- 1Up 16Down 10Consider the Golf a starter vehicle for your young car nut. It's more like a junior sports car than the others on this list because of its steering and handling. Plus, its manual transmission is sufficiently forgiving for new drivers not yet accustomed to stick shifts. Safety is at play here, too. But you'll want to stay away from the GTI and Golf R versions, which are sportier than necessary for your new driver.
- 2Up 11Down 13Are you looking for small, inexpensive and really, really safe? The Chevy Sonic gets high grades from government and industry safety experts, in part because it packs 10 airbags (most cars have just six).Your teen will appreciate its modern, attractive styling.
- 3Up 10Down 15The Yaris is a small and simple hatchback that's inexpensive to run and flat-out reliable. And we love the just-a-few-controls approach to the stereo and air conditioning; let's keep those teen eyes on the road where they belong!
- 4Up 8Down 14The Fit is small on the outside, but with lots of storage room on the inside. You'll like the simple dashboard layout and big windows that make it easy to see everything around you while driving. Plus, Hondas last almost forever, so with a little TLC the Fit should fit for a good long time.
- 5Up 7Down 16This one is great for teens with lots of gear, such as a cellist, hockey player or outdoorsy camper. The xB has near-SUV-sized space for, well, stuff. But it's reasonably sized and responds like a car in an emergency swerve.
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