It’s that time of year again – school is back in session! As some parents scurry to prepare their little ones for the new school year, others may be more concerned about providing their young teenager with a fresh and reliable new car. It’s not always easy to get parents and teens to agree, but with our list of the top best back-to-school vehicles, it could serve as common ground.
2018 Chrysler Pacifica + Pacifica Hybrid
Starting off our list for back to school cars is the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica, and some may wonder if this is an ideal car for a young teen driver. Well, yes. Although this vehicle is aimed more towards carpooling parents and soccer moms, the safety ratings for the Chrysler Pacifica speak for themselves. These include the “2018 Best Buy Awards” by Consumer Guide, 2018 Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), and a 5-star safety rating by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Keeping new teen drivers safe.
Photo Credit/Copyright: caranddriver.com
Offered in six trim levels – L, LX, Touring Plus, Touring L, Touring L Plus, and Limited, the Chrysler Pacifica has something for everyone. The base L model is powered by a 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve engine with Variable Valve Timing (VVT), that, by optimizing combustion, improves performance, fuel, and emissions. The remaining models come standard with a 3.6-Liter V6 24-Valve engine with VVT and Electric Start-Stop (ESS) to reduce the amount of time the engine spends idling and expending gas when idle. A nine-speed automatic transmission is standard on all trim levels.
The infotainment system included in the Chrysler Pacifica is one-of-a-kind and no matter which trim is chosen, passengers won’t be disappointed. The L, LX, Touring Plus, and Touring L come standard with Uconnect 4 on a 7.0-inch touchscreen display and 6-speakers, while the Touring L Plus and Limited models feature Uconnect 4C NAV on an 8.4-inch touchscreen display with a 13-Alpine speaker system or the option of a 20 Harman Kardon speaker system. Entertainment features included on all trim levels consist of integrated voice command with Bluetooth and Apple CarPlay and Google Android Auto capabilities. Furthermore, consumers have the option of including dual 10-inch touchscreens mounted on the rear of the front seat backs for additional entertainment those teenage passengers would appreciate. Lastly, the Pacifica can seat up to eight passengers.
Starting MSRP of $26,995 (plus destination fee).
Photo Credit/Copyright: thenewswheel.com
Awarded 2018 Best New Car by Car and Driver, the 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid offers a rest-easy mindset for parents and teen drivers, especially by requiring less gas station visits and saving money in fuel costs. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is available in three trim levels – Touring Plus, Pacifica Hybrid Touring L, and Pacifica Hybrid Limited. All hybrid trims share a 3.6-liter V6 eHybrid engine that is paired to two dual electric motors powered by a 16 kWh, lithium-ion battery. Additionally, the Pacifica Hybrid can be powered in three ways: battery, engine, or a combination of both.
It’s important to keep in mind that plug-in hybrids have two measures of fuel economy – miles-per-gallon (MPG) and miles-per-gallon equivalent (MPGe)- basically, a more comprehensive understanding of the measurement that converts the power used by an electric vehicle into mpg. The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid has a total driving range of 566 miles and a combined fuel economy of 84 MPGe. Powered only by the 16 kWh battery, the Pacifica Hybrid has a driving range of 33 miles, emissions free. Furthermore, the Pacifica Hybrid has a combined fuel economy of 32 mpg. There are two charging levels available for the Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid – level 1 and level 2. The standard level one charger is 140 volts and can fully charge the Pacifica Hybrid in about four hours. Meanwhile, the more powerful level 2 charger is 240 volts and can recharge the Hybrid’s battery up to 80% in just two hours.
The Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid was designed to be convenient and versatile, so it’s no surprise that the interior cabin maintains a quiet atmosphere. All trim levels share a third-row fold-in-floor 60/40 split-bench seat and the optional easy entry slide second-row bench seat. Standard features on the Touring Plus includes cloth seating, while the Touring L and Limited trims are standard with leather-trimmed (perforated or premium) seats. Contrary to the Chrysler Pacifica, the Pacifica Hybrid does not offer Stow ‘n Go storage in the second row, due to the vehicle’s battery pack, where it is stored. Fortunately, the third-row seats are still equipped with Stow ‘n Go storage.
The 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid is not only a fan favorite for eco-friendly parents, but it’s also a big hit for kids and teens. An 8.4-inch touchscreen display includes Apple CarPlay/Google Android Auto, integrated voice command with Bluetooth, and a complimentary one-year subscription to SiriusXM radio come standard on all trim levels. The Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus and Touring L models include Uconnect 4, while the Hybrid Limited model is standard with Uconnect 4 NAV. Additionally, the Pacifica Hybrid Touring Plus and Touring L come standard with a six-speaker audio system, while the Hybrid Limited offers the optional 20-speaker Harman Kardon sound group for a state-of-the-art surround sound experience.
Starting MSRP of $39,995 (plus destination fee).
2018 Kia Niro Hybrid + Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid
For the 2018 model year, the Kia Niro Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid area breath of fresh air into the brand-new Kia Hybrid and Plug-in Hybrid segment. Between the practical wagon-shape exterior style to the functional interior cabin, parents and teens would never know it was a hybrid. Also, the Kia Niro Hybrid was a 2018 Top Safety Pick+ by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and was awarded the 2018 Residual Value Award For Alt-Fuel Vehicles by ALG.
Photo Credit/Copyright: kia.com
The 2018 Kia Niro Hybrid is a fresh and fuel-efficient hybrid crossover. The Niro is available in four trim levels – FE, LX, EX, and Touring. All four trims shared the same hybrid powertrain and front-wheel-drive (FWD). The Niro hybrid is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that’s matched to an electric motor. The electric motor, an AC synchronous permanent magnet motor, is powered by a 240-volt, 1.56 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. Utilizing the six-speed automatic transmission, the engine and electric motor transmit their power to the vehicle’s wheels. The 1.6-liter engine puts out 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque, and once the engine and electric motor are working together, the vehicle produces a total of 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
The Kia Niro hybrid’s fuel economy is definitely beneficial to teens and the wallets of their parents. When the Kia Niro is equipped with 16-inch wheels, it has a combined fuel economy of 50 mpg, while the bigger 18-inch wheels average a combined fuel economy of 43 mpg. According to fueleconomy.gov, the annual fuel cost of the 2018 Kia Niro (with 16-inch wheels) is $850, and fueleconomy.gov estimates that after five years, drivers will save $3,250 driving the Kia Niro in comparison to the average vehicle. You’re welcome, parents.
As previously mentioned, the interior cabin of the Kia Niro Hybrid is functional. It has two rows and comfortably seats five adults. The front seat passengers have plenty of legroom, 41.7 inches to be exact, and the rear seat passengers have 37.4 inches of legroom. The 60/40 split-folding seats make it really easy for drivers to fold down the seats, especially for additional cargo. Additionally, when the second-row seat is folded down flat, there is a cargo volume of 54.5 cubic feet of space. Since the 2018 Kia Niro is a very recent model, it’s loaded with awesome tech features like a standard rearview camera and Bluetooth wireless handsfree connectivity. The 2018 Kia Niro FE, LX, and EX are equipped with a 7-inch color touchscreen, UVO eco, SiriusXM, and a six-speaker audio system. Meanwhile, the Niro Touring features an 8-inch touchscreen display, UVO eco, SiriusXM Traffic, HD Radio, voice-command navigation system, and an 8-speaker Harman Kardon premium surround sound audio system.
Starting MSRP of $23,340 (plus destination fee).
2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid
Photo Credit/Copyright: caranddriver.com
The 2018 Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid, or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV), consists of three trim levels – LX, EX, and EX Premium. All three models share the same Full Parallel Hybrid System that is powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with gasoline direct injection and dual variable valve timing (VVT) and an electric motor. The gasoline direct injection and dual VVT, through optimizing combustion, maximizes engine performance to deliver 104 horsepower and 109 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor, an AC synchronous permanent magnet motor, is powered by a 360-volt, 8.6 kWh lithium-ion polymer battery. The electric motor produces 60 horsepower and 125 lb-ft of torque, bringing the total output of the hybrid system to 165 horsepower and 234 lb-ft of torque.
The Kia Niro’s fuel economy is 48 mpg in the city and 44 mpg on the highway when the internal combustion engine is the main power source. When the Kia Niro is powered by a combination of its internal combustion engine and battery, it has a fuel economy of 110 MPGe in the city, 99 MPGe on the highway, and a combined city/highway fuel economy of 105 MPGe. Lastly, the Kia Niro has an electric driving range of up to 26 miles, and the vehicle’s total driving range (a full tank of gas and a fully charged battery) of up to 560 miles.
Standard interior features across the lineup area drive mode selector, smart key with push-button start and engine immobilizer, dual-zone automatic temperature control, an auto windshield defogger, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and mood lighting. The Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX and EX Premium models come with a cargo covering (optional on LX) and rear a/c vents. Leather upholstery can only be found on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium, while a leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear shift knob comes standard on all trims. Heated front seats are available on the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX and EX Premium trims, but only the Niro Plug-In Hybrid EX Premium comes with ventilated front seats, driver’s seat integrated memory and a heated steering wheel. Added features include a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and when folded down, the total cargo volume opens up to 54.5 cubic feet; 19.4 cubic feet with the rear seats up.
Lastly, the Kia Niro Plug-in offers the UVO eco infotainment system on all trims. Included on all trim levels are Apple CarPlay/Google Android Auto capabilities, Bluetooth wireless hands-free connectivity, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid LX and EX models include a 7-inch touchscreen and six-speaker audio system. An 8-inch touchscreen with voice-command navigation and a Harman/Kardon Premium Surround Sound 8-speaker system are standard on the Niro Plug-in Hybrid EX premium trim.
Starting MSRP of $27,900 (plus destination fee).
From a minivan to a cool crossover, one of the most important factors to take into consideration when purchasing a new car for a young teen driver is safety. Today, a generous amount of new models are now equipped with safe teen driver features to give parents additional peace of mind. Come test drive any of the listed models today at the Miami Lakes Automall. Located in Miami Lakes, FL, we offer a huge selection of new and used cars for new teen drivers. For more information, visit our website or follow us on social media.