The Subaru Impreza gets our vote because of the better traction and foul-weather security provided by its standard all-wheel drive and because it is an Insurance Institute for Highway Safety Top Safety Pick. The all-wheel drive will help keep your teen driver pointed in the right direction, and the crash protection that the Impreza provides, based on the IIHS's tests, should give parents greater peace of mind.
The Impreza was redesigned for 2012, when it was selected as a Cars.com Best Bet. The Nissan Sentra is redesigned for 2013, and it definitely has some pluses, such as fuel economy, but it also has minuses, such as ride quality. In addition, at the time this was written the 2013 Sentra hadn't been crash-tested by the IIHS.
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