Best Cars for New Drivers

Safe and Affordable Cars for New Drivers

Whether you’re a recently licensed driver or you’re buying a car for a novice driver, there are a few things you should keep in mind when you’re in the process of buying a new car. Safety is probably the biggest concern if you’re buying a car for a teenager. Most cars have advanced safety systems like blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and collision mitigation braking. Technology plays a big part in our lives, so you may also consider a vehicle that has the latest features like Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ so you or your teen can stay in touch with family and friends while traveling. Gas mileage and cargo space may also be high on the priority list especially if a vehicle is needed for the college experience or to start life after college. Based on these factors, Germain Cars has created a full list of vehicles we recommend for new drivers.


Safe and Affordable Sedans

 

2017 Ford Focus

2017 Ford Focus

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

 

There’s many reasons why the fun and youthful Ford Focus is among the best compact sedans on the market. One reason is driving experience. The Focus has a combination excellent handling and a responsive ride. It also comes with a long list of available features. The Sync®3 with Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™ allows the new driver to safely stay connected to the outside world and Ford MyKey® technology helps parents encourage their teenagers to drive responsibly. Safety features for the Focus include standard Rear View Camera and available driver-assist technologies include Reverse Sensing System, Lane-Keeping System, Active Park Assist and Blind Spot Information System with Cross-Traffic Alert. The 2017 Ford Focus earned a perfect 5-star crash-test rating from NHTSA, giving parents and new drivers a peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Starting at $16,775 MSRP
  • Driver-Assist Technologies
  • Available in Hatch, Sedan and Electric Variants
  • Estimated EPA of 25-30 City and 25-40 Hwy MPG
  • Available Navigation System with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link®
  • AdvanceTrac® ESC (Electronic Stability Control) with Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)

2017 Honda Civic

2017 Honda Civic

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick

When equipped with front crash prevention, the 2017 Honda Civic earned the 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick. To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

 

The Honda Civic has been a go-to sedan for parents choosing their teen’s first car because of its reliability, safety and ease of use. After being remodeled in 2016 it takes those things and adds more sporty and sleeker features. On the outside it’s bold and aggressive while on the inside it’s sophisticated and driver-centric. The Civic will not only make you feel cool while cruising down the highway, but also safe. Along with the available Honda Sensing™ technology, it’s backed by a Multi-Angle Rearview Camera and Honda LaneWatch™. Let’s not forget the 2017 Honda Civic earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and earned Top Safety Pick from IIHS. New drivers will also appreciate its excellent fuel consumption of up to 32 city and 42 highway.

Key Features

  • Starting at $19,615 MSRP*
  • Electric Parking Brake
  • Available Honda Sensing™ Technology
  • Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System™
  • Estimated EPA of 28-32 City and 40-42 Hwy MPG **
  • Apple CarPlay™ and Android Auto™

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration and options, but includes $875.00 destination charge. Dealers set own prices.

**28 city/40 highway/32 combined mpg rating for LX model with 6-speed manual transmission. 31 city/40 highway/34 combined mpg rating for LX & EX CVT models. 31 city/42 highway/35 combined mpg rating for EX-T model with 6-speed manual transmission. 32 city/42 highway/36 combined mpg rating for EX-T,EX-L and Touring CVT models. Based on 2017 EPA mileage ratings. Use for comparison purposes only. Your mileage will vary depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle, driving conditions and other factors.


Toyota Yaris iA

Toyota Yaris iA

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick

To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

 

Both parents and new drivers will be impressed with the innovative, 2017 Toyota Yaris iA. This subcompact sedan is fuel-efficient, affordable and packed with sophisticated features. Standard technology features include Bluetooth® Wireless Technology, 7-inch Touch-screen Display Audio and Remote Keyless Entry with Push Button Start. With the combination of a generous fuel consumption and active safety features, it’s easy to go the distance in the Yaris iA.
There’s an estimated EPA of 32 city and 40 highway MPG. Coming standard is an advanced Active Safety System that includes Brake Over-ride System, Dynamic Stability Control, Brake Assist, Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Anti-lock Brake System and Traction Control System. Earning a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and being a Top Safety Pick from IIHS, the 2017 Yaris iA is an affordable and reliable vehicle for new drivers.

Key Features

  • Starting at $15,950 MSRP
  • Active Safety System and Low-Speed Pre-Collision System
  • Estimated EPA of 30-32 City and 39-40 Hwy MPG
  • USB Ports with iPod® Connectivity
  • 7-inch Touch-Screen Display Audio
  • 60/40 Split Fold-Down Seats

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

2017 Volkswagen Jetta

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+

When equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights, the Volkswagen Jetta earns the 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests, an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.

 

There are many reasons why the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a great choice for a young new driver. Its cargo space and passenger room are generous, the four-cylinder engines are efficient and its personality is fun and outgoing. The Jetta comes with its fair share of technology features too. The VW Car-Net® App-Connect lets you select your favorite apps from your compatible iPhone or Android smartphone right on your dash. The VW Car-Net® Guide & Inform gives you a host of features like navigation, sports scores, weather information and much more. Advanced driver assistance features that sense and adapt to driving conditions include Park Pilot, Blind Spot Monitor, Front Assist, Rear Traffic Alert and Adaptive Cruise Control. The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is a proud IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winner and has a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA, making it a safe and reliable car for a new driver.

Key Features

  • Starting at $17,895 MSRP
  • Estimated EPA of 23-28 City and 33-40 Hwy MPG
  • 4-Corner Independent Suspension
  • VW Car-Net® App-Connect
  • Rearview Camera System
  • Suite of Driver Assistance Systems

Safe and Affordable Compact-Crossovers

 

2017 Toyota RAV4

2017 Toyota RAV4

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+

When equipped with specific headlights, the Toyota RAV4 earns the 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests, an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.

 

The 2017 Toyota RAV4 is a great companion for new drivers. With a generous amount of cargo space, it’s perfect to transfer your things into a dorm or to your favorite weekend getaway. Regardless of where you’re traveling, the available all-wheel drive system can help you conquer those harsh storms and daily commutes. Midsize SUVs are notoriously known to make parking and maneuvering difficult. The RAV4, however, offers features to make it a little more easier. Available features include backup camera, front and rear parking sensors and 360-degree Bird’s Eye Monitor. Coming standard with a suite of six advanced safety features and earning multiple safety awards, it’s easy for the 2017 Toyota RAV4 to give you a peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Starting at $24,410 MSRP
  • Bird’s Eye View Camera
  • Toyota Safety Sense™ P (TSS-P)
  • Five Trims Available with Hybrid Variant
  • Up to 73.4 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space
  • Estimated EPA of 23-34 City and 29-30 Hwy MPG

2017 Ford Edge

2017 Ford Edge

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

 

The 2017 Ford Edge is not too big and not too small. It fits in the slot between a compact and a crossover. The perfect size for a new driver. There are three engines available, however, the most fuel-efficient is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost® that has an EPA-estimated 29 Hwy MPG. Along with great fuel consumption, the Edge has technology that is quick and easy to use. The available SYNC®3 can easily respond to voice commands and the sleek smartphone-like touchscreen has impressive responsiveness. Even though the Edge has the design of a compact-crossover, it has a composed ride and direct steering of a sedan. Standard safety features include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, rearview camera and hill hold assist. Ford MyKey® technology is also included and can be used to help your teen or new driver travel more responsibly. The 2017 Ford Edge earned a perfect 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA, giving you a peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Starting at $28,950 MSRP
  • Estimated EPA of 17-21 City and 24-29 Hwy MPG
  • Available Driver Assistance Systems
  • SYNC®3 Technology
  • Standard All-Wheel Drive on Sport Edge
  • Up to 73.4 Cubic Feet of Cargo Space (when second-row seats are folded down)

2017 Honda CR-V

2017 Honda CR-V

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+

When equipped with optional front crash prevention and specific headlights, the Honda CR-V earns the 2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick+. To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK+, a vehicle must earn good ratings in the five crashworthiness tests, an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention and an acceptable or good headlight rating.

 

The completely redesigned 2017 Honda CR-V continues to be a class-leading contender and a new driver favorite. There are many reasons the CR-V is reliable and efficient. It has a slew of safety features like blind-spot monitoring, automatic emergency braking and of course the intelligent Honda Sensing™ driver-assistive technology. The new turbocharged engine has an excellent estimated EPA of 28 City and 34 Highway MPG. Honda is known for its ability to create big space regardless of vehicle size. The CR-V furthers that tradition. The 60/40 rear fold-flat seating offers a variety of seating and cargo options making it easy to accommodate your gear and passengers. In such a popular segment, the Honda CR-V continues to shine because of its practicality, efficiency and multiple safety awards.

Key Features

  • Starting at $24,985 MSRP*
  • Available Real Time All-Wheel Drive
  • Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate
  • Available Honda Sensing™
  • Multi-Angle Rearview Camera
  • Estimated EPA of 28 City and 34 Highway MPG

*Disclaimer: MSRP excluding tax,license, registration and options, but includes $940.00 destination charge. Dealers set own prices.


Safe and Affordable Subcompact

 

2017 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door

2017 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door

2017 IIHS Top Safety Pick

When equipped with optional front crash prevention and only applies to Hardtop 2-door models, the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door, earns the 2017 IIHS TOP SAFETY PICK. To qualify for 2017 TOP SAFETY PICK, a vehicle must earn good ratings in five crashworthiness tests — small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength and head restraints — as well as an advanced or superior rating for front crash prevention.

 

There are few vehicles that blend spunky style and premium appeal like the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-door. It’s precise handling and quick reflexes make it easy for young and new drivers to drive. Technology features like MINI Connected allows you to integrate all of your favorite apps into your MINI — from Spotify® and Pandora® to hardware like GoPro® and much more. Regardless of your daily commute, you’ll make fewer stops at the pump with an EPA estimate of 28 city and 37 highway. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-door will not only make a young driver look trendy, but will give a parent a peace of mind. Safety features include optional adaptive cruise control, optional head-up display, eight dual-stage airbags and corner brake control. There’s also optional parking assist to make parking that much easier. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-door is a fun and hip car that is perfect for young drivers.

Key Features

  • Starting at $20,950 MSRP
  • EPA estimate of 28 City and 37 Highway
  • MINI Connected with 6.5-inch or optional 8.8-inch display
  • Optional Parking Assistant
  • Optional Navigation with Real Time Traffic
  • Limitless Customization