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.


Related GalleryConsumer Reports Best Cars for Teens

Related GalleryConsumer Reports Best Cars for Seniors

[Source: Consumer Reports]


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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
(2008-)
-- Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-), Honda Accord (2008-), Kia Optima
(2007-)
-- 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.