Image: machinespider.comBuying a used car for your teenager is both good news and bad news. By getting her own car, it means that she is more independent and ready to take on more responsibility. The down side is that finding good safe, affordable used cars can be challenging.

The used car you want to buy for your teen has to be safe, sturdy, and reliable. But this doesn’t mean you have to get an “old man’s” car that lacks styling and pep. You’ll also want to buy a used car that handles well, and has good stopping power.

The following list of good, used cars for teens was compiled by Consumer Reports, a leading products testing firm that publishes unbiased, accurate reviews on many consumer products.

Kia Soul (2010-2011)
Starts at around $8,650

This car really has soul; it has great, modern styling, can play tunes from your kid’s smartphone through the onboard linkup, and lots of safety features too. It has good front view vision, although the rear pillars cause some blind spots. This is a good car for teens who don’t want to look uncool.

Mazda6 i (2009-2013, 4-cyl.)
Starts at around $8,375

If you’re looking for a bigger car for your teen the Mazda6i fits the bill as it is a midsized sedan. But the word sedan often brings images of boxy, boring, looking cars. But not so with the Mazda6i as it has some nice modern styling, a comfortable ride, and strong 4-cylinder engine. It also features nice seats and a telescopic steering wheel. But the car is a little noisy.

Chevrolet Malibu (2009-2012, 4-cyl.)
Starts at around $8,125

Here’s a beater that offers a lot of value for the money. It has steering wheel adjustments to match the driving position of a teenager, lots of interior space, good handling, and pedals that adjust for various drivers. The 4-cylinder engine is dependable and gets an average of 25 mpg.

Toyota RAV4 (2004-2012, 4-cyl.)
Starts at around $7,300

If your kid likes to haul lots of stuff around for his band, his buddies, or just junk, then the Toyota RAV4 has all the space he needs to move things. But in addition to the big cargo space inside, it is also very easy to drive, has Bluetooth connectivity, a longer wheelbase for more stability, and four wheel-drive.

Ford Focus (2009-2011)
Starts at around $6,050

If an economy priced used car is on your list, the Ford Focus may be the car for your teenager. The cabin offers good visibility, good room for backseat passengers, and an optional manual transmission for fun. The car is a good starter car, but it is a bit noisy, and the interior of the car looks cheap.

Source: Consumer Reports

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