12 GM Models Make IIHS’ First-Ever List of Recommended Used Cars for Teens


DETROIT – The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety today named 12 models from current and former GM brands to its first-ever list of recommended used vehicles for teen drivers.

The group, supported by automobile insurance companies, released its recommended vehicles with the results of a new survey in which more than half of parents said their teens drive 2006 model year or earlier vehicles, fewer of which are equipped with features such as electronic stability control and side-impact air bags.

“We know many teens are driving the older, smaller vehicles in the family fleet are less likely to afford optimal crash protection,” said IIHS Senior Vice President for Research Anne Mccartt. “The vehicles from GM brands on our list provide teens with important safety features across all family budgets.”

IIHS did not recommend any brand’s mini or small cars, or high-horsepower vehicles.

“These IIHS recommendations will help guide our customers as they seek safe and affordable transportation for their young drivers,” said Alan Batey, president of GM North America. “The technologies that help inexperienced teen drivers in many cases avoid crashes are found on many of our late-model vehicles.”

GM brands were recommended in two categories – Best Choices ($20,000 and under) and Good Choices ($10,000 and under) – and include Chevrolet (three models), Buick (four models), GMC (two models) and the discontinued Saab (one) and Saturn (two) brands. Pricing excludes tax, title and license and is based on oldest model and lowest trim levels in Good condition or Better condition found on Kelley Blue Book’s kbb.com. They are:

Best Choices: Earned Good ratings in IIHS moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests; earned at least four out of five stars in federal government crash tests; and offer standard electronic stability, which helps drivers prevent rollover crashes.

Large Cars

  • 2011 and later Buick Regal: $13,500
  • 2010 and later Buick LaCrosse: $12,900

Midsize Cars

  • 2010 and Chevrolet Malibu built after November 2009: $10,900
  • 2012 and later Buick Verano: $14,100

Midsize SUVs

  • 2010 and later GMC Terrain: $14,900
  • 2010 and later Chevrolet Equinox: $13,700

Large SUVs (GM brands swept this category)

  • 2011 and later Buick Enclave: $19,900
  • 2011 and later GMC Acadia: $17,800
  • 2011 and later Chevrolet Traverse: $16,600

Good Choices: Earned Good ratings in the IIHS moderate overlap front test and good or acceptable ratings in the side test. Also earned at least four stars in federal front and side tests, offer standard stability control and a rating of marginal or better for head restraints and seats.

Midsize Cars

  • 2009 and later Saturn Aura (no longer in production): $8,800
  • 2005 and later Saab 9-3 (no longer in production): $4,000

Midsize SUVs

  • 2008-2009 Saturn Vue (no longer in production): $7,700

“GM continues to strive for outstanding safety performance in our vehicles,” said Jeff Boyer, vice president of GM Global Vehicle Safety. “Safety technologies also need to be paired with good judgment on the part of all drivers, including teens – keeping their eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and distractions to a minimum.”

Because behavior also influences traffic safety, GM and the GM Foundation are working to reduce injuries and fatalities to young drivers and passengers.

In June, Safe Kids Worldwide released “Teens in Cars,” a research report funded as part of a $2-million grant from the GM Foundation. The report was based on a national survey of 1,000 teens between 13 and 19. Of those surveyed, one in four reported they do not use a seat belt all the time for reasons that range from not making it a habit to discomfort.

The report, “Teens in Cars,” was based on a national survey of 1,000 teens between 13 and 19. Of those surveyed, one in four reported they do not use a seat belt all the time for reasons that range from not making it a habit to discomfort.

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