Edmunds Answers



  • MrShift@Edmunds 08/18/10 11:34 am PST

    I don't think any teen driver should have a new car of any sort until he has at least one year's regular driving under his/her belt under all conditions. Most "mishaps" are going to occur at this time, so some big solid, disposable used car would be fine for him, for now.

    There is, in reality, no such thing as a "safe" car--all there is are cars that are less dangerous than other cars. The dynamics of car accidents are so varied and unpredictable that there can't be any one rule for choosing which car to buy---a huge SUV might be much better in a head-on crash, but in fact, might be statistically for more dangerous than a MINI because of potential for roll-overs (it's pretty hard to roll a MINI).

    I drive a MINI and don't feel any less safe than anyone else on the road. These are modern, well-built cars. I don't see how I could fare worse in a MINI than in a larger but cheaper built car.


  • jusjon 08/18/10 11:45 am PST

    WHAT! I have a 17 yo son, that I love and respect. I am sorry to say, the last car I would put "anyone" is in is a tiny car like the cooper......NOT Knocking the Cooper, but, safety is my main concern. I am 51 and have been working on cars and trucks on my own since I was 15.......I also buy and restore some slightly, engine damaged cars......I spend alot of my time in salvage yards, I have NEVER seen a Cooper! Why that because there is NOTHING left after a moderate accident! I believe you when you say your son is responsible, without a doubt, but keep looking, you won't be sorry! You may want to consider a Hyundai Elantra, I bought one for my ex, NEW, because of my boy's. That was in 2003..SAFETY is my concern. She just bought another one in 2008. Again, this is only my view's......................no I do not work for Hyundai, but, I also have a Hyundai Sonata!

  • MrShift@Edmunds 08/18/10 11:58 am PST

    You don't see MINIS in wrecking yards because a) they don't sell that many of them and b) they aren't totalled after accidents, like many foreign or Americans cars that cost half the price initially. A well-equipped MINI can cost upwards of $30,000. That means it won't get totalled by an insurance company unless damage exceeds something like $18,000.

    The 2010 MINI actually surpasses the Elantra on some of the crash test results (side driver collision, rollover collision). Both cars earn 4 and 5 star ratings and cumulatively, are essentially identical in safety ratings.

    HERE'S an interesting site to compare crash test results.

  • karjunkie 08/18/10 1:11 pm PST

    You might want to check the new Ford Fiesta which is cheaper by about $4,000, looks cool in hatchback form, much roomier and convenient with 5 doors and it has traction control and 7 airbags including knee protection which not even the Honda Fit has. From a safety perspective it should appeal to parents looking for a car that will appeal to teenagers and is extremely safe.


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