With a newly obtained driver’s license there is never a better feeling than getting your first car. The feeling of freedom is unparalleled. It’s a step towards maturity and independence! What makes a good first car? Everyone dreams of their first car as a new motor vehicle that they drive out of the dealership yard without a speck of dust on it. But a brand new car is not always feasible, so a used car is the next best thing. However, if you’re not careful, it could be one step closer to financial debt.
One of the biggest fears anyone can have is buying a car that runs on money instead of gas! Nobody wants to buy a lemon that sucks the money out of their pockets just to get it going. A good used first car should be affordable, reliable and repairable. These three qualities are what you should look for when buying a used car as they ensure that your purchase is an investment that pays for itself. In addition, the car must match your wishes. A car is a tool that solves a need and you want to make sure you have the right tool for the job.
#1 Toyota Prius
The Toyota brand has become synonymous with affordable and reliable vehicles. The Prius name also takes precedence when it comes to hybrid vehicles for many reasons. First, it was the very first hybrid car on the market. Since then, it has undergone several generations of innovation, each getting better than the next. The fourth generation of the Prius arrived in 2016 and saw much innovation in design over the previous models. Fourth generation models are particularly beneficial in the used car market and have solved previous problems with the earlier models.
The Toyota Prius originated in an era when gas prices were high. So Toyota’s manufacturers wanted to produce a car that was very economical on fuel. You can certainly see that in the performance of the Prius. The fourth-generation Prius gets an excellent 58 MPG city and 53 MPG highway, which is about twice as efficient as the average car. This is a great feature for new drivers who have to commute a lot while trying to save money on gas.
Obviously, this car will help you save money on gas in the long run. An interesting thing to note is that due to the design of the Prius, it gets better mileage in the city than on the highway. This is the result of the unique engineering of the Prius. At a complete stop, the engine shuts down, saving fuel that would otherwise have been consumed by idling. This is especially useful for city drivers, as they will take advantage of all the advantages of the car’s design.
The Toyota Prius is also a very spacious car, as most models have a hatchback design. This gives the otherwise typical four-door sedan some much-needed cargo space. Unlike other sedans, the Prius comfortably seats four people with plenty of room to spare, which can be especially important for new drivers who don’t have access to a larger vehicle.
#2 Honda Civic
If Toyota is known for its affordable yet reliable car, Honda is the direct competitor. Honda is also known for cheap, durable cars, but the brand tends to add a higher level of sporty handling than Toyota. The Honda Civic is undoubtedly a car that is heavily regarded as one of the best cars on the market. It’s a car that tops the list in terms of popularity, and for a very good reason. The Civic has been around since the 1970s and Honda has had decades of innovation and customer feedback for this model. This is reflected in the reliability aspect of this car. There are not many known common problems related to the Civic. It is a testament to its years of sophistication. Treat it well, and it will treat you well in return.
Another community aspect of Honda Civics is that they are popular among car enthusiasts. They may not look like much, but these cars are actually quite fun to drive. Their engines even deliver up to 200 horsepower in the performance Civic Si trim. In addition, these cars have a reputation for being modified and raced. It could be due to the way the vehicles are designed which makes it simple and easy to replace and install parts. On the other hand, it could also be because used Honda Civics can be quite affordable.
According to Kelly Blue Book, a second-hand 2015 Civic goes for about $14k. If that’s too high, going back a year or two will bring the price down sharply. Unlike other cars, the age of a Civic does not necessarily suggest that it is less reliable or in a worse condition. Their engines can easily get into the 200,000-mile range, making them a solid buy for new buyers.
#3 Mazda MX-5 Miata
A Miata is always the answer† Okay, maybe not every time. However, it’s hard to disprove the many reasons that make a Mazda Miata a great used car. Like the Civic, this car is popular among car enthusiasts. If you are a new driver who has always dreamed of owning a true sports car, a used Miata can make that dream come true.
These two-seater roadsters are a lot of fun to drive because they are so small and sporty. Not only do they offer incredible handling and rear-wheel drive, but they are also reliable. Miatas are uniquely designed not to have certain things, just to keep the car light and compact. Most models have 1.8L or 2.0L four-cylinder engines with about 140-180 horsepower. If that’s not enough horses in the engine, there are turbocharged engines that give the Miata a much-needed boost in performance.
Part of the reason people buy this car is purely because of the fun aspect. They are not for people who regularly ride with multiple friends or relatives. These cars are small. The Miata may not offer much space and may have less horsepower than the average SUV, but it offers something that not many other cars in its price range can offer. It’s so small and low to the ground that it rides as unique as it looks. Most come in a convertible variant, so these cars are meant to be driven with the wind in your hair. Not many cars can offer that experience, be reliable and be affordable at the same time.
There is a used car for every new driver
Whether it’s your first car or not, buying a used car can be a headache. Nobody wants to be stuck with a lemon siphoning the money from the bank. So it is important to know which used cars you can expect a good life from. A Toyota Prius can save you a lot on gas, because they have an absurdly high fuel consumption. The Honda Civic is an all round good compact car that is sturdy and just as reliable as its name yet fun to drive. These cars go through the years and can easily have hundreds of thousands of miles. Finally, there is the Miata. Feels like the most unique of the three cars due to its small, lightweight design. While a practical sports car may seem like an oxymoron, the Miata proves it’s possible. Buying your first car can seem like a daunting decision, but there is a perfectly used model for every driver.