The Best First Car

These photos featuring the cars discussed in the article show the body styles and interiors of each car.

Imaan Moten, Photojournalist

Over half of our school is now learning how to drive, but to do that, you will need to choose a vehicle. With this comes the question: What is the best first car? There are many factors to consider to find the answer, but the top two are price and safety. I have looked through many different articles and reviews, and I have taken first-hand experience from others to narrow it down to the top three. 

The first car on the roster is a classic- this has been stereotyped as a “typical first car.¨ The car is the 2022 Honda Civic and is the winner of the 2022 Best Compact Car for the cost award. Currently, the Honda Civic has a score of 8.6 out of 10, which is based on the evaluation of 23 pieces of research and data elements using various sources by Cars US. This score is mainly based on critics’ ratings, performance, interior, safety, quality, and reliability. It is the model’s 11th generation, building on everything that has made this vehicle one of the most popular small cars around. It is reasonably priced starting at 22,350 and has many affordable lease options. The Civic has sports-engaging handling, a comfortable ride, and excellent fuel economy. Inside, the Civic is packed with technology, and everything is presented in a clean and modern design. Both rows of seats are roomy and comfortable, while the trunk is impressively sized for the segment. Based on this, the Civic 2022 is one of the best first cars because it has the best combination of quality and value in its class.

The next car I wanted to feature is less prevalent but still a very good option to consider- it is the Nissan Versa 2022. This car is by far one of the most affordable. It starts at $15,180 and still manages to be spacious, seating 5 people. Though it is rather basic, the Versa is decently finished inside, and it rides comfortably. While the list of the now standard driver-assistance features is relatively slim, it does include a forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and forwards automatic emergency braking. These safety features, along with the price, are what makes this car such a good option.  On the other hand, the Nissan isn’t exactly a powerhouse, but it comes with an economical 122-horsepower four-cylinder engine that’s paired with a continuously variable automatic transmission- if that means anything to you, the reliability rating is 83/100 and the USN overall score is 7.9/10. 

The last car and arguably the public favorite is the 2022 Toyota Corolla. The Corolla starts at $22,185 and has a Reliability Rating of 85/100 plus a USN Overall Score of 8.0/10. The car remains fairly traditional, coming standard with a 139-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, and a continuously variable automatic transmission. Most impressively, the Corolla comes standard with a full slate of driver-assistance features, which, in addition to the basics, include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning with lane-keep assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. The standard infotainment system includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and Amazon Alexa connectivity. The interior is upscale, and the touch-screen infotainment system is easy to use.  It’s comfortable to drive, fuel-efficient, loaded with standard tech and safety features, and renowned for its dependability.

I don’t have a car yet, but now that I have my permit I have started to think about getting one. Right now I don’t really have an idea but once I look into it more I am sure that I’ll find a car that works for me.”

— Adil Ismail

While these are all excellent options there is one thing to note: your first car should be one that you will remember forever, so make sure to choose the one that suits you best and allows you to feel most comfortable when driving. YLHS Student Adil Ismail (11) comments, “I don’t have a car yet, but now that I have my permit I have started to think about getting one. Right now I don’t really have an idea but once I look into it more I am sure that I’ll find a car that works for me.” This is definitely something that a lot of other people can relate to now, so I hope this article helps!