BEYOND AIRBAGS: Teens ‘Best First CARS and Safety Features
The time has arrived. Your teen has passed his/her driving test, and now he/she has pines for her own car. Although tech features and eye-catching beauty may be on his/her wish list, protection over style is the name of the game for parents who purchase the first car for their kids.
Thanks to technology, the conflicting interests align themselves more than you know. With new drives the best first cars have the perfect mix of good safety scores, performance quality and reliability.
Used cars will be more reliable and known for durability, but the latest and greatest safety features will be in new cars. Here’s our list of top security features along with our votes for the best (new and used) first cars to keep your teen drivers safe.
Automatic braking is usually part of a forward collision warning device that detects when a crash is about to occur using radar or other sensors. Initially, most of these systems would warn the driver of the danger so the driver can brake or steer to prevent an accident. In situations where the driver doesn’t respond fast enough, the AEB system will then operate as its name suggests and apply the brakes themselves.
Used: 2017 Toyota Yaris iA – $15,950
Twenty major car manufacturers have reached an agreement with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to introduce automatic braking into all of their light-duty vehicles by 2022. Yet progress is well ahead of the time limit now.
With this feature, Toyota leads in the affordability category in its 2017 Toyota Yaris iA which has a standard-level active safety system. Dynamic stability control, a traction control system, anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution, brake assist and a brake override feature are included in this active safety feature. In short, the full package of this safety feature at a reasonable price.
2019 Volkswagen Jetta SE – $22,155 average MSRP
The SE Model:
forward collision warning
automatic emergency braking
blind spot monitoring
rear cross-traffic alert
Bump up to the lane departure warning and lane assist configuration of the SEL.
Similar to automatic braking systems, car manufacturers are increasingly offering mainstream cars with forward collision warning systems (FCW) that alarm your teen when they arrive too quickly on another vehicle and allow them to brake or switch lanes.
Used: 2016 Nissan Altima – $23,335 average price in USA and 32000 AED in UAE
Although several newer model cars have the FCW feature, with its “predictive” technology, the 2016 Nissan Altima extends the scope of traditional automobiles. Using this invention, front-facing sensors will track not only the vehicle’s speed and distance just ahead of the Altima, but also the vehicle immediately ahead of that. Then, if any of those vehicles starts slowing or stopping, the device can deploy warnings and automatic braking to help avoid an impact. A touch on the pricier end for a first ride, but it’s worth considering the Altima for teenagers who’ll be faced with a lot of urban and highway driving.
Blind spot monitoring:
“Check your blind spot! “Even the most careful driver has struggled from time to time to follow this critical driving rule. Blind spot indicators normally alert the driver either audibly or visually, should the driver try to veer into a busy lane. Getting a blind spot detection vehicle could help your teen prevent a dangerous accident, or at least a expensive body shop bill.
Used: 2016 Honda Fit EX – $17,800 average price
The 2016 Honda Fit EX is a viable choice if you decide that blind spot identification is a must-have but you are on a budget. But don’t let them trick you by the low price. This subcompact car carries top-notch safety and engineering marks. As the name suggests, the Design is outstandingly spacious for its size.
Honda Civic EXi is a good alternative for Honda Fit EX in UAE. Its priced at an average of 23000 AED.
New: 2019 Hyundai Elantra – $20,500 MSRP and 20,000 AED in Dubai, UAE
Safety features include:
Forward collision-avoidance Assist
Lane keep assist
Driver attention alert
Safe exit assist
Blind-spot collision warning
Lane Departure Warning
Lane Departure Warning (LDW) helps keep your teen safe on the highway by keeping the car in lane at level. LDW technology uses cameras to read the lines ahead (usually placed behind the windshield).
LDW systems alert the driver with an audible signal or vibration that they are approaching the line, encouraging the driver to take action. Particularly helpful when your teen learns to negotiate windy roads in unfamiliar locations, or drive later at night when they may run the risk of nodding away.
Used: 2016 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid – $18,700 average price
One of the more affordable hybrid choices, the Chevy Malibu Hybrid is a good choice for the enviro-conscious teen. The Malibu scores well for expected reliability and is available with a long list of advanced safety features like the LDW feature, and has also been named by the United States as the 2016 Best Midsize Car for Families. News and World Report.
This version might not be available in UAE and I highly doubt if you can find it as a used car in Dubai. Its equivalent can be Chevrolet Camaro which is usually around 20,000 AED in UAE.
New: 2019 Mazda 3 Select- $22,600 MSRP and 21,000 AED in UAE
Safety features include:
Driver attention alert
Blind spot monitoring with rear cross traffic alert
Lane departure warning
Adaptive cruise control with stop & go
Automatic high beam headlights
Parking Sensors and Rear Cameras
A back-up (parking) sensor inside the vehicle may make a beeping noise as it gets closer to an object when backing up, giving the driver an indication of how close they are to avoid driving into another car or obstacle. A back up (rear) camera is a video monitor that gives the driver a picture on the video console from behind the car.
Used: 2016 Ford Fusion – $16,500 average price 24,500 AED in UAE
The 2016 Ford Fusion is a tough car to beat, whether you want a sporty family car with Euro-sharp looks, or just a practical and economical way to drive around five people. Athletic handling and powerful engines available give it a performance advantage over competitors and its compact infotainment system means less distractions for your teen driver while on the road.
Bear in mind that none of these features are meant to replace careful driving or good driving habits. But as you wave back down the driveway to your child, the added support these devices and technologies offer goes a long way to giving you support through this rite of passage.