For teens, finding the right car can be difficult. Your parents want you to have a safe car that gets great fuel economy, with low insurance rates. And, you want a car that looks cool, has a great stereo with an MP3 player and is able to fit your friends in the back.

To please both parties, here's a list of cars that come with the following: traction control, electronic stability control, MP3 hookups, satellite radio, cost under $20,000 and great fuel economy.

*Chevy Cruze Sedan LS

MSRP from $16,720

26 city/36 highway MPG

Chevrolet has put out a great car with this one: affordable, safe and fun. The car gets very good fuel economy while still being fun with its 1.8 liter engine. The handling is tight, and the transmission shifts are very smooth. The interior is fancy, you slip securely into the front seats, it has a big trunk, but unfortunately, the back seats are a little uncomfortable.

*Fiat 500 Pop

MSRP from $15,500

30 city/38 highway MPG

This new little car from Italy is a blast and great looking, too. It is compact, squeezing in plenty of head space and legroom, while housing a 1.4 liter engine and some tight handling. You can get the 500 loaded with a ton of luxury options like Bluetooth and customized leather seating. Compared to its rival, the Mini Cooper, the Fiat 500 has less cargo room. It would be better to get a manual transmission, as it gets noticeably better fuel economy than the automatic version.

*Mini Cooper

MSRP from $19,500

29 city/37 highway MPG

Some would say that you get more than what you pay for with the Mini Cooper, as it is exciting to drive and you will fall in love with it. The Cooper has plenty of space for the passengers, and trunk space as well. This BMW-powered little roadster runs with a 1.6 liter engine and about 170 horsepower. For those sitting in the back seat, the legroom might be on the small side, but they can always be popped down to increase the trunk space.

*Ford Focus Sedan

MSRP from $16,500

26 city/36 highway MPG

The brand-new 2012 model of the Focus is powerful looking and a great redesign of the older version. The new Focus is fun, safe and very up-to-date. The ride is comfortable and smooth, providing an enjoyable drive each time, the engine, a 2.0 liter, has quite a bit of pickup and gets good fuel economy, too. There are a lot of high-tech options that you can load the car up with, too. The electronics system might take a bit of getting used to, the shifts on the automatic transmission are a little odd, and there isn't a ton of legroom for the back seats.

*Kia Forte Koup EX

MSRP from $16,995

25 city/35 highway MPG

Another affordable car, the Forte may not be on your list of prospective cars, but it should be. It is worth its price and gets good fuel economy, too. The Forte has a long warranty and comes with Bluetooth standard. It's a fun drive, too, with tight handling and a bit of pickup. Depending on the surface you're driving on, you might hear a lot of road noise, and the steering wheel has limited adjustment, unless you upgrade to a more sporty or luxury version.

*Toyota Corolla

MSRP from $15,900

28 city/35 highway MPG

This is a more luxurious option for a first car. The ride is smooth, the handling is comfortable, the controls are simple, and the car runs quietly. The Corolla is compact but offers plenty of room for all of your things and enough space for passengers as well. The overall impression of the Corolla is a little low, but it does seem worth its low price and it is very safe overall.

*Hyundai Elantra GLS

MSRP from $15,195

29 city/40 highway MPG

Of all the cars on this list, the Elantra gets the best fuel economy. With its 1.8 liter engine, it is definitely worth its price. The seats are all very comfortable, and the trunk is large and accommodating. The Elantra is very stylish and gets a long warranty, too. For those who want a fun, sporty car, this is probably not for them, and it will be a little uncomfortable for those sitting in the back seat if they are tall.

*Mazda 3 Sedan iSV

MSRP from $15,800

25 city/33 highway MPG

This car is fun to drive, great handling and very affordable with an energetic 2.5-liter engine. It has a high-quality feel, but the front grill is a little goofy. However, the controls are a little complicated, the navigation screen is tiny, and cabin and trunk space is smaller than the competitors. There is an impressive list of luxury options if you have the budget.

*Nissan Juke S

MSRP from $19,570

27 city/32 highway MPG

Some people might think that the Juke is a little odd-looking, but you'll fall in love fast once you drive it a bit and try out the sound system. It's sporty, roomy and comfy. This 1.6 liter, all-wheel drive small SUV is lots of fun, and is smooth, too. The back seats have limited headroom, and the interior and exterior styling might be off-putting to some people.

*Scion xD

MSRP from $15,110

27 city/33 highway MPG

This is a very "edgy" car and will attract some attention with the funky, new look. The stereo system is super high-tech, and the back seats move and recline just like the front ones. This is another 1.8 liter engine that has a smooth ride. Two negative points would be the limited trunk space and the shorter head space for people who are tall.

*Volkswagen Jetta

MSRP from $15,365

24 city/34 highway MPG}

This car is unique and beautiful from its sporty looking grill and unique lighting design to the taillights, with a roomy interior. It has great pickup and good fuel economy, too. I wish it had a larger navigation screen and rear disc brakes. It feels like a more expensive car like an Audi or BMW.

*Honda Civic DX

MSRP from $15,605

28 city/36 highway MPG

The Civic still looks good and drives well. It has great fuel economy and plenty of customization options. The interior is quite spacious, and there is a lot of room for all the passengers. The Civic is also safe as it has airbags in every angle of the interior of the car. The dashboard can seem cluttered at times, and the noise can be a bit loud while you're driving on the highway.


Paul Fix III is a senior at Park School.