9 Best Cars for First-Time Drivers

Parents, the time has come for you to find a car for your newly licensed driver, but before you hand over the keys to the family minivan or let your youngster pick out their dream car, you should think long and hard about this big decision. Safety and affordability are of the utmost importance to parents, while looking cool is all that really matters to kids. With these and a few other factors in mind, this list will help you find the right car for your first-time driver.

  1. Honda Fit

    Affordability, reliability, and safety; the Honda Fit has it all. But don't let its small car category fool you. The Fit has a surprising amount of cargo space, which will definitely come in handy for towing friends around or moving off to college. This year's model of the subcompact car costs an average of $15,910 to $20,259.

  2. Ford Focus

    The Ford Focus has continued to impress the masses with its smooth drive, affordability, and great fuel economy. Not to mention, parents of first-time drivers will love the Focus' MyKey feature, which allows you to customize a safe maximum speed and speaker volume allowed in the car.

  3. Chevrolet Cruze

    The Chevrolet Cruze has all the perks a young driver could want and need at a good price. The compact sedan has great fuel economy, nice interiors, and drives like a charm. First-time drivers will enjoy the comfortable ride and bonus features like Bluetooth, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a USB port.

  4. Toyota Camry

    When it comes to buying your first car, you can't go wrong with a trusty Toyota Camry. For years, the Camry has given budget-conscious drivers a reliable, safe, and comfortable ride that can last you "forever." This best-selling vehicle got a slight makeover in 2012, with roomier interiors, a smooth engine, and a nice mix of technology.

  5. Volvo XC60

    If you're in the market for an SUV for your first-time driver, but don't want anything too flashy or expensive, then consider getting the Volvo XC60. Whether it's used or brand new, the XC60 provides exceptional safety and impressive features, such as adaptive headlights, blind spot monitoring, high-speed collision warning/avoidance, lane-departure warning, and an alert system that detects when drivers are tired or distracted. You can't beat that kind of protection.

  1. Hyundai Accent

    The Hyundai Accent gets Kelley Blue Book's stamp of approval for affordability, safety, and exceptional roominess. This popular subcompact has grown in size and now has a significantly smoother and quieter ride, thanks to Hyundai's addition of fitted monotube shocks. All in all, it's a simple, small vehicle that packs a nice punch behind the wheel.

  2. Honda Civic

    No matter what generation you get, the Honda Civic is one of the most reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles on the market, and, for most people, the price is just right. This year's redesigned model has a new, distinctive exterior, but continues to provide the practicality and easy, comfortable handling that Civic is known for. It's an all-around great choice for the money-conscious buyer.

  3. Nissan Sentra

    The Nissan Sentra has something for everyone. It's a safe, affordable vehicle that gets good gas mileage, which is perfect for drivers who will be commuting for school or work. Even though it's a small, zippy car, the Sentra provides plenty of comfort and space for up to four passengers.

  4. Ford F-150

    Fear not parents, the Ford F-150 is not the bad boy, gas-guzzling truck that you might think it is. In fact, the F-150 is one of the safest and most fuel-efficient trucks in its class, but in no way does it sacrifice comfort and coolness to bring you these awesome perks. The F-150 is a big and brawny truck that can haul with the best of them, which will definitely come in handy when moving off to college.

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