28 Best Choices for a New First Car

2019 Kia Sportage
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What Makes for an Ideal New First Car?

There’s not one perfect first car for everyone. Many variables make this a subjective topic. If you’re a teenager and your parents are buying your first car, the choice may be different than if you’re a college student investing in your own vehicle or even a college graduate venturing out into the world.

Your vehicle choice also depends on where you live, your financial situation, and your lifestyle. Perhaps fuel efficiency, state-of-the-art tech features, or eye-catching good looks top your list of must-haves? No matter which car you choose, a vehicle’s safety, reliability, and quality-to-value ratio are key ingredients in making a wise choice.

There are plenty of exceptional vehicles out there. However, finding the time to sift through all the reviews and data can prove difficult. We’ve ranked our best new first car choices based on a combination of each car’s overall U.S. News score, J.D. Power predicted reliability rating, base price, and costs of ownership. Whether you’re 16 or 23, there should be a car on this list that will suit your needs and priorities.

Remember that U.S. News scores are updated on a regular basis as new expert reviews and data come in. For this reason, the scores in this article may not match the scores in our new car rankings.

Continue reading to learn more about today’s best choices for a new first car.