The Best Vehicles For First-Time Drivers
Written by DriveAxis.ca March 16, 2022
Few experiences are as memorable and exciting as buying your first car, and drivers are spoiled for choice in the modern age. With so many technological advancements coming out, today’s vehicles drive better, last longer, and cost less to fix than ever before. Nevertheless, all these options can create confusion for drivers who might not be sure which vehicle to lease or purchase. By focusing on specific criteria, you can make a better choice, and ride off in a vehicle that best suits your experience level, budget and personal lifestyle.
10) Honda Civic
The Civic has been around for decades, and it’s one of the most sought-after cars for first-time buyers, thanks largely to a mix of reliability, affordability and style. It’s comfortable enough for first-time drivers to get used to, while maintaining a sporty and edgy look. The 2022 Honda Civic Hatchback is one of the best in the line, but there’s something to be said for purchasing a pre-owned Civic from 2018 upwards, as well. Its engine is cheap on gas, and maintenance is easy and affordable all around.
9) Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid
Hybrids and electric cars are all the rage nowadays, but the vast majority are unaffordable for the average consumer. Thankfully, the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid straddles the correct middle ground, making it one of the most affordable, and enjoyable cars for first-time buyers. Though it does come in electric, it’s the hybrid model that many drivers might want to take a look at. On a full tank, the car can exceed 900km of total driving distance thanks to its technological design, which also includes regenerative braking. It’s also sporty, loaded with amazing options, and has plenty of space for vacations and road trips.
8) Mazda3 GT
Mazda’s GT has been a major contender for first-time buyers for decades, and it’s easy to see why. It’s sporty, beautiful, and gives off a high-end aesthetic usually associated with much more expensive cars. It also doesn’t skimp on power, producing a respectable 180+ horsepower from a 2.5 inline 4-cylinder engine. Toss in extras like LED headlights, Bose premium speakers and gorgeous alloy wheels, and the Mazda3 GT will definitely help narrow any first-time car buyer’s prospective short list.
7) BMW 3 Series
Though much more expensive than other cars on the list, the BMW 3 Series should nevertheless be a contender for a first-time car buyer. Those who can’t afford to plunk down a hefty chunk of cash on a brand new model can certainly set their sights on a pre-owned model with just 2-3 years of use. It’s one of the more powerful cars for prospective first-time buyers, with a level of cabin sophistication and luxury options that aren’t always associated with cheaper cars.
6) Honda Fit
If maximum horsepower is not a necessity, then the Honda Fit can certainly be counted on as a first-time buyer’s car. It’s edgy and sporty enough to look cool, without costing a fortune in terms of sticker price, or maintenance fees. It’s also remarkably great on gas, thanks to a 1.5 liter engine that won’t gorge itself on gas. For budget-conscious first-time drivers, this is an excellent starter car to get you around until you’re ready to splurge on something with a bit more power.
5) Toyota Prius
Another fuel-efficient car with a reliable name is the Prius, which was designed to save costs anywhere possible. Toyota tends to build high-quality vehicles that go the distance, which is why the Prius is such a hot pick. It can even go 40 kilometers without using any gas, which is perfect for unexpected empty-tank close calls. It may lack a bit in terms of available space (especially in the trunk), but it’s a compact four-door sedan that can lug you and your friends or family around, without draining the wallet.
4) Subaru BRZ
For first-time buyers who want a car with a little more pizazz and horsepower, the Subaru BRZ is certainly worthy of note. Its 2.0 liter engine produces 205 horsepower, which is no slouch for a car in this class. Buyers should note that the BRZ is rear-wheel drive, which means winter tires are a must for snowy conditions. That means higher costs, but the tradeoff is one sleek looking car that can go the distance, and turn heads.
3) Volkswagen Golf
The Golf has been a first-time buyer’s car for many years now, thanks largely to a robust and never-fail design that just works, right off the lot. Manual drivers will appreciate the latest model’s direct shift gearbox technology, which is great to practice on. Though small in overall size, the Golf has enough space to accommodate friends and family on a short road trip. On street or highway, the Golf excels at comfort and performance, thanks to superb handling.
2) Kia Forte
While Kia’s past reputation left something to be desired, it’s a far cry from the company you see today. The Forte has been one of Kia’s best-selling models for years, offering strong value for a remarkably low price. Plus, it boasts one of the best in-class warranties in the entire business, which is excellent for first-time buyers still learning the ropes when it comes to car buying. The 2022 GT model features a turbocharged engine for those who want more pep, but the baseline 2.0L engine might be better suited to those who want to save money on gas.
1) Hyundai Kona
Priced about $5000-$10,000 less than Hyundai’s Tucson and Santa Fe models, the Kona is one of the most affordable (and sporty) SUVs around. With a bold and edgy design, it’s certain to turn heads, especially when outfitted with one of several two-tone colour configurations. Fuel economy sits about 8.0L/100km in the city, which is unexpectedly good. This compact SUV is great for first-time buyers who are big on hitting the city at night, while enjoying the outdoors on weekends. It’s got just enough space to accommodate an entire family with gear in tow, plus all the bells and whistles one would expect from a much more expensive vehicle.
First-time car buyers should head down to the dealership with someone who has experience choosing a new vehicle, and can give them some pointers. Not all cars on this list are applicable to every kind of driver, which means it’s important to analyze your lifestyle, travel time to and from work, and your hobbies. That way, you can maximize the enjoyment of buying your first vehicle, without falling into any problems.
And finally, don’t forget to bring along a USB stick of your favorite tunes, plug it in, and go for your first extended drive to compliment the experience.