The first car you buy is everything. It’s what you’re going to learn to drive in. It’s what your friends are going to see you rolling around in everyday. Hell, it might even be where you have your first kiss.
The point is that if you’re in the market for your first car, you have to know what you’re looking for. And we’re here to help. The cars on this list are super-safe, a ton of fun to drive, and affordable on any kind of budget! One of the cars on this list even gets nearly 50 MILES PER GALLON ON THE HIGHWAY!
New-comers to the car-buying world, listen up. We’re going to take you through the 8 best first cars for teens.
Honda Fit – Fits Anywhere
For new drivers who’re wobbly behind the wheel, it’s probably better to have a smaller car that doesn’t take up the whole lane. It’s common sense: less road space taken up, less chance that you’ll bump into another driver.
The Honda Fit was designed to be a compact companion for teen drivers, and it was named accordingly. This car can FIT into parking spaces the size of a toothpick, it can FIT in your driveway even if your dad drives a monster truck, and it can also FIT into your budget. At under $6,000, this little bugger is a steal. Not to mention it’ll save you a bunch of money on gas-getting at 34 miles to the gallon on the highway.
The Honda Fit also comes standard with some safety features that are great for those who’re new to the road, such as front side and curtain side airbags and antilock brakes. But if you’re thinking I’m starting to sound like your mom, don’t worry! The Fit is fun to drive too!
It’s quick and agile around town and can pivot around street corners with ninja-like style. It’s a bit slower, however, when moving at highway speeds. But, hey, what can you expect from a car that can probably FIT in your pocket!
Subaru Outback – No-Draggin’ Wagon
Think about it: you and your friends can pile into your new Outback’s generous passenger space, throw a grill and a tent in the trunk, and get your first taste of freedom with a weekend camping trip! But if things get too chilly up on the mountain, don’t worry! Just flick on those heated seats and the de-icing windshield wipers and cruise home in comfort.
And to make mom and pop happy, this outdoor exploring machine also comes standard with some top-of-the-line safety features like fog lights, 4-wheel disc brakes, and comprehensive airbag systems for driver and passengers.
The Outback is a solid bang for your buck at under $6,000, especially when you factor in that it gets 27 miles to the gallon on the highway, which is pretty good compared to other cars in its class.
As for what kind of mileage it gets in the middle of the forest, go try and find out! The Outback is designed to take you down any fire road, dirt road, country road, you name it! And mud and snow is no problemo!
Find a cheap Subaru Outback on AutoTempest!
Scion tC – Seven-Airbag Snag
The least expensive car on our already inexpensive list, the Scion tC is a snag for first-time car buyers on a budget.
The Scion brand was actually created by Toyota to appeal to younger customers, and it’s a damn shame they discontinued their Scion branch, especially when it was putting out nifty little silver bullets like the tC.
This two-door compact cruiser is perfect for teen drivers because of its affordability, its wonderful safety features, and because of how easy it is to drive.
The tC has seven airbags in total, so the driver and passengers alike can ride with peace of mind. I don’t even know how they fit that many airbags into this miniscule machine. It’s also got antilock brakes and tire pressure monitoring for even more safety assurance.
And it’s not just safe, the tC’s got style too. With a streamlined and sleek exterior on the outside, and some shiny silver accents to brighten up the inside, this car ’s got style that’ll impress the whole school.
And for those of you who like to let your tunes ring out through the parking lot, the tC is strapped up with a Pioneer subwoofer that produces bass that’ll shake the whole damn place! Nothing like arriving in a shiny new ride with your windows cracked and your favorite track on blast!
Find a cheap Scion tC on AutoTempest!
Kia Soul – Spacious and Sport Mode
Now, I don’t know where you stand on the boxcar look. It’s like pineapple on pizza. Some people love it and some people hate it. But there’s some things you should know about the Kia Soul before you make up your mind.
First of all, that boxcar design makes it extremely easy to get in and out, and you’ll absolutely never feel cramped when you’re inside a Kia Soul.
Second, this car is arguably the best on our list when it comes to tech features. Bluetooth comes standard in this model, which is extremely important considering most teenagers nowadays probably don’t even know what an AUX cable is. And it’s also got a sweet touch-screen infotainment system that responds to your voice.
The third thing you should know is that the Kia Soul’s got a flex-steer system that allows you to switch between three different driving styles even when you’re already rolling. Nowhere to be? Switch on Comfort Mode and coast along. Feeling that tingle in your feet, that need for speed? Kick this Kia into Sport Mode and smoke it down the road. And yes, of course, it’s also got a normal setting.
This car’s truly got soul, and some sweet features to prove it.
Find a cheap Kia Soul on AutoTempest!
Volkswagen Golf – Tee’d Up Transmission
Contrary to popular belief, golf isn’t just for old rich guys at country clubs. Nope, this whip is a great buy for people of all ages and tax brackets, but it’s especially suited to young drivers looking to get behind the wheel of their first car.
It’s the perfect mix of practical, affordable, and powerful. Believe it or not, its unassuming compact body houses a 170-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder. And when you combine that with the Golf’s six-speed automatic transmission and super on-point steering, this little bratwurst is a blast to drive!
And while the looks of the Golf are admittedly not going to score you any points with the ladies, the inside is surprisingly spacious and that hatchback trunk is like Mary Poppins’s bag. Well, no it’s not magical, I suppose. But you can sure fit a lot of junk in it!
And the VW Golf does a lot to keep that junk, as well as the owners of the junk, safe from harm. They installed an Intelligent Crash Response System that automatically locks all the doors, cuts off the fuel pump, and turns on the hazard lights if the airbags are deployed. Lots of new drivers end up in fender benders, but it’s good to know the Golf’s got your back if something more serious happens.
Find a cheap Volkswagen Golf on AutoTempest!
Mazda3 – All-Around Sound
Let’s talk Mazda, and for once, not the Miata.
The Mazda3 is one of the most fuel efficient cars on our list thanks to what Mazda calls “Skyactiv technology”. This streamlined machine gets a whopping 40 highway miles to the gallon! You might end up going to the gas pump once a month! And although that guy who owns the gas station might miss you, your bank account will definitely be thankful.
And the Mazda3 boasts more than just excellent gas mileage, it also handles like a samurai sword! Yup, that’s sharp, people! The 3’s ride is super composed with little to no body lean, and this ride is also exceptionally safe, receiving IIHS Top Safety Pick honors and some impressive crash safety ratings.
In terms of tech, the 3 has a touchscreen navigation system that really pulls the modern interior of the car together.
This Japanese joyrider is safe, super fun to drive, equally nice to look at, and will save you a fortune on gas. Plus, it could be sitting in your driveway for under $6,000! Hats off to Mazda for this one.
Find a cheap Mazda3 on AutoTempest!
Hyundai Accent – Underpowered and Underpriced
Yet another compact entry-level car with superb fuel economy, this Korean cruiser may be your first car, but you’ll never want to give it up.
The Accent is certainly in tune with Hyundai’s fluid and stylish design language in both its sedan and hatchback configurations. It’s got wave-like lines running up and down the body, and its headlights, which come with an optional fog light feature, even look like a pair of water droplets.
But if safety is what’s more important to you, then you’ll be pleased with what the Accent’s got to offer: antilock braking, a traction control and electronic stability system, and active front head restraints. Okay, maybe you won’t be burning rubber and blasting BTS , but you will be safe and sound as you make your way to and from work, the supermarket, school or the bank. And you’ll look good doing it.
All of this for under $4,500. The guys at Hyundai just dropped you a bargain.
Find a cheap Hyundai Accent on AutoTempest!
Toyota Prius – Not Just For Uber
Now, while the Toyota Prius is the most expensive car on the list, if there’s one thing you should know about this car, it’s that it’ll return those extra couple thousand dollars tenfold over its lifespan with what it’s going to save you at the gas pump.
Wait for it… 48 highway miles per gallon? Absurd! And on top of that? These cars are also fairly reliable and won’t have you running back and forth from the mechanic’s. There’s a reason every Uber ride you’ve ever been in is a Prius.
But the Prius isn’t perfect, unfortunately. It does miss the mark when it comes to ride quality. It can feel a bit shaky on rough roads due to low profile tires and a suspension thats built for pristine pavement.
And if a quiet ride is what’s most important to you, you might want to pass on the Prius, because it can get pretty loud in the cabin when you’re on the highway. I’m not talking Metallica-concert-loud, but it’s certainly not quiet.
At the end of the day, the Prius’s M.O. is fuel economy. So if you’re into saving a couple thousand bucks and saving the planet while you’re at it, pick up a Prius for your first car.
Find a cheap Toyota Prius on AutoTempest!