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The 14 best cars for teens, ranked by CarInsurance.com

June 24, 2013 (Foster City, CA) -- Safe, reliable and cheap to run: Here are 14 used cars that make the cut, according to CarInsurance.com

The website’s annual list of Best Cars for Teens looks at four-year-old models below $15,000 with top safety ratings and above-average reliability and fuel economy, then compares the cost of insurance for each. 

Here are the “Best Cars for Teens 2013,” ranked by annual insurance cost:

Rank/Model/Annual premium

1. Ford Taurus: $3,322

2. Honda Accord: $3,334

3. Ford Fusion*: $3,494

4. Scion xB: $3,506

5. Subaru Legacy: $3,518

6. Volkswagen Jetta sedan: $3,524

7. Audi A3 2.0T: $3,622

8. Toyota Corolla*: $3,656

9. Subaru Impreza 2.5i: $3,732

10. Honda Civic four-door*: $3,738

11. Ford Focus coupe*: $3,800

12. Volkswagen Rabbit four-door: $3,974

13. Honda Fit Sport*: $3,976

14. Mitsubishi Lancer GTS*:  $4,392

*Electronic stability control optional or available only on some models.

 

A crucial safety technology, electronic stability control, became available on a much wider array of inexpensive vehicles for the 2009 model year.  

“Stability control is a godsend because it limits a lot of the dumb moves a young driver can make,” said Des Toups, managing editor of CarInsurance.com. “But like every safety feature, it appears first on expensive cars and works its way down to the cheap ones.”

Stability control is a requirement to earn the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s Top Safety Pick designation -- the starting point of the “Best Cars for Teens” rankings.

From there, CarInsurance.com looked for models that cost less than $15,000 used, as tracked by Edmunds.com, achieved average or better reliability, as measured by TrueDelta.com, and earned a combined gas mileage rating above 20 mpg, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Finally, CarInsurance.com’s analysis weighed the insurance bills of the 14 cars that remained.

 “There’s a big difference in insurance rates among the cars on the list,” Toups said. “But a teenage driver is going to pay a small fortune even if he chooses the most insurance-friendly car.”

An 18-year-old student in Pensacola, Fla., maintaining a separate policy from his parents, would pay $3,322 a year to insure a Ford Taurus, the least expensive car to insure on the list, or as much as $4,392 for a Mitsubishi Lancer GTS, the most expensive.

See the full article and rankings at http://www.carinsurance.com/best-cars-for-teens.aspx

Methodology

Insurance rates are for an 18-year-old male in ZIP code 32534 (Pensacola, Fla.), commuting 12 miles each way to school, with no accidents or violations. Coverage includes $100,000 bodily injury liability (up to $300,000 per accident) and $50,000 in property damage liability, $10,000 in personal injury protection and comprehensive and collision coverage with $500 deductibles.

About CarInsurance.com

CarInsurance.com has been offering drivers expert advice about car insurance and how to shop for it since 2003. Using a combination of industry expertise and information drawn from thousands of online quotes delivered without obligation each month, CarInsurance.com is a source for unbiased answers and data about what consumers should expect from an insurance policy. The site lets consumers compare multiple car insurance quotes online and purchase a policy online in minutes. CarInsurance.com is owned and operated by QuinStreet, Inc. (NASDAQ: QNST), one of the largest Internet marketing and media companies in the world. QuinStreet is committed to providing consumers and businesses with the information they need to research, find and select the products, services and brands that best meet their needs. The company is a leader in visitor-friendly marketing practices. For more information, please visit QuinStreet.com.