I’d agree with this. Not sure I’d be putting my 16 year old (and yes I have one) in a wrangler. I can only imagine the rollover risk in an emergency situation is significantly higher in the overreacting hands of a 16 year old. They are not that safe when compared to other newer model cars.Yeah, giving a 16 year old something that is relatively quick, stops poorly, and handles poorly as a first vehicle is pretty much begging for an accident. And the Wrangler is not the vehicle you want that accident to be in. He will do something stupid and your responsibility is for him to live until college.
Get them something boring that is a top safety pick and put good winter tires on it. Subaru is a good choice or there are a lot of other AWD crossovers available if that is a must have.
Along with the distracted driving (other kids and technology), another reason for higher death and injury in younger drivers is they tend to have the older, cheaper, hand me down vehicles that have less of the preventative and protective technology of newer vehicles. So I think if that is within your means you are on the right track there With a new(er) vehicle.
And that’s coming from someone who grew up in Australia where the idea of a kid getting a car bought for them on their 16th birthday was ridiculous. How times change.
And on that note, I think an auto is less distracting and as a young driver helps them focus on actually driving. I grew up driving manuals and still do - love them. I would think select auto 4WD could only help a young or any driver.
on the tech front - there is a do not distract feature on iPhones that can be enable based on motion, but it’s a challenge with teenagers and controlling phones. Some cars also have this feature now where the tech is disabled while moving, and I think some Ford’s will mute the radio until seat belts are buckled / has top speed limits that can be set / geo fencing and alerts etc
I‘d go with the newest, safest most uncool car that is within your means