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The ten best cars for novice drivers
Everyone remembers their first car. It's not just a way to get to school or work - getting your own car is part of growing up, a taste of freedom and independence. But with so many different cars, finding the best car for a novice driver can be confusing.
The biggest hurdle is almost always car insurance. Therefore, in the list below you will only find cars with small engines, which should keep insurance costs low. The other running costs should not be underestimated either.
But there are many other aspects that must be considered in a car for novice drivers: It must have good safety equipment and a lot of technology. Young people use their smartphones for almost everything, so Apple CarPlay or Android Auto should also be at the top of the list of desirable functions.
The first car should be easy to drive and easy to park due to the lack of driving experience. However, the car does not have to be inferior. We have selected the right vehicles and tell you which advantages and disadvantages are associated with each.
1. VW Polo
Admittedly, the VW Polo is not very cheap, but you get everything a novice driver desires: modern safety equipment, safe driving behavior and reliability. It's really worth investing a little more, because you can usually drive the Polo for a few years without any problems. The entry-level variant is not a rocket with 65 hp, but those who rarely drive on the highways will not have any problems. The basic model is equipped with a city emergency braking function, pedestrian detection, hill start assist and Front Assist.
If you want more, you have to pay extra. But that doesn't matter, because the safe handling and the convincing crash protection of the Polo allow you to drive from A to B without any worries even without the optional safety assistant. If you can afford the extra cost compared to other small cars, you should definitely consider the Polo.
2. Hyundai i10
The Hyundai i10 is a good choice for those who don't need too much space. It's a city car, which means it's a little smaller, but it's also cheaper to buy and insure.
The 1.0 liter engine might not be very fast or exciting, but that's probably music to the parents' ears. It's still fun and it keeps costs down. The entry-level models are quite sparsely equipped, but the i10 is a cheap car, so financially higher equipment versions with more standard equipment should be able to cope with. From the Trend equipment line, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also included.
The i10 has a good trunk for such a small car, and its tiny size makes it easy to park and easily fit through narrow city streets. This is handy for a somewhat nervous novice driver to gain confidence, and despite its size, it is not uncomfortable to drive on the motorway either.
3. Skoda Fabia
The Skoda Fabia is solid and designed for practical everyday use. That is not a criticism at all, on the contrary. Because an entry-level car should offer more benefits than lifestyle. With the Fabia you get exactly that, the workmanship is solid, the operation is intuitive and it is also exemplary in terms of driving safety. Unfortunately, you can also tell from the price that it belongs to the VW group. As with the Polo, you have to spend almost 12,000 euros for the basic version, but that definitely pays off.
The smallest motor here only offers 60 hp, which might be a little bit. Nevertheless, long journeys are not a problem, at least when it comes to the seats, because you can still sit comfortably on them after hours. The brakes, workmanship and driving behavior are to be rated very positively, because VW has done nothing and also donated good quality to the group brother.
4. Fiat 500
A classic and a car that exudes charm and character - that is the Fiat 500. The outstanding design makes it the perfect lifestyle car, you just have to like the little Italian. It feels good in the city because it is nice and short and fills even the smallest parking spaces. Driving is very pleasant, the chassis reacts good-naturedly and cornering also works without any problems. The entry works well with the 69 hp engine, it is solid and has been in use for several years. You notice that the 500 places more value on lifestyle than on utility when you get in. The space is okay, but it quickly becomes tight for the legs and head at the back.
The assistance systems could also be more numerous, because the base price is just under 12,000 euros. A whole lot of money, which is largely justified by the enormously positive image and the cute design. Despite the somewhat too high price, it is a good choice for novice drivers, it is easy and safe to drive and the most important assistance systems are also on board.
5. Opel Corsa
The Opel Corsa has been a small car bestseller for many years, and the latest version is the best yet. It is based on similar technology as the Peugeot 208 and is equipped with the same 7-inch touchscreen as standard - perfect for technology-loving novice drivers.
The 1.2 liter engine is the best choice for cheap insurance, but it's probably the best engine in the Corsa range as well. It's fun to drive and it's not too loud in the interior on the autobahn.
Said interior in the Corsa is of higher quality than ever before and also appeals to young people. It's worth a look if you like the 208 but can't fit behind the wheel, or if you simply prefer the exterior look of the Corsa over the French car.
6. Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris is well received because, despite its compact dimensions, it is spacious inside and offers a comparatively large trunk. Since novice drivers naturally have to watch out for their money, it is interesting to know that the Yaris is also available as an economical hybrid. This is sufficient with 116 hp and not too highly motorized for the beginning, but costs a lot more than the smallest gasoline engine. But even this does not consume too much in the basic version with just under 5 liters of super. As far as safety is concerned, the Yaris also gives you peace of mind for longer journeys.
Since the revision, the Yaris has been equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense safety system as standard. This includes, among other things, the pre-collision system with emergency braking assistant, the lane departure warning system and the emergency braking function. In the NCAP crash test it got the maximum rating, but the brakes could be a little tighter. Therefore, what should be clear anyway: just keep a little more distance from the vehicle in front.
7. Ford Fiesta
The entry-level model offers 70 hp and at just under 11,600 euros, the basic Ford Fiesta is also quite affordable. Of course there are still cheaper beginner cars, but the many assistance systems, the good engines and the convincing chassis speak in favor of the Fiesta. Not only we think so, because the Fiesta has been on the list of the most successful small cars in Europe for years. It is important for new drivers that the car is easy to drive. Here you are spot on with the Fiesta, because it is handy, agile and the steering is sensitively tuned.
You don't have to worry about safety either, because there are a total of 15 assistance systems to choose from, but unfortunately most of them require a surcharge, which puts additional strain on the wallet of young drivers. Overall, however, we think that the Fiesta is a successful beginner's car that also looks modern and has been sold successfully for years. So teething troubles should be eradicated.
8. Peugeot 208
The Peugeot 208 is a funky-looking small car with a fantastic interior that will appeal to style-conscious young people. The technology on board also leaves nothing to be desired, as there is smartphone connectivity and a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system as standard.
The 1.2-liter petrol engine is a three-cylinder engine that is relatively cheap to insure and economical enough. The 208 is not one of the best small cars, but it is a good compromise between a lifestyle vehicle and a brainy car, so that you can safely enjoy your first drives as a novice driver.
It's a bit cramped in the back seats, but the 208 has decent trunk and there's plenty of space in the front.
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