You love automobiles — the means in which they sound, the way they look, and the way in which it feels when you’re driving. And now you’re looking to get your very own set of wheels for the primary time!
We get the joy. You want to find one thing that you’re going to get pleasure from driving, upgrading, drifting, off-roading, or whatever it is you wish to do with it.
It might not be the automobile of your goals, however remember, it’s your first car, not your last, and there are lots of nice choices to choose from.
In this article, we’ve cherry-picked and reviewed some of the greatest first cars that you can buy as an fanatic.
Good First Cars for Car Guys
Commuters and econoboxes have their place in the car world. They’re sensible, make for wonderful daily drivers, and supply great fuel mileage.
But if you’re somebody who appears forward to the first drive of the day more than the primary cup of coffee, financial system automobiles just won’t reduce it for you.
Perfectly-timed gear shifts, rev-matching, choosing the perfect line, and all that good things is greatest enjoyed in efficiency vehicles like those we’ve listed below.
MK5 Volkswagen Golf GTI
Average Price: $8,000 to $19,000
Engine: 2.0L EA113
Power Output: 197 hp at 5,100 to six,000 rpm
Torque: 207 lb-ft at 2,200 to five,200 rpm
Curb Weight: three,565 lbs
A fun and reasonably priced household automotive turned tuner icon, the VW Golf GTI is the last word every day driver scorching hatch. Specifically the MK5 — it’s arguably essentially the most complete GTI of all of them barring the relatively underdeveloped DSG variant.
Previous generations of the GTI are as iconic and collectible as they get, but they really feel dated and lack modern-day safety options. Many will agree that the MK5 is a monumental improvement over the MK4.
The MK5 has a thriving aftermarket community swarming with individuals who’ve modified these automobiles in every method conceivable.
It’s not a fast automobile by any means, however it’s quick sufficient to impress most first-time automotive homeowners. In phrases of gas financial system, count on anywhere between 27 to 31 miles per gallon.
Ensure to get the cam belt, water pump, and tensioners inspected by a VW specialist as these components are likely to fail. Another common problem with these automobiles is faulty diverter valve rubber seals.
These can disintegrate and cause a boost leak. A telltale sign is if you hear a whistling noise when you give it some fuel and notice that the facility is not fairly there.
Don’t neglect to improve the exhaust system, set up a set of coilovers, and a 2-step rev limiter.
ninth Gen Honda Civic Si Coupe
Average Price: $12,000 to $20,000
Engine: 2.4L K24Z7
Power Output: 205 hp at 7,000 rpm
Torque: one hundred seventy lb-ft at 4,400 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,877 lbs
The Civic Si is the weapon of alternative for countless car guys throughout the globe. Many remained loyal to the platform and others deviated from it only to understand they have been missing something very important.
Admittedly, the ninth gen Si feels like a watered-down version of its higher-revving predecessor owing to a model new engine. Unlike the previous K20Z3 powerplant which redlined at 8000 rpm, the K24Z7 has a decrease rev restrict at 7000 rpm.
That said, it has elevated displacement through an extended piston stroke, and despite that, it retains the eleven.0.1 compression ratio from the K20Z3. There’s a lot more torque; a hundred and seventy lb-ft at 4400rpm in distinction to the K20’s 139 lb-ft at 6200 rpm.
For first-time drivers, the ninth gen Si is more forgiving as it has a softer suspension in comparability with the eighth gen Si. If you favor the razor-sharp dealing with of the latter but need a 9th gen, coilovers or decreasing springs are at all times an option.
As for the transmission, the one possibility is a 6-speed manual gearbox which is great. Honda sweetened the pot with a helical limited-slip differential.
The Civic Si is a car that grows with your expertise, making it an excellent choice for novices and experienced car fanatics alike. Ford Fiesta ST
Average Price: $11,000 to $17,000
Engine: 1.6L GTDI Ecoboost
Power Output: 197 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 202 lb-ft at four,200 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,720 lbs
The Fiesta ST is the last word used hot-hatch discount on the time of writing. Especially when you suppose about that it just lately received discontinued, along with many different cars in Ford’s line-up.
Ever because it was first launched in 2014, it didn’t get any major upgrades and felt just about the same in real-world driving conditions.
Ford did update the cylinder head design to prevent hotspots from lack of cooling — a common problem that reportedly led to engine fires. The cylinder head was identified to crack from the heat and leak oil over the engine which would then ignite.
A recall was issued to repair this drawback. If you discover a good used example, make sure to examine if the Fiesta ST was a half of the recall.
We advocate the 2017 model 12 months because it got here with a quantity of additional trendy options, stiffer motor mounts, and was typically extra reliable.
Compared to the original Fiesta which made a hundred and twenty hp, the Fiesta ST makes 197 hp owing to its turbocharged 1.6L engine.
Average Price: $3,000 to $6,000
Engine: 2.0L K20A3
Power Output: a hundred and sixty hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque: 141 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,778 lbs
If you’re in search of something that’s as enjoyable and reliable as a Civic, however don’t desire a Civic, take a hard take a look at the Acura RSX.
It’s powered by the tried and true Honda K20 engine, revs to the moon with out flinching, feels like a bigger CRX, and is simple to every day drive.
The RSX was only bought as a 2-door coupe, which is a good factor. These cars are fairly reliable, however some of them are vulnerable to have grinding points with the gearbox.
Other than that it’s a pretty stable platform. Aftermarket parts are widely obtainable, however there’s nothing mistaken with leaving your RSX inventory.
These could be a bit difficult to search out considering how they were only made between 2002 and 2006.
The 16 valve, 2.0L 4-cylinder DOHC K20 engine makes 141 lb-ft at 4000 rpm and a hundred and sixty hp at 6500 rpm. Expect 24 mpg within the city and 31 mpg on the freeway relying on how you drive.
Subaru Impreza 2.5RS
Average Price: $19,000 to $27,000
Engine 2.5L EJ25-H4
Power Output: a hundred sixty five hp at 5,600 rpm
Torque: 166 lb-ft at four,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 1,971 lbs
GC-chassis Imprezas have that unmistakable Subaru silhouette, with its outsized fog lamps and hood scoop. These automobiles ooze rally heritage not simply on paper, however even in the actual world.
Whether you’re driving in snow, rain, muck, or gravel, you can depend on the Impreza 2.5RS to get you house safely, thanks to its symmetrical all-wheel-drive system.
The GC Impreza 2.5RS relies on the 22B which was designed in honor of Subaru’s rally championship wins. Unfortunately, it’s naturally aspirated, but it’s adequately powerful at 165 hp.
It’s an old machine — hop inside and Subaru’s priorities with this automobile turn out to be abundantly clear. The inside is as fundamental because it gets. We’re speaking about exhausting plastics and material seats. But all that can seem trivial once you actually drive it.
It’s a superb first automotive for any car enthusiast, and it’s one that we are ready to easily suggest with confidence.
Average Price: $6,000 to $15,000
Engine: three.5L VQ35DE / VQ35HR
Power Output: 300 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque: 371 Nm at 4,800 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,602 lbs
The Nissan 350z is a no-brainer. We’ve endlessly raved on concerning the versatility of Z cars. They make for the most effective drift automobiles, every day drivers, tuner automobiles, and even dragsters.
The VQ35DE and VQ35HR engines are overengineered and extremely reliable. Do some digging and you’ll come throughout 1000’s of 350zs for sale. 370zs are nice too, however they’re barely dearer. Check out our 350z vs 370z information for extra info.
Even though most used 350zs will most likely be trashed by the earlier proprietor, the percentages of discovering a mint instance aren’t low.
Modifying the 350z is quite straightforward due to the abundance of assets on the topic. Upgrades like installing a 350z plenum spacer, coilovers, and aftermarket exhaust systems are simple sufficient to be accomplished in your driveway.
Find a 350z manufactured between 2005 and 2008 to keep away from the CD001 and CD008 transmissions as they had points. You want the CD009 meeting.
Nissan updated the engine to their VQ35HR variant in 2006. The latter is a a lot better motor overall, so if you’ll like the best 350z you possibly can presumably discover, look for a stock, low-mileage 2008 variant.
Fiat 500 Abarth
Average Price: $9,000 to $27,000
Engine Capacity: 1.4L Fire TurboJet I4
Power Output: 160 hp at 5,500 rpm
Torque: one hundred seventy lb-ft at 2,500 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,512 lbs
On the outside, the Fiat 500 Abarth is an amusingly small and cute car. But whenever you put your foot down on the pedal is when you’ll realize that it’s a proper sleeper automobile.
Tipping the scales at just 2512 lbs, the power-to-weight ratio on these cars is not any joke. eleven.forty six lbs is all it has to push for every unit of accessible horsepower.
There’s a decent number of aftermarket elements for the 500 Abarth, and so they are typically a little more inexpensive compared to elements for comparable vehicles just like the Mini.
And because of its smaller size, any efficiency mods that you just set up will compound and make a a lot larger impression.
Mazda Miata (NA/NB) MX-5
Average Price: $4,000 to $10,000
Engine Capacity: 1.8L BP-Z3 / BP-W4
Power Output: 146 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque: 124 lb ft at four,500 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,348 lbs
You’ve heard it earlier than; Miata is all the time the answer. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’re a teen, an adult, or an enthusiast, this is the last word driver’s automotive for you.
Even although it’s revered as a weekend automotive and often given the designation of a toy, it could be utilitarian enough for daily use.
These automobiles were once low cost, but they’re increasing in worth at a staggering price. Gone are the times when you would find one for under $5,000.
We suggest looking for a mint-condition NB Miata from the 2000 mannequin yr. NBs aren’t too far-off from the NA by means of driving dynamics, and they’re still cheap.
You can look into NC Miatas as nicely, but these cars are a lot more costly and lack the mechanical honesty and analogue feel of the previous iterations.
You can discover a plethora of aftermarket parts for these automobiles. Modifying the Mazda Miata can be a good suggestion or a nasty one relying on what you intend to do with it.
The possibilities are infinite. You’ll discover every thing from aftermarket Miata coilovers, clutches, brake pads, seats, roll bars, exhaust methods, and much more.
Good First Cars for Teens
Looking for something safe, practical, and cool enough in your teen to actually be excited about?
Below we’ve listed 3 cars that fall right into this category. Each of them has modern-day safety options and they make for unbelievable every day driver vehicles.
Gen four Mazda3 (BP)
Average Price:$1,000 to $21,000
Engine Capacity: 2.5L Skyactiv-G PY-VPS
Power Output: 186 hp at 5,700 rpm
Torque: 186 lb-ft at three,250 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,a hundred lbs
The BP Mazda3 is a modern-day household hatch that appears like one thing straight out of the lengthy run. Designed underneath the management of Yasutake Tsuchida, the new 3 is 25 mm longer than before and features a stunning, no-bodylines design.
With a 7000 rpm redline, the 2.5L naturally aspirated 2.5L 4-cylinder Skyactiv-G engine makes 186 hp and 186 lb-ft owing to its excessive compression design.
Compared to the earlier era, it has the precise same drivetrain and is just a bit more highly effective.
Sadly, there’s no manual transmission for all-wheel-drive Mazda3s. You should buy this car with a guide transmission but that choice is reserved for FWD variants solely.
Another notable change is the switch from multilink independent suspension to torsion beam suspension. Despite the latter being much less superior, the experience high quality feels plush and adequate to maintain complaints at bay.
The NVH ranges have been considerably improved and Mazda’s newest G Vectoring Control+ torque vectoring system works astonishingly well.
The BP variant is the primary ever Mazda3 in North America that’s out there with AWD. Get yours in Polymetal gray, the look will certainly grow on you.
We favor the look of the hatchback. Surprisingly the hatch and sedan do not share any body panels in any respect.
ZN6 Toyota 86
Average Price: $20,000 to $25,000
Engine Capacity: 2.0L BOXER 4U-GSE
Power Output: 197 hp at 7,000 rpm
Torque: 151 lb ft at 6,four hundred rpm
Curb Weight: 2,824 lbs
The Toyota 86 is a lot like the Miata, in the sense that it’s not too highly effective, but what makes it special is the way in which it goes around corners.
It’s the best first automotive for car guys who’re simply getting started on their automotive journey and wish to start with one thing sporty and unintimidating.
The close to 50:50 weight distribution and RWD combination make it an absolute hoot to drive. Modification potential is immense, however remember that any modifications will impact your Toyota 86 insurance coverage cost.
Ever because the 2nd gen ZN8 was launched, first gen ZN8 Toyota 86s have flooded the classifieds. They’ve held their worth surprisingly nicely, but they’re still a bargain contemplating the worth you’re getting for your cash.
If you dislike the inventory dealing with, you probably can always buy a set of coilovers for your Toyota 86.
Gen 3 Subaru Forester 2.5XT
Average Price: $29,000 to $37,000
Engine Capacity: 2.5L EJ255
Power Output: 224 hp at 5,200 rpm
Torque: 226 lb-ft at 2,800 rpm
Curb Weight: 2,400 lbs
The Subaru Forester XT is arguably an imposter in the world of SUVs. From the appears of it, it resembles a crossover or wagon. But in actuality, it’s a proper SUV and is capable of some critical off-road driving.
If you’re in search of a household automotive that even your teen can drive, this could be a nice option. It’s packed to the brim with modern security options and presents glorious visibility, and stability.
For a automotive this size, it’s stunning to see a 2.5L 4-cylinder engine, but don’t let the size deceive you. The Forester XT presents ample energy to pass different autos on the freeway when you need to.
What’s more is that it has energy on all 4 wheels, making it straightforward to navigate snowy, mucky, and wet terrain which provides to its safety.
The Best First Sports Cars to Own
There’s one thing a couple of sports car that really will get your heart racing. Whether it’s basic American muscle or one thing else completely, sports activities automobiles are a special breed.
So, if you’re in search of one thing that drives fast and has tons of upgrade choices, we’ll spotlight a number of the finest decisions below.
Gen 6 Ford Mustang V6 (S550)
Average Price: $24,000 to $37,000
Engine Capacity: 3.7L Cyclone V6
Power Output: 300 hp at 6,500 rpm
Torque: 280 lb-ft at four,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,520 lbs
If you see the Mustang for what it is, by wanting previous and even embracing the stereotype, you’ll discover that it’s really an excellent first sports activities automotive to own and drive. Is it the best? Probably not, but there’s no denying that it deserves a spot on this record.
But what actually earns Mustang a spot on this listing is that there’s a trim level for a number of completely different budgets, all the finest way from the EcoBoost Fastback to the Shelby GT500.
Many will disagree with our selection, however we just like the gen 6 (S550) V6 Mustang the most effective. Owing to its discontinuation in 2017, many of those have flocked into the used market, and they’re an excellent discount.
The three.7L V6 is abundantly highly effective, you proceed to get the Mustang allure, and most significantly, you get usable energy.
So if you want a Mustang as your first sports activities car however don’t wish to decide to both the underpowered EcoBoost or the overpowered V8, the V6 is a cheerful medium.
There’s a good probability you’ll outgrow your Mustang sooner or later, and that’s when you can begin modifying it.
2016+ Chevy Camaro 1LT/2LT V6
Average Price: $21,000 to $37,000
Engine Capacity: three.6L LGX V6
Power Output: 335 hp at 6,800 rpm
Torque: 284 lb-ft at 5,300 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,500 lbs
Another certainly one of our favourite pony cars is the Chevrolet Camaro 1LT paired with the optionally available three.6L LGX V6 engine. You can also go for the 2LT and 3LT trim ranges with the same engine if you’d like a couple of further bells and whistles.
The 2LT isn’t a major improve over the 1LT; the only extras you get are:
* Heated/ventilated front seats, and
* Dual-zone automated local weather management.
The 3LT has a bunch of extra options corresponding to:
* Heated and auto-dimming mirrors
* 8″ touchscreen infotainment system
* 9 speaker Bose audio system
* Rear camera mirror
* Customizable ambient lighting
* Driver’s seat reminiscence settings
* Heated steering wheel
* Wireless charging pad, and more.
However, at that price bracket, you would possibly as well simply opt for the 1SS with a V8 engine. We recommend the three.7L V6 for a similar cause why we recommend the V6 Mustang — it’s adequately quick enough to feel like a proper sports activities automotive.
The only draw back is that the V6 engine can only be paired with a 10-speed automatic transmission.
C5 Z06 Corvette
Average Price: $25,000 to $28,000
Engine Capacity: 5.7L LS1 V8
Power Output: 405 hp at 6,000 rpm
Torque: 399 lb-ft at 6,000 rpm
Curb Weight: 3,117 lbs
The C5 Z06 Corvette is the final word sports automobile bargain. It will blow away pretty much another sub $30k automotive when it comes to straight-line efficiency.
With an enormous and beefy 5.7L V8 underneath the hood and a curb weight of simply 3117 lbs, you presumably can imagine just how much enjoyable it is to drive.
Despite being an 18-year-old car, it has held up fairly well. There are many low-mileage examples that you could snag up, and if you intend to do so, act fast as a result of the costs are going up every day.
These vehicles are surprisingly straightforward and unintimidating to drive, making them best for first-time sports automobile house owners.
Buying your first automobile is an exciting time for anybody, however it’s even more exciting when you’re a automotive enthusiast. With any of the cars we highlighted right here you’re certain to have a blast.
Do you’ve any questions on any of the cars on our record or feel like we missed a great choice? Let us know what you assume within the comments below!
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