2011 VW Jetta: No. 1 Car for Teen Drivers

MercuryNews.com reported today the top three new cars for new drivers and listed the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta as the Number 1 vehicle for safety, cost and fuel efficiency. Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers. So when it comes time to buy a suitable car for a teen driver it’s important to choose the safest car that meets your budget.

David Champion, the senior director of Consumer Reports, was interviewed for this article and recommended the 2011 Jetta as the Number 1 vehicle under $20,000 for the following reasons:

- Among its standard safety features is a crash response system that automatically unlocks the doors, cuts the flow of gas and turns on the hazard lights when it senses a crash.

- The lowest-priced model gets 29 miles per gallon, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A diesel version gets better mileage, but will cost you around $6,000 more.

Champion recommends cars with the smallest, four-cylinder engines, so they’re not too powerful. Critical safety features include anti-lock brakes and electronic stability control, which applies the brakes to individual wheels if it senses the driver is swerving out of control. And stick with front-wheel-drive. While many people prefer all-wheel-drive in snowy weather, it can give kids a false sense of security and encourage them to drive too fast in hazardous conditions.

Price is a factor, of course, especially since adding a teen to your auto insurance can easily cost several thousand dollars a year. McCartt said used cars from recent model years — with all of the safety features of current models — are a good choice for teens. The Insurance Institute lists its top safety picks for each year back to 2006 on its website, so that’s one place parents can find the safest cars from any given year. Results of U.S. government crash tests back to 1990 are also available on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s website.

Test drive the new Jetta at David Maus VW North today at 1050 Lee Road, Orlando.

Filed under: VW News