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Midsize: Honda Accord

Honda/Honda

Boy, does Consumer Reports sing the praises of the Honda Accord in its latest recommendations for teens and seniors.

The Accord, well loaded with safety features such as electronic stability control and curtain air bags - not to mention good crash-test results - is a good back-to-school teen car, says CR.

"Often parents think that putting their child in the biggest car is the safest thing they can do, but that's not so," says David Champion, senior director of Consumer Reports Automotive Test Centre. "Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, so you want to make sure they're driving something that handles well, is agile and has as many safety features as possible - especially electronic stability control."

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Now here's an amusing and interesting tidbit: CR says that the Accord is the only car suitable for teens, seniors, tall drivers and small ones. However, for teens here is a longer list:

Small sedans: Hyundai Elantra SE (2008-2010), Mazda3 (2007-present), Scion xB (2008-present but not sold in Canada)

Midsized sedans: Acura TSX (2004-present), Honda Accord (2008-present), Kia Optima/Magentis (2007-present)

Small SUVs: Honda CR-V (2005-present), Nissan Rogue (2008-present)

As for senior drivers:

Minivans: Honda Odyssey

Small SUV: Subaru Forester XT Limited

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Upscale sedan: Hyundai Azera

Family sedan: Honda Accord

Microvan: Kia Rondo

It's hard to argue with any of these recommendations. Both lists represent good places to start when shopping for a teen or a senior. For everybody else, the Honda Accord is a good starting point for comparison, though these days it seems a bit overpriced given the quality of the latest competition - such as the 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

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About the Author
Senior writer, Globe Drive

In 25 years of covering the auto industry, Jeremy Cato has won more than two-dozen awards, including three times being named automotive journalist of the year. Jeremy was born in Montreal and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. More

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