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Sensible Back To School Mazda Choices For Parents

Kelly Blue Book Picks Mazda’s two smallest vehicles for your child. Here’s two other ideas.

Kelly Blue Book (KBB) recently compiled a list of tiny, expensive cars it feels are ideal for your child to drive to and from school in. Setting aside the safety issue for just a moment, why would a parent opt to buy a new vehicle for a child to learn to drive in?

New cars are a great value for commuters and other adults that put up big miles on a vehicle. The warranty is key to a fixed cost of ownership. However, new cars also come with a high sales tax (6.25% in my state), a high excise tax (hundreds of dollars per year in my state) and the highest possible insurance rates. For a student driving back and forth within their own community, a new car maximizes costs, rather than minimizing them.

New drivers also curb wheels, bump things and have a high risk of minor collissions. Why would a new car make sense given those realities? Used cars come with the car “Pre-damaged” making it easier to deal with mentally when your son or daughter rubs both passenger side rims against a granite curb, removing the finish.

KBB selected Mazda’s two smallest vehicles, the subcompact 2016 CX-3 and compact Mazda3 as two of its “Ten Best Back To School” vehicles. Although both are among the safest in their class, why would any parent choose a compact car or subcompact vehicle as a young driver’s ride? As both the IIHS and NHTSA safety ratings go to great lengths to point out, safety ratings are relative to a cars size and weight. Larger cars and crossovers are safer.

So what Mazda vehicles would Torque News Suggest as a Back To School Model? Try to find a pre-owned CX-5 or Mazda6 that are a few years old. The CX-5 was voted by Wheels TV the best pre-owned vehicle in a recent comparison. Maybe even an older CX-7 or CX-9. In addition to costing less than the new CX-3 or Mazda3, they are larger and safer, also having topped their segments in IIHS safety ratings.

KBB's list of tiny expensive cars for children can be found here.