A competent small car, the Ford Focus from this period has better-than-average reliability and crash-test scores. It is, admittedly, a boring car, and that helps make it perfect for a young driver. The Focus has fairly balanced handling when pushed to its limits. We zeroed-in on the 2009 model as that model year marks the introduction of stability control. Teens may appreciate that an early version of Ford’s Sync infotainment system with voice controls and USB input is available.