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7 safe cars your mother won't hate

Scion tC
Scion tC

Scion tC

  • Price: $19,210
  • Gas mileage: 23 mpg city/31 mpg highway

It doesn't matter whether you spring for an extra $1,000 for the six-speed driver-shiftable automatic transmission or stick with the slick-shifting six-speed manual, as Bankrate priced it here, the fuel economy is the same.

By the sporty looking exterior with its 18-inch alloy wheels, Mom may suspect the tC is a kick to drive, but the value and safety arguments should win her over. In addition to the safety gear found on all new cars, such as stability control, the tC has knee air bags for both front-seat positions along with the typical six air bags. A trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, and an eight-speaker Pioneer audio system with HD radio and iPod interface are all standard.

A 179-horsepower 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine delivers the tC's go.

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