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America’s Top Ten Gen Why Cars: Eight Are Not American

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Edmunds compiled a list of the ten best cars “for teen drivers.” Edmunds did not pick the cars according to driftability or their magnetic force on chicks. Edmunds used criteria that should be on the minds of the people who usually buy those cars: Parents. As a parent, says Edmunds, “you’ll need to consider three factors above all others: safety, reliability and true cost to own.”

Once Edmunds was done with the list, it looked like a fresh arrival of exchange students. Except for a lone Malibu, all cars have foreign nameplates.

Four cars on the list are Japanese, two Korean, two German. Much-maligned blandmobiles, the 2009 Honda Accord and the likewise 2009 Toyota Camry, take top billing. The whole menu does not look anywhere close to Gran Turismo dreams. At closer inspection however … We’ll get to that.

For safety, Edmunds recommends midsize cars with five star crash ratings and not too much power. Edmunds is against SUVs and follows the AAA advice that SUVs are”more prone to roll over in extreme driving conditions.”

For reliability, Edmunds scoured CarMD’s yearly Vehicle Health Index. For true cost to own, Edmunds had to look no further than its own True Cost to Own tool.

And these are Edmunds’ top ten picks for generation why drivers:

What parents should buy for their kids

Number one: 2009 Honda Accord

Number two: 2009 Toyota Camry

Number three: 2010 Chevrolet Malibu
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Number four: 2010 Volkswagen Jetta

Number five: 2011 Hyundai Sonata

Number six: 2012 Honda Accord

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Number seven: 2012 Hyundai Sonata

Number eight: 2012 Toyota Camry

Number nine: 2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Number ten: 2013 Chevrolet Malibu

The list might jibe with the desire to sell new or late model used car off dealer lots, but it does not jibe with reality. Fiscal factors usually dictate something older as the youngster’s first car.

Also, the list will elicit groans from the intended target group: “Maaaaaaaaamoooom! A Camry?” As an indicator of what the Generation Why demographic really wants, let’s consult “Gran Turismo 5 – the best key cars to own” as compiled by Onlineracedriver.com:

What kids want from their parents

1. Mitsubishi Lancer Evo
2. Nissan GTR ‘07
3. Corvette ZR1 (C6) ‘09
4. Toyota Minolta 88CV
5. Formula Gran Turismo

Now isn’t that interesting: Three out of five cars on the dream list are Japanese. One is purely fictional, but has a Fiat sticker. Only one dream car, the Corvette ZR1, is American. Since when do kids agree with their parents?

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