The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has deemed the 2016 and up Chevrolet Equinox compact crossover as one of the best vehicles for teenage drivers from a safety and reliability perspective.
The IIHS recently released its 2020 Safe Vehicles for Teens list, which identifies vehicles that it believes are the safest for teenage drivers. The IIHS knows not all families have a fortune to spend on their teenager’s car, though, so the list mainly focuses on used vehicles. Additionally, all vehicle prices on the list range from a little over $5,000 to nearly $20,000, so it covers a fairly broad spectrum of price points, too.
The 2016 and up Chevrolet Equinox was rated one of the IIHS’ “Best Choices” for teenage drivers. To be included in the best choice list, a vehicle must have achieved the best-possible rating of Good in the IIHS’ moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraint tests, as well as a good or acceptable rating in the driver-side small overlap front test. They also had to receive a minimum rating from Consumer Reports with regard to their emergency handling capability and reliability and achieve a certain minimum dry braking distance. There is also a “Good Choices” list for cars that are less ideal for teenagers but still worth looking at.
The 2020 Chevrolet Equinox received a coveted IIHS Top Safety Pick award thanks to its crashworthiness and active safety features. The crossover earned a best-possible rating of Good in all IIHS crashworthiness evaluations, but missed out on the Top Safety Pick+ designation due to its less-than-stellar headlight performance.
The Chevrolet Equinox is also offered with GM’s Teen Driver Technology. With Teen Driver Technology, the vehicle owner can turn Buckle-to-Drive on, limit the vehicle’s top speed, set audio volume restrictions and implement other limitations. Teen Driver Mode is paired with the vehicle’s key fob and will automatically engage when that key fob is used. The user can turn it off on demand using a password they decide, as well.
Other factors also play into the Equinox’s appeal to teenage drivers apart from safety. The vehicle is also relatively fuel-efficient thanks to its standard turbocharged 1.5L LYX four-cylinder and available turbo 2.0L LTG and starts at a reasonable $24,995 including destination. The vehicle is also fairly cheap to buy used and should be relatively inexpensive to maintain.
Click here to see the complete IIHS 2020 Safe Vehicles for Teens list.