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Consumer Reports picks the best cars for teens and seniors – Click above for high-res image gallery

The car-savy folk over at Consumer Reports have released a new list of its best picks for vehicles suited for teens and seniors. The group suggests parents looking to send their teens off to school with a newer vehicle should try to avoid the common misstep of assuming that a larger SUV is safer than its smaller, more efficient counterparts. Instead of opting for a heavy roller, Consumer Reports suggests that parents look toward cars with standard traction control and side curtain airbags – cars like the Mazda 3, Scion xB, Honda Accord or Nissan Rogue.

Meanwhile, the publication points to a number of models for seniors that offer good visibility and easy access, including the Honda Odyssey, Hyundai Azera and Subaru Forester XT Limited. As you might expect, CR notes that each of the vehicles on the list can boast at least average reliability and carry the publications' Recommended label.

Interestingly enough, the only vehicle that Consumer Reports recommends for both driver types is the Honda Accord. Check out our galleries of the winners below and hit the jump to peruse the full press release.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

Show full PR text
Consumer Reports Picks Best Cars for Teens and Seniors
Honda Accord is the right fit for the young, old, tall and small

YONKERS, N.Y., Aug. 3 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the fall semester just around the corner, Consumer Reports offers its best choices for parents and teens out shopping for a car to bring back to school.

When looking for the right car for teens, including used models, Consumer Reports recommends picking cars with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags and good crash-test results.

"Often parents think that putting their child in the biggest car is the safest thing they can do, but that's not so. Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, so you want to make sure they're driving something that handles well, is agile and has as many safety features as possible--especially electronic stability control," said David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Center in East Haddam, Connecticut.

In addition to naming good cars for young and older drivers, Consumer Reports also names good picks for all sizes and types of drivers including the tall and small. All the models on Consumer Reports' lists have at least average reliability and are Recommended vehicles. Consumer Reports named only one car suitable for all four driver types: the Honda Accord.

"When it comes to finding the right cars for seniors, we recommend vehicles that offer easy access, good visibility, a roomy driving position and comfortable seats," Champion added.

Here is a look at some of Consumer Reports' picks for teens and seniors:
Good Models for Teen drivers: (ESC is standard or optional starting with the years listed below).
-- Small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010), Mazda3 (2007-), Scion xB
-- Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-), Honda Accord (2008-), Kia Optima
-- Small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005-), Nissan Rogue (2008-)

Good Models for Senior drivers:
-- Minivans: Honda Odyssey
-- Small SUV: Subaru Forester XT Limited
-- Upscale sedan: Hyundai Azera
-- Family sedan: Honda Accord
-- Microvan: Kia Rondo

More information can be found in the September issue of Consumer Reports, available on newsstands August 3 and online at www.ConsumerReports.org.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      one would think after consumer reports was in bed for decades with toyota they would be more cautious about touting the asian vehicles but money trumps everything.there are at least a dozen american made cars that are superior to the ones listed in this biased article.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Why bother writiing a comment? Everytime I do, I click Add Comment and NOTHING happens, so the heck with you people!
      • 4 Years Ago
      What about the Buick for seniors? It has been a known, very reliable mid-sized car for seniors for decades. It still is an excellent, dependable auto.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I am 63 years old and retired. I bought a car that I could never have afforded as a teenager - a Ford Shelby GT500.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So if they don't recommend Chrysler, Ford or GM vehicles, they are biased and in the pockets of the Japanese. Or could it be that the D3 are still not where they should be in the longevity and reliability stakes. Did they not recently nail Toyota over the software on the big Lexus SUV? They stuck it to Steve Jobs over the iPhone 4 antenna fiasco. CR have a proven track record for saying like it is.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The teen list is good b/c those vehicles should prevent some underage pregnancies. ;-)
      James Shaffer
      • 1 Year Ago
      For teens... How about a used Ford Crown Vic? Built like tanks, durable as hell, and lots of room for friends and their stuff. Easy to find parts, mechanics are very familiar with them, not much for mileage and not sexy at all, but we are talking safety here. As for insurance - 4autoinsurancequote has teen auto insurance for $65/month. That's all you need. Keep it simple
      • 4 Years Ago
      I think its pretty sad when american citizens judging things like this cant find one domestic product.you must really dislike your country.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @gua While I think you are probably trolling I think many folks here probably don't understand the nature of the car business in China. Ford in China started off as Chang’an Ford Mazda Automobile Co in accordance with China's mandate that foreign car businesses can only operate in China as part of a joint venture with a Chinese company. When Chang’an Ford Mazda Automobile Co was formed, Ford only had 35% ownership of the business in China. Chang'an on the other hand had 50% ownership. http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/mazda-and-ford-divorce-in-china/
        • 4 Years Ago
        Gua, by your logic:

        Clearly Ford IS Chinese, because they sell cars in China.

        Just like IKEA, BMW, and Gucci are American.

        Just like Adidas (track suit division) is Russian.

        And Ferrari is Arab (alright, now we're actually getting to some truth...)
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Yongpeng Sun

        No, Ford is an american company. It was founded and is run by americans in the United States. Plain and simple, theres no getting around it. Americans dont call Toyota an american company even though they sell a huge amount of cars in the USA.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ford is american car company. You have no idea what your talking about.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No, they can't. Ford is headquarted in the US and their executive staff is American. Ford is an American-headquarted company that has a global presence.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Consumers Reports is clearly unamerican! It is not hard to find a great car for any age made by an American car company. I know a lot of kids and older adults who would glady drive a Ford Escape, for example. Why is it that Toyota makes mistakes the size and seriousness of which they should be severely punished for, while the Big Three are making teriffic cars and yet, they are still in the dog house? I don't understand how Americans can be so anti-american. PEOPLE get your heads out of the sand. Be realistic about a car companies ability to put out a perfect product in huge quantity. Consumers Reports, move!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      For the teens looks like every car they chose can carry 3 or more friends to distract the teen while driving.

      With the exception of the mazda 3 all the teen cars look quite boring leading to txting while driving or messing with their smartphone in some other way.

      The correct choice is a mazda mx-5.

      • 4 Years Ago
      How about this for the best car for teens... USED! I just love how these magazines always list brand new cars for freshly-licensed teen drivers. A Mazda3 is crazy expensive to insure for a young driver. But then again mommy and daddy will probably pay for it, so hey, why not get a Mazdaspeed while you're at it, Timmy.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Too true and it's even more galling that they do the same here in Britain, where cars are vastly more expensive than they are in the US.

        Buying a small new hatchback that would cost the equivalent of around $13k+ is just pie in the sky for many British adults, let alone teens.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree. My girlfriend's daughter just turned 16 and we are looking for something in the $3k-$4k range for her.
        • 4 Years Ago
        No it's really not. I got a 2007 Mazda3 iTouring when I got out of high school ('07) and it was far cheaper then the Scion tC I almost bought or the used MINI I looked at. I had a 2003 PT Cruiser GT and that damn turbo was expensive to insure, and the guy who had it before me didn't use premium gas so the engine knocked like crazy made me sad because I loved my PT and I might be the only one in that.

        For all of you complaining that teens shouldn't have new cars my first car was a '93 Honda Civic Hatch (which was teal with purple [bubbly] tint) it was a great car I loved driving it esp. in the snow. My parents bought me a 2002 Isuzu Rodeo and a lot of the time I just drove the Civic for the better gas milage. They revoked my rights to the SUV and gave it to my 16 year old sister and thats when I sold my Civic for the PT and when I got tired of having it in the shop I traded that in for my Mazda3 and now that my 3 is reaching in the 90k I am looking for another replacement... but I might hold out for the Saab 9-2... or the Counrtyman depending on the interior and if I can't wait the Volvo C30 has my name all over it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Piff, what a boring list, except for the Mazda 3.
      • 4 Years Ago
      It hurt, but is the truth.
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