If the plan is for your teen driver to take some or all financial responsibility for her own car, the Mirage is actually a sensible choice. Not merely is it inexpensive to buy ($13,790 for starters, with a decent amount of standard equipment including air cooling), but it’s also inexpensive to operate, using a 5 year/60,000 mile bumper-to-bumper warranty to cover any unexpected problems. Its tiny 3-cylinder engine produces modest power but remarkable fuel economy (44 MPG on the road! ), and it has seven airbags and surprisingly good crash-test results given its small size. Mitsubishi has even designed the front end for inexpensive repairs, with the idea of lowering collision insurance costs. Though the styling is a bit pedestrian (designed for cheating the wind rather than turning heads), the Mirage can be found in a palette of bright colors. It’s a great way to your teen to start taking on the costs of owning a car.