The 5 Best Cars for First-Time Buyers

Best Mileage

Honda Civic


This compress automobile — accessible in coupe, sedan, or hatchback versions — gets adult to 42 miles per gallon on a highway. It’s ample inside — ideal for daily treks to and from a office, and a infrequent weekend highway trip.

Best Value

Hyundai Kona


Stylish inside and out, a Kona comes with confidant colors and an ergonomic pattern and starts during usually $20,480. The front chair is one of a biggest in a class, and a compress SUV is zippy, with a 147-horsepower engine.

Best for Safety

Volvo XC40


The XC40’s interior maximizes storage; it’s also tech-friendly, with perks like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a wireless charging pad. But it’s still versed with all a reserve facilities we know Volvo for.

Most Reliable

VW Golf


Small yet roomy, a Golf, accessible as a five-door hatchback or four-door hire wagon, doesn’t scapegoat speed for distance with an engine that creates 170 horsepower. It’s good for cities or a open road.

Best Overall

Mazda CX-5


The sporty CX-5 is a well-spoken float and has an even smoother design, with a prolonged front finish and complicated curves. The steering, brakes, and cessation make for a quick ride, and a thick windshield gives we assent and quiet.

Fact: Cars cost a lot of money. Also fact: Depending on where we live, owning a automobile can be a essential partial of adulting. So if you’re going to bombard out all that cash, we wish to get something that’s practical, safe, and arguable — yet also something that isn’t going to demeanour like you’ve been pushing it given comparison year of high propagandize (RIP to my Jetta).

The perfect series of cars on a marketplace can be overwhelming, and a cost tags can be officious cringe-inducing. But don’t usually go for what your relatives had or what your friends drive. Your automobile should simulate your personality, fuel your ambition, and keep we connected with high-tech amenities — yet promulgation we into debt. Start with one of these 5 creates and models, all of that demeanour 💯 yet ring in during reduction than $35,000.

Jump to: Honda Civic, Hyundai Kona, Volvo XC40, Mazda CX-5, or VW Golf

Commuters will conclude a Civic’s ample interior and additional load space, and a good gas mileage. Made for cruising, a compress automobile — accessible in coupe, sedan, or hatchback versions — gets adult to 42 miles per gallon on a highway. And it’s got a rapid pickup, interjection to a turbocharged, 158-horsepower, four-cylinder engine.

The sedan, starting during $19,835, is atmospheric inside, with some-more than 42 inches of legroom in a front seats. The behind is some-more cramped, though, with usually 37 inches of space. And while a pattern facilities gaunt some-more toward duty than peep (see: cosmetic and cloth trim), there are intelligent storage options and some-more load space than many of a competitors. The Civic also comes with a 7-inch audio-system arrangement (an discretionary ascent gets we dual some-more inches and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto).

The Civic — featuring discretionary reserve facilities like adaptive journey control, lane-departure warnings, and forward-collision warning — is ideal for daily treks to and from a office, and a infrequent weekend highway trip, nonetheless a seats could comfier. If you’re looking for something a tiny sportier terms of appearance, opt for a Civic Si or Civic Type R.


For anything this compress SUV lacks in size, it creates adult in fun. It’s stylish inside — with worldly sum and an ergonomic pattern — and out, with confidant colors and thespian features. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto keep we safely connected, and a all-wheel expostulate can assistance we navigate worse terrain.

Kanye rapped about rolling adult in a Hyundai like it was a bad thing, yet a musty subcompact, starting during $20,480, is flattering eye-catching, from a SUV-style cladding around a bottom to a “eyebrow” character lighting. Plus, we can select from splendid colors like Surf Blue, Pulse Red, and a signature Lime Twist.

You’ll find a same panache inside. The leather steering circle contrasts easily with a digital dash, that also houses a customary 7.0-inch touchscreen (you can opt for an 8.0-inch section with navigation and wireless charging). The cushy seats are ergonomic, and a front chair is one of a biggest in a class, with scarcely 42 inches of legroom. The behind chair isn’t utterly as soothing or roomy, yet it’s excellent for passengers who aren’t too tall.

Most importantly, you’ll have fun driving this car. It’s zippy — with a 147-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine — and comes with discretionary all-wheel drive, if you’re some-more adventurous. You’ll get 30 miles per gallon (an electric chronicle is due after this year), and discerning steering and reflexes creates a automobile super responsive, even if you’ll feel each bump.


Let go of a thought that Volvos are what relatives drive. New perks like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and a wireless charging pad, and a streamlined redesign and crafty storage options (a removable rubbish bin!), are creation younger buyers compensate attention. But it doesn’t scapegoat trustworthiness for style, and Volvo’s best reserve facilities still come standard.

The company’s third SUV release, starting during $34,195, is geared toward younger drivers, and it shows in a design. More compress than a predecessors, it has a same organic Swedish styling with a tiny bit of aptitude in a boxier figure and unconventional steel trim. And we can rev it up, interjection to dual engine options that furnish possibly 184 or 248 sum horsepower.

Smaller than Volvo’s other SUVs, a XC40 creates a many of a interior space. The leather seats are comfy, and there’s a storage cubby underneath a driver’s seat, and a offshoot underneath a glove box to reason a purse or takeout food. In a back, you’ve got room for dual six-foot-tall adults, and 32 cubic feet of storage in a trunk. The automobile is also super tech-friendly: There’s a 9-inch touchscreen arrangement with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, and navigation, so we can sync your phone and afterwards accumulate it on a wireless charging pad for a rest of a ride; we can evidence Spotify, phone calls, and texts right from a dash.

And yes, it is a Volvo, so we know it’s packaged with reserve features: Forward-collision warning, traffic-sign detection, and a driver-attention guard come standard.


City dwellers will adore a small Golf, that is usually as nimble to expostulate by complicated trade as it is out on a highway. As tiny as it might be, there’s a lot of good things going on, from a rapid engine to a sporty demeanour to a surprisingly gentle behind seat.

Small, practical, and fun to drive, a Golf, starting during $21,760, has been around given a 1970s, and it’s still a tellurian bestseller for Volkswagen. The German company, that also produces Audis, has nailed this compress car’s streamlined look, and nonetheless a starting cost is really affordable — either we opt for a five-door hatchback or four-door hire automobile called a SportWagen, that also comes in an all-wheel-drive various — zero about it feels cheap.

One of a smaller cars in a class, a Golf technically fits five, yet it’s a parsimonious fist with 4 adults. That said, there’s some-more than 41 inches of legroom in a front and scarcely 36 in a back; plus, a behind chair is aloft than you’d find many cars, that indeed creates it surprisingly gentle even on prolonged rides. There are no genuine frills inside, nonetheless a sound insulation creates it feel even some-more luxe than it is.

The Golf’s distance creates it a good choice for city dwellers, yet it’ll hoop good out on a open road. It comes with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that creates 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, that means you’ll collect adult speed nicely.


When we take into comment a sporty CX-5’s road-hugging steering and suspension, that creates for a well-spoken ride, and a neat design, it all adds adult to a automobile that’s as stirring to expostulate as it is to demeanour during in your driveway.

No matter what Mazda we get, it’s going to demeanour sporty AF, yet a CX-5, starting during $25,145, gives we a tiny some-more of a oppulance feel than you’d get in a customary SUV. With a bigger grill, longer front end, pointed lights, and complicated curves and lines, it looks like we paid during slightest $50,000 some-more than we indeed shelled out for this subcompact.

There’s some-more sound insulation and a thicker windshield than prior models, that make a newest chronicle CX-5 super still — a good perk for when you’re stranded in traffic. A leather-wrapped steering circle and change knob, 7.0-inch infotainment shade (sans Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a Wi-Fi hotspot, though), and an discretionary 10-speaker Bose surround-sound audio complement also make a interior feel some-more grown-up. The Mazda isn’t as ample as a competitors, yet you’ll still get 41 inches of legroom in a front and scarcely 40 inches in a back.

On a road, a CX-5 isn’t utterly as quick as it looks, that isn’t indispensably a bad thing — it usually feels like it should be rapid since it looks so sleek. The 187 horsepower, four-cylinder engine comes standard, yet for what it lacks in speed, it creates adult in reliability; a steering, brakes, and cessation make for a quick ride. Standard reserve facilities embody a blind-spot monitor, front programmed puncture braking, and a behind cross-traffic monitor.


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