The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Kbb.com's 2006 Back-to-School Poll: For Young Drivers, Mustang Remains Tops

KBB Editors Offer Parents Tips for Buying Student's Next Vehicle

IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 30 -- Kelley Blue Book and kbb.com, the Trusted Resource(R) for new and used vehicle information today released the results of its annual back-to-school car-buying poll. Whether heading back to high school or college the 2006 study reveals that 43 percent of drivers age 16-25 would like to arrive on campus in a Ford Mustang, making it the No. 1 choice among younger drivers for the second year in a row.

In the current poll, parents chose the Honda Civic as the car they would most like to see their child drive and four out of the top five picks among parents of 16-25-year-olds this year were from Asian manufacturers including small sedans from Toyota, Honda, Nissan and Mazda. Coming in at No. 5 on the parent's list was the mid-size SUV, the Ford Escape. Ford Mustang, the leader among young drivers, was only the eighth most chosen vehicle among parents.

"As you would expect, parents' primary concerns today revolve around safety and reliability," said Jack R. Nerad, editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book. "Young people look for vehicles they can personalize or one that defines their personality, but parents just want their kids to be mobile, economical and safe."

     16-25-Year-Old Drivers:        Parents of 16-25-Year-Old Drivers:
  Vehicles They Want to Drive     Vehicles They Want to See Their Kids Drive
  1  2001 Ford Mustang        43%     1  2001 Honda Civic     43%
  2  2002 Mitsubishi Eclipse  37%     2  2002 Toyota Corolla  41%
  3  2001 Honda Civic         34%     3  2003 Nissan Sentra   13%
  4  2001 Jeep Wrangler       32%     4  2003 Mazda Protege   12%
  5  2002 Jeep Liberty        23%     5  2000 Ford Explorer   11%

The expert editorial staff at Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com chose a list of 15 popular used vehicles and ran a poll on its Web site asking 16-25-year-old drivers which three vehicles they would most like to drive. Parents of young drivers were also given the choice of the same 15 cars and asked which ones they would prefer their child drive. Kbb.com's editors chose used vehicles, as they are often the vehicle of choice for the younger age group. The editors based their model decisions on an affordable price-point (all currently are valued around $10,000) and selected vehicles that both kids and their parents would find worthy of attention.

"I'd much rather see my 16-year-old daughter in a sedan well-regarded for its safety features," said Rick Letts of Newport Beach, Calif., who has a daughter turning 16 next month. "I used to believe that the bigger vehicle on the road was the safest, but I think a compact or mid-size sedan with airbags is the best choice for keeping our kids in one piece."

Whether you are looking for a new or used vehicle for a teenager, following are a few tips to keep in mind as you begin your journey to find the 'right' vehicle for your teen.

  *  Do your homework before you buy anything
  *  Check Safety Ratings/Crash Test Results/Rollover Ratings
  *  Read reviews, Kelley Blue Book's kbb.com has reviews on used vehicles
     as well as new
  *  Do a side-by-side comparison of the top three vehicles you are
     considering
  *  Don't buy a car for your teen without driving it yourself
  *  If you are considering a used vehicle, have it checked out by a local
     and reputable service shop
  *  If the car will be purchased from an individual, print the
     private-party value from kbb.com as well as Kelley Blue Book's 27-point
     vehicle Condition Quiz to take with you.  These items will help you
     determine the 'actual' condition and value of the vehicle
  *  Don't let your teen talk you into buying a vehicle you are not
     comfortable with
  *  If you are a teen, do all of your homework before you meet with mom or
     dad; show them you are responsible and ready for a car

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

Kelley Blue Book Marketing Research administered this survey on kbb.com from August 18-23, 2006.

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 Web site provides the most up-to-date pricing and values for thousands of new and used vehicles, including the Blue Book(R) New Car Value, which reveals what people actually are paying for new cars. Since 1926, car buyers and sellers have relied upon Kelley Blue Book for authoritative and unbiased information to make well-informed automotive decisions. The company also reports vehicle prices and values via products and services, including the famous Blue Book(R) Official Guide and software products. Car buyers have rated kbb.com No. 1 in overall customer satisfaction and experience, according to a survey by Keynote Systems. Kbb.com also has been named the No. 1 automotive information site by Nielsen//NetRatings and the most visited auto site by J.D. Power and Associates seven years in a row. No other medium reaches more in-market vehicle shoppers than kbb.com; one in every four American car buyers complete their research on kbb.com.