Face it, girls will think differently of cars than guys (with exceptions, obviously) and the same thought applies to moms and dads. The list of things to look for and their priority in that list will be different. Combine them together and you get a super tight, many-point list of the ultimate first car. This article may not be of much help to all parents trying to get a new car for their kids. But you might want to read up and get used or older versions of the cars mentioned below. Today, you get a host of automobile brands that vie for everything under the sun that can fit in a car and under your budget at the same time.
Deciding the Best Car
The best car for a novice tends to have a longer list of accessories and safety gear than most other cars. Here's all the things you need to take care of before you set foot in the car markets or look for a car.
Center of Gravity
The taller the car, the higher its center of gravity over the road. This will make the car prone to rolling over inclines and to roll faster than ones with a lower center. It delves into the misconception that if you buy a big car, chances of you getting hurt are reduced. What happens is that even if you won't get hurt, the chances of getting in an accident are increased. It is not uncommon for beginners to forget the handbrake over slopes.
This is the first thing that comes to the mind of parents or safety conscious beginners. You'll be looking for things like anti-lock brakes, multistage advanced front air bags, side and head-protection, curtain air bags, and electronic stability control.
Whatever you try to buy under the budget, always know that safety always comes before money. It would, at the end of the day, be more affordable to buy a safer car than a cheaper car. As far as the total budget is concerned, the cars listed below are all around or under $20,000, which is not really affordable for parents when it comes to their kids. It is why you can just browse through the list to get an idea of what that used car you will be buying should have.
Rest assured, most of these cars are going to find buyers because of their looks, whether they look strong or quirky.
Although you shouldn't let your kid drive around a muscle car the first time around, you need to pay attention to the car's acceleration. There is such a thing as getting caught for driving too slow. You also need a car that can merge into highways easily.
A big concern over the long run. This is another factor to stay away from big cars as they are just not fuel efficient.
List of 10 Best Cars
Taking all the above factors into consideration, you get the following list of 10 of the best cars that are safe, look good and fit your bill.
2011 Kia Soul
It is one the most fuel efficient box-on-wheels you will find today. The car makes 142 hp off its 4-cylinder engine, has great handling and comes for a nifty $16,190 sticker price.
2009 Toyota RAV4
This car is Toyota's old solution for getting size and fuel economy to come together in one car. As far as SUVs go, the RAV4 is smaller than most others. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in fuel efficiency, safety and control and still manages to cough up that extra leg space. Comes at the dealer's price of $18,666 and gives a 27mpg on the highway.
2009 Honda Civic
As one of the best value for money cars out there, the Honda Civic is also one fun car to drive around. The only place the Civic takes a hit is its comfort, it takes a bit long to get used to it. You won't get traction control on the lower trim levels either, so you need to shell out a little extra to get those better features. The Civic has an excellent handling and comes at a dealer price of $17,863.
The higher end Chevy Malibu LTZ comes with a 6-speed transmission and you have an option between a 2.4 liter 4 cylinder ECOTEC engine or a 3.6 liter V6. If you're a beginner, stick to the ECOTEC, you'll save fuel and not risk losing control of your car. The only reason this car may not be such a good buy for beginners is its 6-speed transmission and a paddle shifter to switch between automatic and manual gear. The LT automatic would be the better option which comes at a dealer's price of $13,754.
As far as the budget is concerned, the Kia Forte holds cheaper costs above all else. So much so that it just might be little bad. The average price you pay for the car starts out at $15,000. The car does have all the standard safety features, a great fuel economy and a decent space and comfort level. But you might find the interiors a little too cheap. The fact that the cabin gets noisy on rough roads might also be a put down. But if you have constraints on the amount you can dish out, the Forte is fair, even slightly more than fair if you drive right.
If money is not an issue for you and you just want an SUV or a full size wagon, the Outback is the car for you. It is a little pricey and has a low fuel efficiency, but makes up for everything by offering you safety and handling. The car can drive on almost any type of road without compromising on controls. The downsides to the car are its price (will get very expensive as trim levels go higher) and a slightly hard steering.
One of the best options for buying a new car as a beginner. It has all the standard safety features, comfort to a high degree, optimum control; all for a starting price of $13,000. Leather upholstery and heated seats make you disbelieve the price it is coming for. All in all, the Fiesta is very comfortable, practical and a good looking car.
2011 Honda Fit
A small car with a large cargo hold, the Honda Fit is the most practical car in the market. It has a high fuel efficiency (27/33mpg) and excellent handling. The starting price of the Fit is $16,260. The car is fun to drive, looks good and is pretty fast and still in control.
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
If it reminds you of the Chevy Aveo, it is nothing like it. The Sonic is much, much better than that. The Sonic gives you everything you could hope for from a small Chevy, all at the starting price of $10,000 - $13,000. Yes, there are not many luxury accessories on the car, but the Sonic more than makes up for that with its brilliant performance and stylish looks. The Sonic gives quite a good fuel efficiency, being a small car.
This is one of those cars that end up becoming a smart buy in the long run. If your kid is conscious about his/her carbon footprint, then they will probably want to get a Prius. Although the 2008 model comes at a base price of $21,000, with a 48/45 city/highway fuel efficiency and near-zero emissions, this is definitely an option to consider.
All the cars mentioned completely capable of delivering the goods. There are more options that you can go over, but if you're willing to spend for a brand new car for your teenager, chances are it will be one of these. So take your pick and go for a test run.