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October 25, 2018

9 Best Used Cars for First-time Drivers: How to Pick the Car of Your Dreams

Buying your first wheels is a huge milestone. While some people couldn’t wait to get their hands on the latest model of Ford or Honda, there are others, especially those on a tight budget, who’d opt for secondhand cars. With the economical prices and low insurance costs of used automobiles, they make an ideal choice for new drivers.

There are factors to consider before purchasing a used car. Like, what’s the best brand for your style and driving skill? Should you go for a car that’s less pricey but with a poorer performance, or the other way around—a bit pricey but with a better performance?

The most critical thing to consider, however, is that the quality of the car you’re buying should be worth its value. It would be unfair on your part if you purchase a high-priced car only for you to end up paying more for its maintenance in the future.

You can find many secondhand vehicles for sale almost everywhere in the country. However, looking for the perfect car would take a lot of time and possibly some negotiations. With our list below, we’ll make sure that you’ll be able to pick the car of your dreams.

To make it easier for you to select the right car for yourself, we’ve included the safety rating and price range of each model. Without further ado, here are nine of the best used cars for first-time drivers:

 

2007-present Honda CR-V

Price range: $11,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

The embodiment of reliability, sensibility, and safety, Honda CR-V has been one of the most popular mini-SUVs ever since it came out in 1997. With its powertrain options, fuel efficiency, advanced safety technology, and a hands-free liftgate, there’s no doubt that Honda is a top pick of car enthusiasts.

Both old and new models alike come with several chassis settings that prevent potential accidents from happening. These include recalibrated springs and shocks, new front control arms, and wider wheels. Additionally, the newer ones tend to make less noise, look twice as attractive, and offer a superior performance with their well-refined engines.

 

2006-present Toyota RAV4

Price range: $12,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Toyota RAV4 prides itself as the first compact crossover SUV in the world. Designed with a stylish and rugged exterior, the RAV4 is made for people who follow an adventurous lifestyle.

If you’re looking for a car that can perform impressively both on and off the road, the RAV4 sounds like the perfect match. Powered by a 2.5-liter dual VVT-i engine, the model guarantees you high fuel economy, decreased fuel emissions, and incredible engine output. Its safety features such as hill-start assist control, downhill assist control, and vehicle stability control are among the reasons that make RAV4 stand out.

Both third and fourth generation models, which are equipped with four- and six-cylinder engines, are well-suited for first-time drivers. With their fine mix of infotainment, safety, and power-packed systems, it’s no wonder the RAV4 has become a global hit.

 

2010-present Toyota Prius

Price range: $11,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Orange Toyota Prius - VeteranCarDonations.orgThe world’s first mass production hybrid car, the Prius has been redefining the Toyota hybrid driving experience ever since it came out in 1997. Its unique LED taillights and headlights, sleek LED lights, spacious high-tech modern interior, and outstanding driving dynamics are just among the many other features that have contributed to its major success.

Another remarkable attribute offered by Prius would be its battery’s capability to recover more energy than most brands. That being said, you can spend more time in a smoother and noiseless EV mode. All these would explain how the model was able to sell a total cumulative of 6.1 million units worldwide.

 

2005-present Ford Mustang

Price range: $13,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Striped Ford Mustang - VeteranCarDonations.orgThanks to the innovative minds behind Ford, the muscle car market is back on track once again. Debuting in 1964 as a sporty car, the Mustang has achieved widespread popularity, even inspiring a class of “pony car” competitors, one of which is the 1970 Dodge Challenger.

One of the best things about owning a secondhand Mustang is that you’ll have affordable access to horsepower, which can last a long time. Fifth generation models can be chosen between a V6 or V8, whereas sixth generation cars can either be a V6, V8, or a turbo-four cylinder. Both generations boast of powerful engines and high fuel economy.

The most recent model features a stronger V8 and turbo four-cylinder engines, as well as a new 10-speed auto transmission. If you wish to buy a used Mustang, it’s best that you learn about its after-market modifications first. Sports cars are known to have a limited service life due to the way many of their owners treat them.

 

2011-2016 Scion tC

Price range: $12,500-$18,700

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

The Scion tC offers everyone a fun and sensational driving experience. Not only does it provide a top-notch build quality, but the 179-hp, inline-4-cylinder engine model always has always kept a good reliability record for its owners.

Before its production was discontinued in 2016, the tC was the most popular model of Scion from 2005 to 2007. In fact, many of its buyers were millennials.

 

2005-2015 Nissan Xterra

Price range: $20,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Yellow Nissan Xterra at a Beach - VeteranCarDonations.orgXterra is easily one of the models ideal for outdoor enthusiasts. With its 4.0-liter 24-valve V6 engine and 265 horsepower, it’s fair to say that the Xterra is a force to reckon with. Such efficiency and power make it effortless for the model to climb farther and faster in places with high elevations.

Both generations feature a two-box design to enable stadium seating, “C” pillar-mounted rear door handles, and a bump-out on the rear gate made for an interior first aid kit. Unfortunately, Nissan decided to stop producing Xterra during the fall of 2015.

 

2005-2015 Toyota Tacoma

Price range: $16,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Available in two cab style options, the Tacoma comes with four-cylinder or V-4 power, both offering impressive road performances. Although it has poorer fuel economy than its competitors, the pickup is known for its strong build quality and ability to run well off-road.

The Tacoma has technology features unlike any other. With its rear parking sonar and standard backup camera, drivers wouldn’t have to worry about bumps or obstacles anymore. Also, its multi-terrain select feature allows drivers to match their car’s performance with the type of terrain they encounter, making their trip even smoother and enjoyable.

The Tacoma has earned the title of Motor Trend Magazine’s 2005 Truck of the Year.

 

2014-present Kia Soul

Price range: $10,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

Introduced in 2014, the Kia Soul is powered by a 130-hp or 164-hp four-cylinder engine. While many may agree that the model doesn’t offer an attractive exterior, its top-level performance, spacious and stylish interior, and advanced safety features have greatly made up for it.

Like the other Kia products, the Soul comes with a 10-year and 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty.

 

2010-present Chevrolet Equinox

Price range: $12,000 and up

Safety rating: Good

Why buy it?

If you’re looking for a model that offers a great blend of style and functionality, the Chevrolet Equinox might just be the one for you. The crossover SUV is equipped with a 2.4-liter, 182-hp 4-cylinder engine, though later models offer a variety of V6 engine options.

Among the many reasons to consider buying the Equinox would have to be its dual-cockpit design, Intellibeam headlamps, safety alert seat, and the surround sound system feature. The model has even received the J.D. Power Dependability Awards.

 

Why Not Donate Your Clunker to Help Our Vets?

After knowing the features of the 9 best used cars for first-time drivers, you are now in the best position to choose which one to purchase. If this car will serve as a replacement for an old one that has been draining your pocket and causing you trouble with its endless repairs, consider donating that clunker to us at Veteran Car Donations.

We will make it quick and easy for you to dispose of your car at zero cost on your part so you can free up space in your garage to house your new car. You’ll even get a thumping tax deduction after we sell your donated car at auction.

At the same time, your donated car will give you the opportunity to provide life-changing assistance to our former servicemen and women who are facing hard times. These are our courageous veterans who once fought for us to defend our freedoms and protect our nation’s security. Unfortunately, many of them are now suffering due to poverty, service-connected disabilities, physical and mental health issues, lack of jobs, and homelessness among other serious problems.

We will sell your car at auction and use the proceeds to support the critical programs of our non-profit organization partners that are geared towards improving the living conditions of our struggling veterans. These programs deliver such services as job training, employment opportunities, mortgage-free and specially adapted housing, physical and mental health care, scholarships, and a whole lot more.

 

Join Us in Transforming Lives

For more information about Veteran Car Donations, our donation process, the tax deductions and other rewards that our donors receive, the types of vehicles you can donate, and other related matters, check out our About Us and FAQs pages. For inquiries, you can call our toll-free hotline 877-594-5822 or send us a message online.

You can make your car donation by either calling us or filling out our online donation form. We accept vehicle donations wherever you are in the United States since we have car donation programs in all 50 states.

Call us at 877-594-5822 and get started with your car donation. We can’t wait to transform lives with you!

Veteran Car Donations operates in all 50 states.

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