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Back to School Poll: Parents Kids Want Sporty Cars, Push Safety

Teen and Parents Differ on Which Cars to Drive to School

The recent back-to-school used-car poll on Kelley Blue Book's website, kbb.com, revealed that 43% of drivers ages 16-25 would prefer to drive sporty vehicles such as the Ford Mustang and Jeep Wrangler, while 41% of parents of young drivers would rather see their kids in safe sedans like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

The expert team of editors at Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com chose a list of eight popular used vehicles, and a quick online poll asked 16-25-year-old drivers which one they would most like to drive. Parents of young drivers were also given the choice of the same eight cars and asked which car they would prefer their child to drive. Kbb.com editors chose to poll used vehicles, as an inexpen-sive alternative to new vehicles. The editors based their model decisions on an affordable price-point (all currently are valued around $10,000) and vehicles that both kids and parents would like.

16-25-Year-Old Drivers:
Vehicles They Want to Drive
1
Ford Mustang
27%
2
Jeep Wrangler
16%
3
Honda Civic
12%
4
Volkswagen Jetta
12%
5
Acura Integra
11%
6
Ford Explorer
10%
7
Toyota Tacoma
9%
8
Toyota Corolla
3%

Parents of 16-25-Year-Old Drivers:
Vehicles They Want Their Kids Drive
1
Honda Civic
23%
2
Toyota Corolla
18%
3
Toyota Tacoma
13%
4
Acura Integra
12%
5
Ford Explorer
11%
6
Volkswagen Jetta
11%
7
Ford Mustang
7%
8
Jeep Wrangler
5%

Twenty-seven percent of drivers between the ages of 16-25 chose a 2001 Ford Mustang as their top pick, whereas 23 percent of parents chose a 2000 Honda Civic as the number one car they would prefer to see their kids drive. The 2000 Jeep Wrangler placed second among young drivers at 16 percent, and the 2002 Toyota Corolla took second honors among parents with 18 percent.

"I'd much rather see my 16-year-old daughter in a Honda Civic than a sports car, even though she loves the Mustang," said Lori McCotter, mother of a high school junior in Battle Creek, Mich. "Hondas are known for their safety and reliability, and more than anything I want peace-of-mind that my daughter is as safe as possible when she's out on the road."

"Young drivers who often are very image-conscious prefer the sporty 'cool cars,' but parents seem more concerned with safety and practicality when it comes to having their children behind the wheel," said Jack R. Nerad, editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Where parents seem to focus more on a vehicle's function and safety, young drivers see their vehicle as an extension of their personality and a representation of who they are, as evidenced by the growing popularity of the vehicle customization trend."

Parents and young adults looking for information about new and used vehicles can log on to kbb.com for pricing, comparisons, safety ratings, vehicle specifications, reviews, photos and more.

Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research administered this survey on kbb.com August 12-15, 2005, to 399 parents of 16-25-year old drivers and 509 drivers ages 16-25.

About Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com)
Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com is America's most used and trusted vehicle pricing, values and information resource. The top-rated website provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the Blue Book® New Car Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars.

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