4 a five-star safety rating. That included high scores on the side crash and rollover tests. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also awarded the SUV a Top Safety Pick Plus designation.

Honda’s CR-V is another safe SUV for new drivers

The 2022 Honda CR-V is safe, offers plenty of room, and won’t break the bank. All-wheel drive is available for those who might want it, but it decreases fuel economy. With front-wheel drive, the CR-V gets 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. All-wheel drive is 27 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway.

Some of the standard safety systems include lane departure warning, forward automatic emergency braking, and adaptive cruise control. Forward collision warning, lane keep assist, and road departure mitigation are also standard.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2022 CR-V a five-star safety rating. It also received the Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety when equipped with LED reflector headlights on the Touring and Hybrid Touring trim.

The Ford Bronco Sport is off-road capable but safe

The safe SUVs for new drivers include this yellow 2023 Ford Bronco Sport
A 2023 Ford Bronco Sport | Ford

While you might think of the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport as an off-road-oriented vehicle, it also lands on the list of safe SUVs for new drivers for a few reasons. The turbo three-cylinder engine is good enough for daily driving, and the MyKey system allows you to set speed and audio limits for new drivers.

The Big Bend trim is just a bit over budget but is pretty well equipped. Forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane-departure warning are standard. The Bronco Sport also includes automatic high-beam headlights, rear cross-traffic alert, and blind-spot monitoring.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2023 Ford Bronco Sport a five-star safety rating, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety made it a Top Safety Pick Plus award winner.

As a new driver, it’s important to prioritize safety when choosing a vehicle. Good scores on safety tests aren’t the only thing to consider, but it is helpful. If a system you hope to have isn’t included, it is likely available in a package or add-on.


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