• The Hyundai Elantra topped KBB's list.
  • Other models included the Focus and Civic.
  • The list considered crash test ratings.

Shoppers interested in a car for a new driver in the family would be wise to check out Kelley Blue Book's recently announced list of the top ten safe new cars for teen drivers. The automotive analytics website compiled the list based on crash test data, safety features and other factors, highlighting ten cars that are inexpensive to buy and safe to drive.

The Hyundai Elantra topped Kelley Blue Book's teen car safety list. In describing the Elantra's number one position, KBB said the compact car was selected in part because it boasts both a five-star overall safety rating from the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Top Safety Pick status from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS). KBB also said the Elantra is a good choice due to its stylish appearance, roomy interior and 10-year powertrain warranty.

Coming in second on KBB's list of the top teen cars was the Ford Focus, which the site praised for its available Sync system. KBB said the system lets drivers "keep the lines of communication open...without having to take their hands off the wheel," which removes a key concern for most parents. The subcompact Chevrolet Sonic rounded out the top three thanks to a low starting price, ten standard airbags and a five-star NHTSA crash test rating.

But KBB's list didn't only include practical sedans and hatchbacks. The sporty Scion tC took tenth place, earning praise for balancing a "megaload of teen-tempting creature comforts" with "an equally impressive selection of active and passive safety elements." The tC was also praised for its high marks from the NHTSA and IIHS.

The remainder of Kelley Blue Book's list included the Volkswagen Jetta, Honda Civic, Kia Optima, Subaru Impreza, Kia Soul and Honda Fit. In each case, KBB praised the vehicles for a long list of safety features, strong crash test ratings and inexpensive pricing.

What it means to you: For shoppers interested in teen car safety, KBB's list of ten safe new cars for teen drivers is a good place to start.

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Jeffrey Archer is fortunate to have turned a passion for cars into a career. His wide-ranging automotive experience includes work for automakers and dealers in addition to covering the news. When not writing, he spends his time searching for unique cars on AutoTrader.com.

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