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Auto Club Research Center: 10 Best Green Cars For Teens

teen driver gets keys

It isn’t easy being green, Kermit the frog once said. But heading into the new school year, becoming a greener teen driver can be easier with vehicle recommendations from the Automobile Club of Southern California Automotive Research Center (ARC).


The ARC recently released its list of 10 Best Green Cars for Teens published in the 2016 AAA Green Car Guide.  The top 10 list of tested green vehicles by ARC engineers can help guide teens and parents when deciding to buy or lease a vehicle for a teen driver (or determining which family vehicle to let a novice driver use). More information can be found at


“New drivers with limited behind-the-wheel experience need safe and reliable transportation,” said Automotive Research Center Manager Megan McKernan. “A four-cylinder engine limits a car’s acceleration and generally provides better fuel economy and a lower carbon footprint,” she added.


Traffic crashes are the leading cause of teen deaths, so a car with a high crash-test score could save a teen’s life or reduce the chance they’ll be seriously injured in a crash.  In general, a midsize car with a four-cylinder engine, an automatic transmission and high crash-test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is desirable, according to McKernan. “A mid-size car is big enough to protect occupants in a crash but small enough for a new driver to handle easily.”  


The Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) listed is for base-model vehicles with automatic transmissions.


Auto Club Automotive Research Center 10 Best Green Cars for Teen Drivers


Make                                                           Model                                      MSRP

Subaru                                                        Outback                                    $26,995

Volkswagen                                                 Passat                                      $26,280

Subaru                                                        Legacy                                      $23,495

Subaru                                                        Forester                                    $30,820

Honda                                                         Accord                                      $25,965

Lexus                                                         NX 300h                                    $47,045

Toyota                                                        Camry Hybrid                             $27,995

Lexus                                                         ES 300h                                    $40,430

Mazda                                                        6 i Grand Touring                        $30,290

Hyundai                                                      Sonata Eco                               $23,275  

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The Automobile Club of Southern California is a member club affiliated with the American Automobile Association (AAA) national federation and serves members in the following California counties: Inyo, Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Mono, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Tulare, and Ventura.