Top 10 Best Cars for First-Time Buyers!

Buying a car for the first time can be a rite of passage, but it can also create anxiety along the way.  Like a house, a car is a big purchase.  First-time car buyers don’t know what to expect at a car dealership or how to find the ideal car.

The best cars for first-time buyers might focus on price, safety, or other features.  Each buyer can have their ideas about which car best suits their needs.  Here’s how to find the best car for your budget even when buying your first car.

Explore Best Cars for First-Time Buyers In 2023!

After passing your driving test, the next hurdle to a whole new level of freedom is finding a car you can afford.  Of course, in an ideal world, you want a vehicle that’s safe, well-equipped, and comes with the necessary practicality, plus a bit of style and driving pleasure.  Is that too much of a demand?  Our latest list of the Best Cars for First-Time Buyers suggests otherwise.

#1. 2022 Honda Civic

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: starts at $21,700
  • Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 158-hp
  • Torque: 138. lb-ft
  • Range: 384.4 city and 496 highway miles 
  • Transmission: six-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 130 miles per hour
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 8.8 Seconds
  • Trims: 04

Even in the base edition, the 2022 Civic is fun to drive, has a host of infotainment and safety features, and boasts excellent fuel economy for 33 City and 42 highway.  The base model is good enough for first-time buyers, as the higher trims have significant dealer markings.

Even in the base edition, the 2022 Civic is fun to drive, has a host of infotainment and safety features, and boasts excellent fuel economy for 33 City and 42 highway.  The base model is good enough for first-time buyers, as the higher trims have significant dealer markings.

#2. Ford Fiesta

new cars for first-time buyers 2023
  • MSRP: $15,790
  • Engine: turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 100-hp
  • Torque: 170Nm
  • Range: 334.80 City and 434.00 highway miles
  • MPG: 31 Combined
  • Transmission: six- or seven-speed dual-clutch automatic 
  • Top Speed: 143mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 9.9 Seconds
  • Trims: 04

What can we say about Ford Fiesta?  This little gem has been around for a while and, has been redesigned and redesigned over the years. From the much-loved 4th generation Ford Fiesta to the current 7th generation, these compact, economical, and stylish cars have been common sights on the roads.

There are many great variants available, but some of the most popular Ford Fiesta vehicles for beginners include the Ford Fiesta 1.0-liter Eco-Boost and the 1.5 TDCi Ambiente, which deliver even better fuel economy and torque.

The Ford Fiesta is an excellent all-around vehicle and is ideal for first-time buyers and small families.  It is very easy to drive, comfortable on the eyes, and has low insurance rates.

#3. KIA Picanto

new cars for first-time buyers 2023
  • MSRP: $15,990 to $20,490
  • Engine: 1.0-liter three-cylinder or a 1.25-liter four-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 67-hp
  • Torque: 72 ft-lb
  • MPG: 55.4 to 58.9mpg
  • Transmission: five-speed manual or five-speed automatic
  • Top Speed: 180 km/h
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 14.1 Seconds
  • Trims: 03

The Kia Picanto is one of the newest cars for first drivers, first introduced in 2004.  Since then, it has become known as a well-made, reliable, and economical car at a relatively low price.

The Kia Picanto has evolved over the years into a young, sporty compact car with modern aesthetics, but it is still a very practical city car.  Initially aimed at younger drivers, the Picanto has become popular with office workers looking for a more economical commute.

Considering the size, price, comfort, and standard features, seniors will also love this compact urban warrior.  Several options are available, including the second-generation Picanto, which has the highest safety rating of any vehicle in its class.  Received a 5-star safety rating in Australian NCAP tests!

Buying your first car is an exciting moment in your life.  Now that you’ve done all your studies and passed your exams, it’s finally time to get your car.  It can be exciting, but at the same time, it can be expensive.  If you’re a new driver, you’re probably a young driver with no money. You want your first car to be affordable, safe, and easy to drive.  Here are some recommendations for new cars for first-time buyers 2023.

#4. Toyota Yaris

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: $23,740 to $32,975
  • Engine: 1496 cc
  • Horsepower: 106-hp
  • Torque: 140 Nm
  • Range: 406 miles
  • MPG: 35 Combined
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic 
  • Top Speed: 105 mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 9.7 Seconds
  • Trims: 03

The Toyota Yaris has always been a popular car for new drivers and also it is an affordable, fuel-efficient vehicle with fewer stops and less fuel to buy.

Yaris’ safety technology is excellent.  There are many safety features such as a low-speed pre-collision system, advanced airbag system, and tire pressure monitoring system.

The new Yaris model has many technological features such as a 7-inch touchscreen interface for audio and Bluetooth connectivity to a mobile phone.

#5. Volkswagen Up!

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: $17,449 to $22,545
  • Engine: 1-liter three-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 60-hp
  • Torque: 95 Nm
  • Range: 145 – 320 km
  • MPG: 53.4
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 161 km/h
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 11.3 Seconds Trims: 04

We think Volkswagen has succeeded!  It’s such a great compact car that it won the City Car title four years in a row from 2017 to 2020.  It no longer holds this particular title, but it’s still a solid choice for a first car.

The key to its appeal is its low price, all trims are in the 10 or less insurance category except for the hotter GTI models.  The only engine offered on the standard petrol model is a 1.0-liter three-cylinder.

#6. Renault Clio

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: $ 26,820
  • Engine: 1.0-liter 100 turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine
  • Horsepower: 64 – 216 bhp
  • Torque: 118. ft-lb
  • Range: 617 miles
  • MPG: 49.6mpg
  • Transmission: seven-speed automatic 
  • Top Speed: 112mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 6.4 Seconds
  • Trims: 04

The Renault Clio is another example of what a new driver’s car should look like, with French flair inside and out.

From the first-generation Renault Clio in 1998 to the latest Clio IV, the entire range has proven to be reliable and affordable, a particularly popular choice for students, young professionals, and small families.

Few would argue with the value for money offered by the Renault Clio when looking at a car for new drivers.  A variety of engine options and trim levels are available, including the economical 0.9-liter Turbo Dynamic, 1.2-liter Renault Clio Expression 1.5-liter diesel.

You can’t beat the latest Clio for reliability and affordability, but whichever model you choose will be a good one!

Buying your first vehicle is an exciting prospect, but with so many models on offer, deciding which car to buy can often make you forget all the initial excitement. Take some time to think about what you are looking for and what you can afford. So these are the best cars to buy for first-time buyers.

#7. Hyundai i10

new cars for first-time buyers 2023
  • MSRP: $17,808
  • Engine: The petrol engine is 1086 cc & 1197 cc and the LPG engine is 1086 cc 
  • Horsepower: 65-hp
  • Torque: 73. lb-ft
  • Range: 350 mile
  • MPG: 49.6 – 56.5 mpg
  • Transmission: five-gear automated manual, or 5-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 151 km/h
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 10.2 – 16.7 seconds
  • Trims: 03

The Hyundai i10 is a dependable and spacious car that will install confidence in first-time drivers.  The i10 feels good at high speeds and can handle even nervous drivers with ease.

You can get a lot of bang for your buck with the Hyundai i10.  They feature electric windows, air conditioning, and a radio with Bluetooth connectivity.  There’s also a 7-inch touchscreen interface with navigation to help you navigate new routes.  If you purchase a new car, you can receive a 5-year Hyundai warranty.

#8. Toyota Corolla

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: Starting at $22,645
  • Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 169-hp
  • Torque: 150 Nm
  • Range: 396 City and 501.6 highway miles
  • MPG: 30 City and 38 highway MPG
  • Transmission: 5/6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic, and 7/8-speed Super CVT
  • Top Speed: 142.9 mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 7.8 Seconds
  • Trims: 08

The Toyota Corolla is a popular first car because of its amazing value.  With an entry-level trim with plenty of safety features and a low-emissions fuel engine, this model pays for itself.

What sets the Corolla apart from other compact cars is its range of models.  Available as a sedan or hatchback, the Corolla is sold with a highly fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain that can be the front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive.  Adults can comfortably fit in the back seat, so the Corolla is an affordable new car for those who need reliable personal mobility.  Its efficiency and style are impressive.

Each car carries the organization’s stamp of approval for road-tested performance, reliability, owner satisfaction, and safety.  Additionally, each vehicle’s list price or manufacturer’s suggested retail price is cheap.

Below, we have selected the best affordable cars for first-time buyers.

#9. Subaru Forester

best cars for first-time buyers
  • MSRP: Starting at $27,620
  • Engine: 2.5-liter flat-four-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 182-hp
  • Torque: 258. lb-ft
  • Range: 481 miles
  • MPG: 26 City and 32 highway MPG
  • Transmission: 5 and 6-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 129 mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 8.0 Seconds
  • Trims: 06

According to Consumer Reports, the Subaru Forester offers “a lot of content for its money.”  Popularly positioned among small SUVs, the Forester offers a roomy interior, impressive safety equipment and crash resistance, and excellent visibility in a well-sized, affordable package.”

The Forester won’t change for 2023 after last year’s facelift.  It’s still available in value-oriented base and premium trims, as well as rugged wilderness and luxury touring models.

#10. KIA Optima

new cars for first-time buyers 2023
  • MSRP: $23,600
  • Engine: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Horsepower: 185-hp
  • Torque: 178. lb-ft 
  • Range: 500 miles
  • MPG: 27 City, 24 highway, and 33 combined mpg
  • Transmission: 4-speed auto and 5-speed manual
  • Top Speed: 139 mph
  • Acceleration (0-60mph): 9.6 Seconds
  • Trims: 06

According to Consumer Reports, the Kia Optima “packs a lot of substance and value.”  It has safety features like blind spot warning and rear cross-traffic alert are standard, but a forward collision warning system and automatic emergency braking are optional upgrades.

The 2020 Kia Optima gets several new standard and optional features as well as the new S model. Optima hybrids and plug-in hybrids now have standard Drive Assist as well as Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Keeping Assist.  Both also add LED fog lights and customizable ambient interior lighting.  Other updates include standard wireless phone charging on all but the lower two models, but all Optima’s now feature pedestrian detection.

FAQ About Best Cars for First-Time Buyers

Q. Which car brand is best for a first-time driver?

Toyota is the best car brand for first-time drivers.

Q. Is it hard for first-time car buyers?

First-time car buyers put a lot of thought into deciding where to buy and how to pay, as well as finding “the one thing.”  Some say the best way to learn is to do it yourself, but first-time car-buying mistakes can cost thousands of dollars, and some mistakes can affect your credit rating and financial stability for years to come.

Q. Is SUVs good for first-time drivers?

General popularity aside, the SUV’s taller seat height rewards less experienced new drivers with a better view of the road.  The best SUV in different size categories are suitable for teenagers and beginners.

Q. Is it worth buying a new car as the first car?

A new car can be expensive even if it’s worth it.  Cars have come a long way in terms of safety, technology, and fuel economy, and this should not be overlooked.  Cars are now more fuel efficient, saving significant money at gas stations, and safer.

Q. How much money should I save for my first car?

Aim to cover at least 20% of the purchase price, which can take time.  If you can put off getting the car until you have the cash, it’s worth being patient and saving for a big down payment. Save money overall and lower your monthly expenses.

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