When assembling a list of the best cars for new drivers, there are a number of concerns to bear in mind. First and foremost is safety. New driver typically means inexperienced, and inexperienced can mean subject to accidents. If one happens, you’ll want to be in a car with a strong reputation for protecting its occupants. That’s why each car on our list of best cars for new drivers (except one—more on that later) is an IIHS Top Safety Pick.
Now, with that being said, often when we’re talking about new drivers, we’re also talking about young drivers. Most young people do appreciate a degree of style in their set of wheels. To that end, we’ve also made it a point to ensure each car on this list has a bit of verve. In other words, we tried to make sure each selection was a car a younger person wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen in.
Finally, but by no means least important, is price. If you’re buying your young driver their first car, or particularly if they’re buying it themselves, odds are budget is a big part of the equation. While there are all sorts of luxury cars out there noted for their safety features, power, and cachet, they are also —in all likelihood—budget busters for most people. For that reason, we ensured every car on the list could realistically be purchased for less than $25,000.
While this list focuses specifically on cars, a couple of crossover utility vehicles do fill the bill too. Most notable are the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport, which starts at $19,470, and the Mazda CX-5, which starts at $21,545. Both are good handling vehicles with better than average fuel economy, handsome styling, a strong feature set, and both have earned IIHS Top Safety Pick Status. We’d have no problem recommending either of those as well.
Now that we’ve explained our reasoning, we have to report the answer to the question; ”Can you have safety, style, and remain budget wise—all in one car?”, is no.
You can actually have it in 10.