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Car for teenage daughter

We are looking for a car for our daughter. We love the Mini Cooper Clubman. It rates high in safety but it is small. What are your thoughts on this car?

I prefer older cars for teens. They are cheaper to insure, and with ABS brakes a 10 year old car is plenty safe.

A Mini Cooper Clubman is simply to new and too nice for a teen. Start her off with something with a few dings, dull paint, and some scratches. If she doesn’t add the marks already on the car and has no accidents or tickets for 2 years, then you can consider a nicer car for her. If she shows responsibility in handling a car then you get her the Mini Cooper.

My son (college soph) has a 2000 Camry XLE and it is too nice a car.

Very true and well stated!

Any car that is structurally sound and has ABS and front and side airbags is good enough for a teen. My teen daughter, who was and is a thoroughly moral, upstanding and wonderful person, nevertheless made a few errors in judgement including scraping the entire right side of the car against a guardrail. Kids just aren’t as smart as they think they are, they do not have enough experience driving to make good judgements under pressure, and they are under active pressure from their peers to make bad judgments.

And, from a moral and philosophical viewpoint, I object to any teen getting their own new car unless they pay for it with their own sweat income. Dad’s hand-me-down or a used car is more than any teen deserves. /soapbox

The Mini has a lot of room. She will love it.


The ratings normally associated with safety show what happens when a car is struck by the same car. The offset frontal crash test by HLDI tests this. You might also look at medical payout data for all cars.

The Mini Cooper rates at 88; average is 100, and lower is better. That’s very good for a small car. And the Mini is better than all of the cars in the next size up, except the New Beetle, and better than most mid-size two door cars. Recognize that the rating is partly the inherent safety of the design and partly the group of drivers in that car. But with excellent driving habits, she’ll never find out how safe the car is.

You buy her a car now and you will be buying her cars forever…