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

2021 Honda Civic

2020 Honda Civic

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

Known for its reliability, safety, and ease of use – the 2021 Honda Civic remains a top choice for parents searching for their teen’s first car. On the outside, the bold and aggressive styling is sure to turn heads. Inside, the cabin features premium materials and a driver-focused layout. Not only can you cruise in complete style behind the wheel of a Honda Civic, you can also do so knowing you’re protected from the unexpected. Available Honda Sensing™ includes a suite of features that can assist and help you sense things you might miss while driving. The Honda Civic has achieved a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA. New drivers will also appreciate its excellent fuel efficiency, with an EPA-estimated rating of up to 32 MPG city and 42 MPG highway**.

Key Features

  • Starting at $21,250 MSRP*
  • 6-speed manual or available continuously variable transmission (CVT)
  • Available Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive features
  • EPA-estimated 32 MPG city / 42 MPG hwy*
  • Optional Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation System with voice recognition
  • Available LED headlights (low & high beam) with auto-on/off

*MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $995 destination charge, options and accessories. Dealers set own prices.

**25 city/36 highway/29 combined mpg rating for Sport 6MT trim. 30 city/38 highway/33 combined mpg rating for LX CVT and Touring trims. 29 city/37 highway/32 combined mpg rating for Sport CVT trim. 32 city/42 highway/36 combined mpg rating for EX & EX-L trims. Based on 2020 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.


2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Toyota Corolla

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

The 2021 Toyota Corolla is sporty, stylish, and safe. Parents and young drivers alike will find plenty to love behind the wheel. Standard features include LED headlights, a 7 inch touchscreen audio interface with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability, and an integrated backup camera. In addition, every Corolla comes with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 (TSS 2.0), which includes a Pre-Collision System with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist , Automatic High Beams, Road Sign Assist, Lane Tracing Assist, and Full-Speed Range Dynamic Radar Cruise Control. All of this safety tech is important, of course, but the Toyota Corolla has the brawn to go along with the brains. Its strong body structure has helped it to earn a 5 star crash safety rating from the NHTSA.

Key Features

  • Starting at $20,025 MSRP*
  • Star Safety System™—includes Vehicle Dynamics Integrated Management (VDIM), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Brake Assist (BA) and Smart Stop Technology® (SST)
  • 8-inch touchscreen audio with 6 speakers
  • Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay®, and Amazon Alexa compatible
  • 10 airbags
  • 30 MPG city/38 MPG highway/33 MPG combined**

*MSRP excludes the Delivery, Processing, and Handling Fee of $955. Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally related equipment.

**2021 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


2021 Volkswagen Jetta

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Best Cars U.S. News & World Report

Generous cargo capacity and passenger room, a fuel efficient four-cylinder turbocharged engine, and athletic handling are characteristics of the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta that make it a great choice for young drivers. Select your favorite apps from your compatible iPhone or Android smartphone right on your dash with VW Car-Net® App-Connect. VW Car-Net® Guide & Inform gives you access to 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. It comes as no surprise that the experts at U.S. News & World Report have named the Volkswagen Jetta to their prestigious Best New Cars for Teens list.

Key Features

  • Starting at $18,995 MSRP*
  • EPA-estimated 30 MPG city / 40 MPG hwy**
  • Volkswagen Car-Net® App-Connect
  • Rear View Camera System
  • Bluetooth® technology with audio streaming for compatible devices
  • Available BeatsAudio® System

*Starting MSRP excludes destination, taxes, title, other options, and dealer charges

**Based on EPA estimates. See www.fueleconomy.gov for details. Your mileage will vary and depends on several factors, including your driving habits and vehicle condition.


2021 Chevy Spark

2021 Chevy Spark

The 2021 Chevy Spark is small on size, but big on features – and fun. On the outside, buyers can choose between 10 different colors to reflect their unique styles. Inside, a host of technology allows you to remain connected to what you care about most, no matter where you go. You’ll be able to go farther, too, thanks to an excellent EPA fuel economy rating. With the seats folded, you’ll find that this small hatchback has plenty of room to carry anything your young driver needs – which will be a big help when your teen driver leaves for college! Its compact size comes with a compact price, too, meaning that there will be plenty of cash left in that college fund.

Key Features

  • Starting at $14,595 MSRP*
  • 7-inch diagonal touchscreen
  • Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay® compatible
  • 2 USB ports
  • 10 airbags
  • 30 MPG city/38 MPG highway/33 MPG combined**

*MSRP excludes the Destination & Freight charge of $995. Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally related equipment.

**2021 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


Safe and Affordable Compact-Crossovers

2021 Toyota RAV4

2021 Toyota RAV4

Designed for Safety

No matter if it’s a quick trip downtown, an adventure up the mountain, or a cross-country vacation — the Toyota RAV4 has the good looks and rugged capability to make every drive more memorable. Its chiseled side profile, robust shoulders, and pronounced wheel arches prove the RAV4 is more stylish than ever before. A standard Dynamic Force 2.5-Liter Inline 4-Cylinder with VVT-iE paired with an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission ensures that you’ll have the perfect combination of power and efficiency. All 2021 RAV4 models come standard with Wi-Fi Connect powered by Verizon, hands-free access to Amazon Alexa, and Apple CarPlay compatibility. To top it all off, no other compact SUV prioritizes your safety quite like the the RAV4 which comes standard with Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. This includes new active-safety technologies and capabilities which enhance your driving confidence.

Key Features

  • Starting at $26,250 MSRP*
  • Dynamic Force 2.5-liter I4 engine with VVT-iE mated to an 8-speed Direct-Shift Automatic Transmission
  • Standard Toyota Safety Sense 2.0
  • Audio — 7-inch touch-screen, Android Auto™, Apple CarPlay® & Amazon Alexa compatible, and SiriusXM® with 3-month All Access trial
  • Optional 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with memory and 2-way lumbar support
  • Available hands-free power liftgate

*MSRP excludes the Delivery, Processing, and Handling Fee of $955. Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally related equipment.

**2021 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


2021 Ford Edge

Ford Edge Styling

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

Not too big and not too small, the 2021 Ford Edge is the perfect-sized crossover for young drivers. With three available engines, the one that’s sure to be the biggest hit with teen drivers and parents alike is the 2.0-liter EcoBoost® which offers an EPA-estimated 29 hwy MPG fuel economy rating. Aside from fuel-saving performance, the Edge offers technology that’s intuitive and quick to use. Available SYNC®3 can easily respond to voice commands while the sleek touchscreen display places important information front-and-center. Enjoy excellent versatility and cargo-carrying ability from the practical crossover layout of the Edge. Standard safety equipment includes traction and stability control, front side airbags, side curtain airbags, rearview camera, and hill start assist. Ford MyKey® technology helps encourage young drivers to travel more responsibly. The Ford Edge has earned a 5-star overall safety rating from NHTSA, giving you a peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Starting at $32,250 MSRP*
  • EPA-estimated 22 MPG city / 29 MPG hwy*
  • Up to 73.4 cubic feet of cargo space (second-row seats folded down)
  • SYNC®3 Technology
  • Available Driver Assistance Systems
  • Optional All-Wheel Drive

*Starting MSRP excludes destination/delivery charge, taxes, title and registration. Optional equipment not included. Starting A, Z and X Plan price is for qualified, eligible customers and excludes document fee, destination/delivery charge, taxes, title and registration. Not all vehicles qualify for A, Z or X Plan.

EPA-estimated city/hwy mpg for the model indicated. See fueleconomy.gov for fuel economy of other engine/transmission combinations. Actual mileage will vary.


2021 Honda CR-V

2020 Honda CR-V

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

With an available leather-trimmed interior, spacious seating for five, and technology to make life on the road more enjoyable – the 2021 Honda CR-V is committed to comfort and convenience. Perfect for young drivers, the CR-V delivers an array of available advanced safety features including Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC), Blind Spot Information System (BSI), and Collision Mitigation Braking System (CMBS). Optional turbocharged engine power helps the Honda CR-V achieve an EPA-estimated 28 MPG city and 34 MPG highway fuel economy rating. Standard 60/40 split folding rear seats help create a variety of seating and cargo options for transporting your gear and passengers. Awarded with a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the NHTSA, the 2020 Honda CR-V is a top choice for young drivers.

Key Features

  • Starting at $25,350 MSRP*
  • Available Real Time All-Wheel Drive
  • EPA-estimated 28 MPG city / 34 MPG hwy*
  • Optional Hands-Free Access Power Tailgate
  • Bluetooth® HandsFreeLink® and streaming audio
  • Multi-angle rearview camera with guidelines

* MSRP excluding tax, license, registration, $1,175 destination charge and options. Dealers set own prices.

**28 city/34 highway/30 combined mpg rating for 2WD trims. 27 city/32 highway/29 combined mpg rating for AWD trims. Based on 2020 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.


2021 Jeep Compass

Jeep Compass Styling

Jeep is known for building tough, rugged vehicles that are read to tame the wild outdoors. The Jeep Compass is a great choice for your teen driver’s first Jeep. With available four-wheel drive, it will offer the confidence-inspiring traction you need in cold, snowy climates like ours. Putting a teen behind the wheel of a top-heavy SUV can be scary, but the Jeep Compass is equipped with standard stability control with anti-roll protection. The Compass is also roomy, with plenty of cargo space for carrying gear. It’s a great crossover for active kids who play sports or music. Naturally, the unmistakable Jeep style will make them a hit in the high school parking lot, too.

Key Features

  • Starting at $24,095 MSRP*
  • Jeep Uconnect® 4 infotainment with 7-inch display
  • Satellite radio ready
  • Maximum cargo volume of 59.8 cubic feet
  • 8 airbags
  • 322 MPG city/31 MPG highway/25 MPG combined**

*MSRP excludes the Destination charge of $1,495. Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally related equipment.

**2021 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.