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The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers

New drivers want to enjoy the new ride - no pun intended - while also being safe!

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers

So you have a new driver in your life...

Let's face it: when you, or someone you love, first gets that much-desire drivers license, it's both exhilarating and terrifying.

New drivers, specifically teenage drivers, are some of the most enthusiastic drivers on the road, but statistics will tell you that motor vehicle accidents are one of the - if not the - biggest threats to new drivers. Even aside from those ominous facts, new drivers will want to ride in the cars that best fit their budget, style, and safety concerns. New drivers want to enjoy the new ride - no pun intended - while also being safe!

So to minimize the threat and keep your precious young drivers safe and satisfied, what are the best overall car options for the first time drivers in your life?

Let's take a look:

1Honda Civic

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 1. Honda Civic

The Old reliable. The gold standard. The little engine that could, and has fun while doing it. The Honda Civic has always been a staple for new drivers, as well as experienced drivers, because it's affordable (you can get a good one for about $20k, though it runs a bit more when you add more features), reliable (it's generally reviewed to be one of the safest cars on the road, overall and in its class), and the sleek new design model certainly meets the eye test.

It may not be the sexiest choice out there for young drivers, who might want to show off at times, but it's got enough pop and curb appeal to meet its reliability. As far as the first cars for your new drivers go, this one is about as solid as you can get.

RELATED: Honda Civic vs. Toyota Corolla: Which is More Reliable?

2Hyundai Elantra

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 2. Hyundai Elantra

Older and more experienced drivers who haven't been paying attention for a while may pause at the idea of this car being on the list, as they may have the old memories of Hyundai's unreliable past stuck in their heads.

But that's not the case at all. The Hyundai Elantra is one of the most reliable cars out there, especially for new and young drivers looking to get onto the road. It checks a lot of the same boxes as the Civic, but beats the Civic in an area where many new drivers might focus: the price tag.

While some parents might be able to buy a car for their children, many teenage drivers looking to get their first car know that they're going to need to pay for it themselves. With that said, the Elantra is an affordable option for many a teen looking to pay his or her way onto the road, and with safety ratings and features almost equal to the Civic, it's an attractive proposition for any first time driver (or an experience drived!) on a budget.

3Toyota Camry

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 3. Toyota Camry

To many drivers, Toyota Camry is basically shorthand for a great, reliable, comfortable car with tons of features but not a lot of flash (though for new drivers, style isn't as important as substance). Consistently one of the mainstays of the roads, the Camry is perfect for young drivers and older drivers alike due to its features (i.e. great fuel economy, backup cameras, top-notch safety ratings) and its affordability. Obviously it's not going to be as cost-effective as its compact brethren - a well-stocked model will take you into the upper $20,000 range - but for the longevity you'll get out of it it's well worth plus. Plus, a used Camry can be every bit as effective and enjoyable as a newer model, and is much more affordable for new drivers who want a nicer car without the heftier price tag (for reference, a 2016 Camry would cost under $20k and can go for as little as $15k).

4Toyota Prius

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 4. Toyota Prius

"The Prius?" I hear you ask. "Really?" Yes, really!

While it's common knowledge that the Toyota Prius has a connotation for being a, well, more of a hipster car and a stereotype, that doesn't mean that it doesn't appeal to large groups of people other than just people with ironic mustaches. It is a great car for new drivers as well! It has brake assist, lane assist, and forward collision detection for those young drivers who are still learning the ropes (and can help ease a parent's anxiety about keeping his or her teen safe on the road), earns top safety marks in every category, and - as per its reputation - has great fuel economy and is very environmentally friendly!

Not only that, but its hatchback design - while maybe not the sleekest look - provides lots and lots of cargo space.

5Kia Soul

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 5. Kia Soul

So let's say you and your teen don't want to go the more traditional, "boring" route (you know how teenagers can be when given a "traditional" choice in a matter) with your new driver's first car. They want something a little more untraditional, something you won't see tons of new drivers in all over the road and something that maybe is a little bigger, a little sleeker.

However, you as the parent want something that's still safe, reliable, and won't keep you up at night. So why don't we take a look at the Kia Soul? Yes, it's an SUV, which can be traditionally a bit trickier for first time drivers to effectively manage, but the subcompact nature of the Soul makes it less of an imposing road warrior and more a slightly buffer version of a more traditional vehicle.

Plus, it has safety features galore: rear-view camera, blind spot monitoring, lane assists and departure warnings (to help when your teen may or may not be swerving too close to the edge of his or her spot on the road), and even can provide parents with alerts if your teen goes over the speed limit or is staying out past curfew. Plus, it earns high marks in safety ratings, has solid gas mileage for a crossover SUV, and has a surprising amount of cargo space. The only drawback here is that the price tag can push $30k, but if you can make it work then this could be a sleeper hit.

6Kia Forte

The 6 Best Cars for New Drivers: 6. Kia Forte

Keeping with the same brand here, the Kia Forte is a another option from Kia that can appeal to teenage drivers just starting out.

It has impressive fuel economy like many others on this list, and boasts a simple set of controls that first time drivers can easily figure out and manage without complication.

Plus, it also features automatic climate control and earns high marks in all safety categories. Also, like its Soul teammate, it has the feature to provide parents with alerts about their teenage drivers going over the speed limit, going out of area or staying out past curfew, and other such controls that will lessen a parent's anxiety.

It can also come nicely equipped for right about $20k (or less), which makes it a great value for new drivers just starting out.

The Bottom Line

So there you have it. Of course, you can always do your own in-depth research on the best cars for new drivers, but these are some suggestions for what to recommend for the first time drivers in your life!

RELATED: What Are the Worst Cars for Teenage Drivers?

[1] ^ U.S. News & World Report: Best New and Used Cars for Teens
[2] ^ Consumer Reports: Best Cars for Teen Drivers
[3] ^ IIHS: Safe vehicles for teens
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#3 Honda logoStellantis Netherlands
#4 Mercedes-Benz Group logoMercedes-Benz Group Germany
#5 Ford logoFord Motor United States
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#2 Bridgestone logoBridgestone Japan
#3 Continental logoContinental Germany
#4 Goodyear logoGoodyear United States
#5 Sumitomo logoSumitomo Japan