2011 Consumer Reports best cars for teens – Click above for high-res image gallery of the picks

Letting a 16-year-old loose on the world behind the wheel of a couple of tons of metal is a terrifying thought. Statistically, teens are more likely to die in a car accident than by any other means, and, most of the time, those accidents are avoidable.

To make picking a car for your teen easier, Consumer Reports has come up with a list of relatively new, relatively cheap options to keep your kids safe while they bomb around with five of their friends make the commute between school, work and home.

As you may imagine, CR recommends a family sedan that packs in as many modern safety features as you can afford, including stability control, ABS, traction control and side curtain air bags. They eschew trucks and SUVs due to their comparatively poor handling, high centers of gravity and bad gas mileage. Don't even go there with sports cars.

Consumer Reports prime choices are as follows: the Acura TSX, the 2009 and up Ford Focus, the 2007 and up Hyundai Sonata or Hyundai Elantra, 2007 and up Mazda3, 2008 and on Scion xB, and both the 2007 and up Volkswagen Jetta and Rabbit/Golf. Click past the jump for a video of CR's choices.

[Source: Consumer Reports]

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