This latest study by the IIHS should be read by every parent.
It's a question many parents ask themselves when shopping for a car for their newly licensed teenage driver: what's the safest type of car to buy that's also affordable? Is it better to buy used or new? Big for small car? All important questions and thanks to this latest study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety answers can be provided. Following some head-on crash tests, the IIHS found that, in general, new cars are not as safe as larger crossovers and SUVs, whether new or used.
Although safety technologies are better than ever, the laws of physics never change because vehicle size and weight will always matter. For example, the resulting crash tests found that test dummies in smaller cars experienced stronger forces, therefore increasing the chances for head and body injuries.
"Bigger vehicles provide greater protection," said Jessica Cicchino, IIHS vice president for research. "If you're riding in one of the smallest vehicles on the road, you'll be at a disadvantage in a crash with almost any other vehicle around you." The IIHS, as expected, also cautions against buying new drivers high-powered cars, whether it's a brand new Chevrolet Camaro or even an older Audi A6. A complete list of IIHS recommendations for teenage drivers can be found here, and all of these vehicles cost less than $20,000. What's the cheapest vehicle? The first generation Volvo XC90.
Honda also points out that eight of its vehicles also made the list and they are as follows for $20k or less:
If you want to spend less than $10k, then consider one of the following: Honda Accord Sedan (2012), Honda Element (2007-2011), Honda CR-V (2012 and later), and Honda Odyssey (2011-2013).