The only thing our clients love more than their cars are their children. So, when it comes to picking out a car for their child, our mechanic’s advice and opinions are the most valuable to them. So, we sat down with our auto shop pros to discuss some of the best cars you can buy for your teen.
First Car Criteria
We had to set up a few criteria for our mechanics, just to ensure they don’t recommend the wild BMWs, Mustangs, and Camaros that they purchased as their first cars. We understand that parents want their children to be in the safest car possible, so our first criteria were that all cars have to have a 5-star safety rating.
Secondly, we set the price tag of a new model at around $20,000, and to make sure that your teen won’t be embarrassed to drive it, our third criteria was the “cool factor” of each car.
The Best All-Rounder – Volkswagen Golf
The Volkswagen Golf isn’t the coolest or cheapest car on the list, but while other cars on the list stand out in a certain area, the Golf is a real competitor in all categories. The base model Golf starts at $20,715 and comes standard with an impressive array of equipment. The only thing your teen cares about is there, with a Bluetooth-ready radio and fairly impressive stereo system stock. Combine this with its 170hp turbocharged four-cylinder generates enough excitement for the golf to register some serious cool factor points, without parents worrying about it being too fast and unruly. Further cool points are scored as the Golf is one of the most modifiable platforms on the market, with support from brands like Cobb and APR allowing your buddying tuner to begin experience the joys of car modification
The Golf comes standard with a 6 year/72,000-mile warranty, and increased safety features such as automated emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and adaptive cruise control can be added on for a premium. If the Golf’s small boot is of concern, its stablemate the Jetta can be had for the same price, with used versions of both the Golf and Jetta starting at just $12,000.
The King of Cool – Subaru Impreza
Unlike the cars that came before it, the Impreza is no longer synonymous with racing and the performance scene, as it has handed those reins to its big brother the WRX. The model we recommend is the midrange Premium 2.0i, which can be had for $22,155. Any teen who has a love for sports cars will feel right at home in the Impreza, with its red gauges and built-in engine monitoring display which can be set to show all sorts of engine information from boost gauges to differential balance.
The Impreza gains more cool points as it comes standard with a Smartphone integration, heated seats, and steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters, and has modification support from some of the most popular tuning brands. Its 2.0-liter flat-four only produces 152 horsepower that should put many parents’ minds at ease. For only $1,395, you can opt for Subaru’s EyeSight Driver Assist Technology package, which kits the Impreza out with adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, fog lamps, and lane-keeping assistance.
Matching Coolness with Safety – Mazda3
The Mazda3 just fell short of snatching the best all-rounder from the Volkswagen Golf and should be a serious contender for anyone looking for a smart, nimble hatchback. What makes the Mazda3 stand out for parents is the fact that it has the highest safety rating for any car of its size, scoring the Top Safety Pick+ honor in 2018 from the International Institute for Highway Safety. Available in both manual and automatic and as a sedan or hatchback, there are several options available to you.
The best value for money model is the Grand Touring and starts at $24,770. At this trim level, the little Mazda is equipped with a host of standard equipment, such as rain-sensing wipers, dual-zone climate control, a nine-speaker Bose sound system, blind-spot monitoring, and cross-traffic alert.
Trusted Mechanic in Pompano Beach
Whether you go new or used, there are a few things that your child should know before they get behind the wheel; be safe, be smart, be responsible, and for anything their car might need, the only place to take it is Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, South Florida’s Premier Luxury Auto Repair, Performance & Race Facility Since 1978.