The title of this post (the good first car for girls bit) isn’t very PC but that’s okay. I’m doing a bit of sterotyping here but it’s all pretty safe. After all, auto manufacturers create cars geared towards women. So why not acknowledge the cars which appeal to women? Not long ago, I was helping my sister and friends pick their first cars. This post shares what they liked as well as some practical considerations.
Features to Consider
- Auxiliary port for smartphone
- Good stereo
- Ignore performance
- Can park easily
- Feels safe
- Lots of storage
- Tint (so onlookers don’t see purse in car and to protect themselves from sunburn)
- Easy to maintain
- Convertibles are nice, just make sure the tops aren’t hard to put down
- The list for guys would be wayyyy longer
For a $5,000 Budget…
1995-1999 Mitsubishi Eclipse
My personal favorite is the Mitsubishi Eclipse from 1995-1999. A nonturbo model is cheap to insure, it has a ton of interior space for such a small car, it’s fun, almost all of them have sunroofs, the stereo is good, they are pretty reliable and it’s a cool car they can be proud to drive. If someone is proud of something, they will take far better care of it. One downside is there is no aux port. But you can either swap in a radio from a 1990-1994 Eclipse or get an aftermarket head unit. They are easy to install. So many of these cars have been modified, you can probably find one on Craigslist right now with an aftermarket stereo. Again, the Eclipse is a solid car.
You just can’t go wrong with a Civic. They are cheap, reliable and they hold their resale. When buying one of these, find one in stock form. If someone has heavily modified the car (think Fast and Furious), chances are they drove it hard and put it away wet. Avoid heavily modified cars at all cost. Any year of Civic will do. Honestly, when searching for which years of Civic are the most reliable, it’s such a toss up. All years are good. It’s very, very hard to debate which years were most reliable. Just find a stock model that is your preferred color and has a service history. That car can be a high school car, college car and first job car.
Still a good option at this price. You’ll be able to buy a nicer, sportier one.
While the Civic is a single person’s car, this is a family car. But it’s nice to have a backseat, regardless of need. For a good first car for girls, a backseat is nice because insurance will likely be cheaper and there’s more room to store things like basketballs and cheerleader outfits. However, having a backseat is sort of a liability. That means friends want you to drive them places. Research shows, the more people in the car, the more likely a teen will drive recklessly. Any year of Accord works. The resale value on these cars is high but that also means you can sell it high when you’re ready to move on.
This is one of the best-selling cars in history. It’s a perfect first car for girls. Its reliability is legendary. Compare this car with the Honda Accord. Both are great. Again, the specific year does not matter.
It’s a Toyota. Much like a Honda, they are reliable and always worth considering. A Corolla is the cheaper version of a Camry. Just avoid the 98-02 models as they had poor quality piston rings. This causes blue smoke and a relentless need to watch oil levels as the engines burn about 1 quart every 1500 miles. Not something a new driver is likely to do.
These cars are no longer the new kids on the block. They have been around since the turn of the century. A Prius is an excellent first car because it has fewer parts to break, it’s slow and there’s plenty of storage. It gets the job done nicely. My 16-year-old cousin has one and she won’t drive any other car. She loves it.
If a small SUV is what you’re after, the Honda CRV has you covered. It even offers respectable MPG – up to 25 highway.
2007-2011 Mazda CX-9
This car is the most technologically advanced of any of the cars listed. Opt for the Grand Touring model which offers visibility-enhancing xenon headlights, a blind spot monitoring system and rain-sensing windshield wipers. MPG is poor at just 16 city/ 22 hwy.