So, your teenager is ready to drive, but you aren’t sure which vehicle is going to be right for him or her. You’ve weighed your options and think maybe a new car would be the best option for your teen driver. Which car should you invest in for your teen? Thanks to U.S. News & World Report, here are the top new cars you should consider, even if you have poor credit.

2017 Toyota Corolla

2017 Toyota Corolla XSEPrice Range: $20,000 and under for most trim levels

Performance: The Corolla is powered by a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. With 132 horsepower, it's adequate in real-world driving, but it won't inspire your teen to drive fast. The Corolla does get good gas mileage, with an EPA-estimated 28 miles per gallon in the city, 35 on the highway, and 31 combined. It's also available in Eco trim for an additional $300 over the base model, which ups the fuel economy to an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon in the city, 40 on the highway, and 34 combined.

The Corolla’s ride quality is also good. It handles rough road surfaces nicely and, except for some noticeable body lean in corners, the ride is relatively smooth and calm.

Safety and Reliability: With a reliability rating of 4.5 out of 5 and a dependability rating of 5 out of 5 from J.D. Power, the Corolla is one of the most reliable cars on the market. The Corolla comes with a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The best thing about the Corolla is its safety. The 2017 Corolla is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick+, having earned the highest score of “good” in all crash tests and a "superior" score in front crash prevention.

Bright LED headlights and a rear view camera are standard, as is Toyota's Safety Sense suite of advanced safety features that includes automatic emergency braking, lane departure alert with steering assist, adaptive cruise control, and automatic high beams. With all this, you won’t have to worry nearly as much about how safe your teen will be.

2017 Chevrolet Cruze

2017 Chevrolet CruzePrice Range: $16,975 to $25,000

Performance: All-new in 2017, the Cruze is available as either a sedan or hatchback and comes standard with a turbocharged, 153-horsepower, 1.4-liter four-cylinder engine. That's slightly above average for the class, but it still won't get your teen in too much trouble. Fuel economy is also very good, with an EPA-estimated 30 miles per gallon in the city, 40 on the highway, and 34 combined. Built for long trips, the Cruze features solid handling and a well-controlled, comfortable ride.

Safety and Reliability: J.D. Power gives the Cruze a 4.5 out of 5 reliability rating. The dependability score from J.D. power is only 3 out of 5, but it’s still one of the better vehicles in the reliability category. The Cruze comes with both a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

The IIHS gave the Cruze a score of “good” for its moderate overlap front and side impact crash tests. The Cruze also earned a “basic” rating for its crash avoidance and mitigation equipment. Although a backup camera is standard, advanced features like automatic emergency braking aren't available on any model. Nonetheless, the Cruze is still a good choice if your teen is planning on going away to college in the near future.

More Options

These vehicles are also on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best new cars for teen drivers:

2017 Hyundai ElantraCars:

  • 2017 Hyundai Elantra (pictured) - $17,000 to $22,350
  • 2017 Chevrolet Malibu - $21,680 to $30,975
  • 2017 Toyota Avalon - $33,300 to $42,600

SUVs and Crossovers:

  • 2017 Honda CR-V - $24,045 to $33,795
  • 2017 Subaru Outback - $25,645 to $38,195
  • 2017 Kia Sorento - $25,600 to $45,900

Bottom Line

Having a reliable and safe car for your teen is important. It’s good to know what your options are and what to look for in a new car. But, if you’re unsure about your credit situation and worry about providing a reliable car for your teen, Auto Credit Express may be able to help. We connect car buyers with dealers in their local area that specialize in helping customers in different credit situations. Get started today by filling out our free and easy auto loan request form.