Toyota or Honda for teen's first car

No one drives a stick except the drunk BF?
Interestingly my daughter now can learning trial by fire with manual Jeep Wrangler . 2 of her 4 girlfriends drive manual transmission convertibles in summer including Audi and that Jeep.

CUV are very expensive and if they can get away with a sedan or hatch to accommodate her hobbies you can get similar year /mileage vehicle for about $4-5k cheaper.
There are lots of overlap between these 2 brands, I had both. I'd focus more on the models and which dealership is closer to you (you will need to go in once in a while), and which one you like better in test drive.

Personally I'd pick a Camry over Accord due to Toyota's reputation on their Aisin transmission instead of Honda's automatic, but that's not really a deal breaker in boring appliance models like Camry and Accord in 4 cyl. Personally I'd get a Corolla instead of Camry for a new driver as it is easier to drive and more drivers' ed use Corolla for a reason.

I'd add Mazda to the list as they tends to be more "boring" in technologies, fewer things to go wrong in the transmission if they aren't using CVT. I like Mazda's skyactiv G line of powertrain, second only to the Toyota's hybrid.
Based on what? Most studies show the opposite - just google. Modern SUV's / CUV's are much safer overall. They sit higher - putting the occupants further out of reach of larger vehicles. Modern SUV's / CUV's are no longer tippy like those in the past. They are often heavier, although not always. Heavier is better in a crash - absorbs more force with less shock transfered to the occupants. Better site lines may prevent an accident to begin with.
Less roll over risk for a young driver + better mpg.
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Skipping over the sexism, I could make a $5k BMW as reliable as any of the cars mentioned here. A well-sorted car is a well-sorted car.

Since the OP has posted exactly ONCE in this thread, I don't get your beef.
Sure you could but again how many people are able and or interested in doing that? Uncle OP didn't say he wanted any sort of project car that has to be sorted out for his teen female relative . That he's zero'd in on Toyota and Honda CUVs for reliability somewhat confirms that. For many people a dull, boring, vanilla, soulless reliable appliance vehicle is exactly what is needed.

The sexism dig is funny. The subject of this thread is a female teen who will likely take the car off to college somewhere. The comment about a male to help manage maintenance is based on the fact that females are treated differently than males when it comes to dealing with vehicle sales and service. Reality. A young female with a car that needs service is prey, a euro car will likely cost more. We've had members cite examples with wives and daughters. An older euro car for a young female not knowing any other details doesn't seem like a logical choice.
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Will soon be helping a teen relative buy her first car. She's not overly picky and seems willing to buy something practical. Ideally, I'd like to steer her towards something that, if she takes care of it, will last her through college and even a few years after. It'd be nice if she didn't have to start out with car payments immediately after college.

RAV4 and CRV are kind of where my head is at this point, but am open to other ideas. Really like the idea of a Toyota or Honda based on their longevity and reliability. If not one of those models, what else? Camry/Accord could work but she may need something a little roomier based on some of her hobbies. Highlander is a maybe, but Pilot is probably more than she would want. Smaller models like Civic and Corolla are too small.

Were there particular eras that were especially reliable?

Other brands she should be considering?

Thanks a lot.
Toyota all the way.
This is coming from an ex honda fan.
5 hondas....I'm on my last with our odyssey.
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My daughter has successfully driven her first 6 months in my 09 Camry, though a little of that time was in an 02 New Beetle.

It gets great mileage, is reliable as can be, and is forgiving to new drivers. She is getting around just fine in the snow events we are having as well.
My 2nd son has a 2000 Camry that has lots of bruises and un-matching colors. That car keeps on going, and going and going, even though we are about 20k miles past the timing belt being due.

A Toyota sedan is a perfect first car for a kid. She would have had my 2016 Rogue as her car had that not gone to my son so he wasn't hauling my granddaughter around in 2 unreliable cars, but that would only have been because I had it, not by choice.
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We bought a manual CX-5 for our new 16yo driver two years ago. 8 years old with 60k miles. He knows if he breaks it, he's taking the bus so has been careful. with the roof rack on he can transport his river kayak and with the hitch rack he can take his mountain bike. Works great. The standard keeps him engaged in driving instead of having that free hand drift toward his phone.
Can't really go wrong with either. If buying used the condition and maintenance history are most important. On a side note I've seen toyota/honda vehicles with less than stellar maintenance because some owners think they are "indestructible".
Thanks everyone. I’ve read all the replies and really appreciate the input. The Escape, Mazda and Saturn suggestions land especially well with me. I like the idea of a sleeper make/model that’s similarly reliable but may be off folks’ radars, especially living in a part of the country (high desert) where Hondas and Toyotas are so highly coveted based on our complete lack of rust.

I’ll keep an eye on the thread for anyone else’s thoughts. Thanks again.
Rare car. Even rarer is a manual awd CX-5. For some reason only Carvana has any right now.
Pretty sure they don't actually exist. The manual only came as FWD (sport model) on the CX-5. All AWD versions had to have the auto. Suspect Carvana's info is incorrect.
edit: had a look at carvana and all the ones they have listed as manual and AWD are actually autos by their pictures.
I was shopping for the same for my teenage sons learning vehicle. I got a 02 crv with 140k miles. I wanted something reliable but not a big deal if he hits something and scratches or dings it. 02 got the k24 engine, one of the greats. Also can probably drive it a couple years and sell it for the same or more. I was looking at Rav4 and Highlanders but they were more $$ for anything decent. The earliest Rav4s had timing belts too.
Those are great. My cousin had a CRV of a similar year. It got passed down to her sister. They drove that thing to nearly 240k and I can’t think of a single issue it had.