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

2020 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 2020 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 $20,550 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, $930.00 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.


2020 Toyota Yaris

2020 Toyota Yaris

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

The 2020 Toyota Yaris is a subcompact sedan which offers fuel efficiency, affordability, and eye-catching style. Sure to be a hit with both parents and new drivers, the Yaris includes standard features such as remote keyless entry w/Push Button Start, 7-inch touch-screen display audio, and Bluetooth® streaming audio capability. Thanks to a combination of outstanding fuel efficiency and active safety features, the Toyota Yaris is ready to go the distance. The standard Active Safety System includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), and Brake Assist (BA) for added confidence and peace of mind. Receiving a 5-Star overall safety rating from the NHTSA, the 2020 Toyota Yaris proves to be a top choice for new drivers.

Key Features

  • Starting at $15,650 MSRP*
  • Active Safety System — includes Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Traction Control System (TCS), Brake Assist (BA), Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), Brake Override System (BOS)
  • 7-inch touch-screen display audio
  • 60/40 split fold-down rear seats
  • 2 USB ports with iPod® connectivity
  • EPA-estimated 32 MPG city / 40 MPG hwy*

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

**2020 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


2020 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 2020 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 $18,745 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.


2020 Ford Fusion

2020 Ford Fusion

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

Far from your typical midsize sedan, the Ford Fusion features a commanding presence thanks to its LED taillamps, striking side character lines, confident stance, and dynamic front grille. No matter what type of driver you are, it’s simple to find the right Fusion for you thanks to your choice of five individual trim levels and four powertrain options. By using the available SYNC® 3 system, drivers can enjoy voice-activated technology in addition to seamless access to multimedia. Available interior amenities include leather-trimmed heated and cooled front seats featuring quilted bolsters and perforated inserts. Proving that the Ford Fusion is an excellent choice for new drivers, it now comes equipped with Ford Co-Pilot360™ — a new suite of features designed to add confidence behind the wheel. As a result, the Ford Fusion has been awarded with a 5-Star Overall crash-test rating from the NHTSA, giving parents and new drivers peace of mind.

Key Features

  • Starting at $23,170 MSRP*
  • Your choice of four powertrains: 2.5L iVCT I-4 with 175-horsepower, 1.5L EcoBoost® I-4 with 181-horsepower, 2.0L EcoBoost I-4 with 245-horsepower, 2.7L EcoBoost V6 with 325-horsepower
  • New Ford Co-Pilot360™ suite of standard driver-assist technologies
  • Standard AdvanceTrac® electronic stability control with optional Intelligent all-wheel drive (AWD)
  • Optional Audio System from Sony® with 12 speakers and HD Radio™ Technology
  • Standard SYNC® Voice Recognition Communications and Entertainment System with 4.2-inch color LCD screen

*Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (also referred to as “MSRP”, “Base MSRP”, “Base Price” or the “Starting At” price), excludes destination/delivery charge, taxes, title, license, and registration and/or electronic filing fees, dealer fees, and total of options.

**EPA-estimated city/hwy mpg for the model indicated. See fueleconomy.gov for fuel economy of other engine/transmission combinations. Actual mileage will vary. On plug-in hybrid models and electric models, fuel economy is stated in MPGe. MPGe is the EPA equivalent measure of gasoline fuel efficiency for electric mode operation.


Safe and Affordable Compact-Crossovers

2020 Toyota RAV4

2020 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 2020 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 $25,850 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.

**2020 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.


2020 Ford Edge

2019 Ford Edge

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

NHTSA 5-Star Overall Safety Rating

Not too big and not too small, the 2020 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 $31,100 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.


2020 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 2020 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 $25,050 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, $1,095.00 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.


Safe and Affordable Subcompact

2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door

2020 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door

Few vehicles on the road offer the iconic spirit and unique character of the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door. It delivers precise handling and nimble responsiveness which is sure to be a hit with young drivers. 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 MPG city and 38 MPG highway. The MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door will not only make a young driver look stylish, but will give a parent 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 maneuvering out of a tight space that much easier. Endless personalization options from MINI Yours help the MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-Door reflect your own unique personality.

Key Features

  • Starting at $23,400 MSRP*
  • EPA-estimated 28 MPG city / 38 MPG hwy*
  • MINI Connected system with 6.5-inch multifunction center display
  • Optional harman/kardon® premium sound with SiriusXM® Satellite Radio
  • Available Parking Assistant
  • Optional Navigation with Real Time Traffic

*Model year 2019 and 2020 MSRP does not include destination and handling charge of $850 and excludes license, registration, taxes and options and labor to install. Certain features may be optional. Actual price determined by your authorized MINI dealer.