What is a safe, cute, and reasonably priced used (or new) SUV for a teenager's first car?

My dad would prefer I get something from Toyota or Honda, due to the safety and reliability of both-we've had a Honda for ages and it still runs very well. However, my mom would rather I get a GMC Yukon, because it is huge and would be much safer in a crash. She also likes the Volvo XC90, but my friends think they "aren't exactly beauty queens" (word for word, I swear). My mom and I both like the Acura RDX, or an older Acura MDX, which come with a bevy of standard features, which is also nice, but my friends also think they're ugly mom cars. I know that's not important, but I want a decently cute car! It should also be used, under 20K but preferably about 15K. My friends, sister and I like the FJ Cruiser and 4runner, but I hear the '06-10 4runners aren't incredibly safe and the FJ has poor visibility. Plus, the inside is very utilitarian and not overly comfortable. They're both Toyotas, which fit the bill, but we still want to explore all our options. I really like the Yukon, but they're very expensive and hard to maneuver in the school parking lot! As far as Hondas go, the CR-V is a great choice, my dad suggested it, but my mom does not like how small they are. She wants a cute, safe, comfortable car from a brand like Lexus, Acura or Volvo (obviously an older one, we aren't getting a 40,000k suv!), while my dad wants something reliable from Toyota or Honda (I think he'd also like something he can borrow to take camping, too!). We've had BMWs, Jeeps, and Mercedes-Benz cars that weren't very reliable, so I don't think those are in the question. Which is sad, since they're so cute!:) I guess basically we are looking for something split down the middle- cute, but safe, from a pretty good brand (in terms of reliability), that would be a good investment. And we would prefer an SUV, a mid-size to bigger one, because they are safer than smaller vehicles and I could also fit more people:) Reliability is a huge factor because it should be something I can have through medical school.Sorry to be so detailed! But hopefully that narrowed it down a little bit. Thanks for any recommendations! And no quips about riding a bike to school, or visiting the gas station every other day, please:)

*I also have been driving our Yukon XL (the monster size one) for over a year so size isn't an issue!


We would still get the cars I mentioned- we're looking at a sandstorm 2008 FJ Cruiser, are these cute? We also found a white 2007 Acrua RDX and black 2007 4runner as well:)

Update 2:

also, since I know both parents would like the Volvo XC90, is it a stylish car for a teenager or too much of a mom car? i want something kinda sporty. and yes I saw the SNL skit for the lifetime movies where the prize for the concerned moms was a volvo suv filled with groceries. but hey, they're safe and comfortable.

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    The Yukon is a good choice. They are spacious, ride quite smoothly, and have an excellent performance. Another option to consider is the Chevrolet Equinox. These are a mid-sized SUV that are well equipped, get great fuel economy, and have plenty of space. A 2010 version will get you up to 32 highway/22 city. GM Certified should have some options that will come with benefits like warranty. Be sure to test drive different options. Best of luck in whatever you decide!

    Matt of GM Customer Service

  • 9 years ago


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