Has the Old Truck Been Replaced as the Best First Car for Your Teenager?

Times have changed, and so have the cars we're interested in driving. Are this generation's teens looking for the same thing in the best first car?

Raise your hand if your first vehicle was a rusty old pickup truck? You slapped an American flag decal on the bottom right corner of the back window or scrolled a huge No Fear or Metal Mulisha sticker right in the middle. Admit it, you did it. But times have changed (thank God) and the best first car for teens now isn't like it used to be.

Now, it's more about practicality than decal-ity. And in some cases it's not about looking for that best first car at all with the advent of ride-sharing, and bike-sharing and scooter-sharing. There are more ways to get around, but there are still more options out there for first-time drivers looking for their first ride.

Road Ready Rides

While high school and college parking lots may still see random trucks and cars, the adage of having the cool dusty pickup is kind of going away. With that being the case it's a good time to look at other options that speak to safety, ease of tracking down on Craigslist and their inexpensiveness. Here's a look at some new old options for the best first car for teens.

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2003 Ford Escape


My mom actually drove this model around for a few years before upgrading to the 2008 version she still drives. Ford hit the jackpot with the Escape, which was a trail blazer in the compact SUV game of the last decade. These guys are stripped down and no-nonsense, not to mention great on gas. Get your teen driver an AUX cable and an actual road map and they should be fine in this dependable SUV.

2001 Volvo S40


32 MPG on the highway and an engine that was built to break comes in handy for teens who need to zip around town with their friends safely. Volvos have always been known as tough-as-nails cars for those looking for dependability and overall safety behind the wheel.

1999 Jeep Cherokee

Always on point, always a fan favorite among young drivers, this was the Jeep Cherokee in its heyday. With its compact interior and no-bull attitude under the hood, the '99 Cherokee was like hell on wheels. Plus, its rectangular frame and off-road handling makes it fun vehicle to drive, which is always a factor for youths.

NEXT: Look at This 1967 Chevy C10 Concept Truck