Pierce’s Picks – The Best Cars for New Drivers

by | Feb 6, 2024 | Entertainment, Newspaper 4, Opinion | 0 comments

Highschool is often seen as the biggest turning point in a person’s life. We get older, more mature, and best of all- we start to drive. Yes, getting your license is a rewarding and accomplishing feeling, but can you really utilize it without access to a car? If you weren’t given a car as a gift or a hand-me-down, then you are probably in the market for one right now. Hopefully you’ve done some research on what you want, taking into account the price range, safety, amount of fun, etc… but if you didn’t, you might want to continue reading.

Before I start listing cars, it’s important to know what to look for. For most people, the car has to be fun and exciting enough to drive on a daily basis (this isn’t exactly the most important thing when it comes to first cars, but for some people it tops the priority list). The car also has to be decently safe, so that Miata you’ve been looking at probably won’t pass. The car will also probably have to be cheap, but this varies based on how much you or your parents are willing to pay. Lastly, your car should be easy to maintain. Taking all of that into account, I’ve come up with a few suggestions for a first car.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class (2006-2009)

Yes, I’m aware that Mercedes isn’t exactly known for their low maintenance costs, but let me tell you- The 2006-2009 E-class defies the stereotype that Mercedes gets. Prices for one with under 100,000 miles range from around $4,000-8,000, so pricing isn’t exactly an issue. These E-classes are known for their dependability and relatively low maintenance cost, which as a teen driver, should not be something you need to worry about. The best part of the Mercedes is that you now own a luxury car, and these things are really nice inside. Wood paneling, leather seats, climate control; this E-class has most modern amenities for a fraction of the cost of a modern car. One of the cons, however, is that they only take premium gas. Yes, this hurts, but lower engine models can get pretty good gas mileage (Like the e320, it has a V6 and can achieve 27-32 Miles per gallon on the highway). Overall, these cars are built to last (something that isn’t exactly common among other Mercedes) and will offer you luxury and comfort at an all around affordable price, making it my favorite choice on this list. 

Various Honda Civics

As a car enthusiast, I was a little reluctant to put the Civic on the list because it’s very common, but it is an undeniably amazing first car. Almost every generation (besides models in the last 5 years) can be found well below the $10,000 mark. For that money, you get a few things. Most notably you get a bulletproof engine. Just about every Civic has an insanely reliable engine that is built to last. Beyond their dependability, these Hondas get really great gas mileage and have very low average maintenance costs. This can be brought down to relatively nothing if you can do your own basic work on the car like fluid changes and tire rotations. As for the comfort and interior, the Civic is pretty standard. Newer ones give you most comfort features like power seats and Car play, and the older ones give you just the necessities. That’s fine, because you spent the bare minimum on the car and will continue to pay virtually nothing in maintenance and gas, which I see as a complete win.

Toyota Highlander (2004-2007)

Like just about everything that Toyota makes, the Highlander is extremely dependable. Similar to Honda, the Toyota engines will last a long time long enough for you to move out and make your own money and buy your own car. These engines come in two variants: A smooth six cylinder and a fuel efficient four cylinder. No, you won’t be winning any races with your Highlander, but you will be getting good gas mileage. Not spending money on gas also bleeds into another pro of the Highlander- Its low maintenance cost. Toyota kept it simple with these cars, meaning most work can be done by yourself or for extremely cheap.

Making Money For a Car

I’m sure a lot of us have Bentley taste with a walking budget, and that’s pretty hard to accept. If your parents or family members aren’t helping you buy your car, how do you get the money for it? There really is no right answer to that in our society, and there’s lots of ways to come about money. When earning money comes to mind, just about everyone’s first thought is a job. Yes, this is the most standard way to make your money, but there are more less-tedious ways to earn your pay. One such broad example is starting your own service business. This includes car detailing, lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, pressure washing, etc etc. These self-startups can help you make your own money, meaning you take home all of the pay at the end of the day. As someone who did car detailing over the summer, I can reassure you that it’s a lot more freeing than going to work every day. If you’re great at mowing lawns, you can do that, which can sometimes be more profitable than being paid by the hour. If you really want that car, and you have enough drive to get the money for it, then you will quickly realize that your goal is not impossible by any standards. Who knows- maybe your Bentley taste will drive you to have a Bentley budget.



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