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Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center Reveals 10 Best Green Cars For Teens

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Teens and adults have very different opinions on what is a desirable vehicle so buying or leasing a car for teens can be tough. Not every teen knows what to look for and some parents have forgotten what it’s like to get that first car and slide in behind the wheel for the first time.

During National Teen Driver Safety Week, Oct. 21-27, the Automobile Club of Southern California’s Automotive Research Center (ARC) reminds teens who drive and their parents who supervise them to review what it means to be a safe and responsible driver since car crashes are the number one cause of death and injury for teen-agers.  Parents should highlight no alcohol use, “intexticated” driving and advocate seat belt use.   

“When you are car shopping for your teen, avoid cars with a lot of horsepower, which encourage teens to speed, and large SUVs, which have higher centers of gravity and roll over more easily,” said Megan McKernan, ARC manager. “Instead consider a midsize sedan or a compact/midsize crossover with a four-cylinder engine, automatic transmission and high crash-test scores from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Many of this year’s top ten list are hybrids, which will help you and your teens to save money on gasoline.”  

The ARC recently released its 2018 list of 10 Best Green Cars for Teens in the AAA Green Car Guide.  The list can help guide parents make a decision when buying or leasing a vehicle for their teen driver or determining which existing family car to let their novice driver use. More information can be found at  

A four-cylinder engine limits a car’s ability to accelerate, gets better fuel economy and produces fewer emissions. Automatic transmissions are easier to driver and allow a novice to focus on steering, proper speed and braking. Crash-test scores are from NHTSA’s web site,; The ARC selected only vehicles that scored a maximum 5 stars overall.   Cars not tested by NHTSA were not included in the list. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) listed is for base-model vehicles with automatic transmissions.

2018 AAA Green Car Guide 10 Best Green Cars for Teens:

Year Make Model MSRP
2018 Honda  Accord Touring $34,690
2018 Toyota Camry SE Hybrid $33,988
2017 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid Ltd. $31,460
2017 Honda Accord Hybrid Touring $36,790
2017 Kia Optima Hybrid EX $36,840
2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid     $32,730
2017 Honda CR-V1.ST AWD Touring $34,595
2017 Ford Fusion Energi Titanium $37,890
2018 Subaru Outback Limited AWD $35,695
2018 Subaru Crosstrek Premium $26,905
CST 1016202-80 Copyright © Automobile Club of Southern California. All Rights Reserved.
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.