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The Best Cars for Young Drivers in 2018

5 minute read

By Check

Young drivers need a vehicle that is stylish, affordable, and easy to maintain. Safety is yet another important factor. Fortunately, today’s market gives you several great models to choose from. Here are the best cars for young drivers in 2018.

2018 Toyota Corolla

For good reason, the Toyota Corolla remains one of the best-selling cars in America. Drivers have grown to appreciate its bulletproof reliability and notably smooth ride. Furthermore, updated styling makes this small sedan especially attractive to young buyers.

All versions of the Corolla come equipped with the same four-cylinder engine. It pushes out a reasonable 132 horsepower and 128 pound-feet of torque. Even first-time drivers won’t be intimidated by the Corolla’s power. Toyota offers both a manual gearbox and a continuous variable transmission. While most Corolla models are rated to return up to 35 mpg, special engine tuning helps the LE Eco trim to deliver an impressive 40 mpg.

Prices for the new Corolla speculated to start at $19,400, which puts it among the top values in the class. It comes loaded with a lot of components that young drivers love. Featuring a 6.1-inch touch screen, Toyota’s Entune infotainment system can be easily connected to a smartphone. Some of the other standard items include a backup camera, a USB charging port, and Bluetooth technology.

Stamped with a five-star safety rating, the Corolla promises to provide superior crash protection. A new safety package is now standard, which includes advanced driving aids such as lane-departure alert and automatic braking.

2018 Kia Soul

Over the years, the Kia Soul has become a popular choice among young drivers. They love the Soul’s cool styling and versatile design. Although the Kia Soul is a compact vehicle, its boxy design frees up a lot of passenger space. From skateboards to college dorm supplies, plenty of extra stuff can be stored in the Soul’s versatile cargo area. An attractive MSRP of $16,100 makes the Soul hard to pass up.

The Kia Soul is definitely a joy to drive. While the base 1.6-liter engine will get the job done, the optional 2.0-liter engine gives the Soul an additional fun factor. The larger engine delivers a peppy 161 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. Gas mileage tops out at an efficient 30 mpg. For an extra $3,000, Kia also offers a turbocharged engine. It produces an exciting 201 horsepower, which translates to a much quicker performance on the road.

Bluetooth wireless technology and an improved sound system come standard on the new Soul. Keep in mind that a bass-pumping subwoofer is available as well. When equipped with a panoramic sunroof, the Soul becomes a more entertaining daily-driver. Safety is also a strong point for the Soul. Aside from its five-star safety rating, the Soul offers useful safety innovations like blind-spot detection and forward-collision warning.

2018 Honda Civic Hatchback

The Honda Civic Hatchback is the perfect match for young drivers. Not only does the Civic hatchback boast superior crash test scores, but it also proves to be a fun commuter car. You certainly can’t forget about Honda’s reputation for building dependable vehicles. The base model carries an affordable MSRP of $19,900.

Powering the Civic hatchback is a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which pushes out a satisfying 174 horsepower. The Civic hatchback’s responsive performance will surely keep young drivers engaged on a daily basis. While a CVT transmission helps you to obtain the maximum fuel savings, the manual gearbox is incredibly fun. A combined 34-mpg fuel economy rating also makes the Civic hatchback easy on the wallet.

While the Civic hatchback’s standard list of features include a backup camera and a 5.0-inch display screen, the higher trim levels offer even more goodies. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto will certainly intrigue smartphone users. Meanwhile, a 12-speaker sound system comes standard on the top-of-the-line Sport Touring trim. All trims can be equipped with a Honda Sensing safety bundle, which gives you innovations like adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking.

2018 Chevrolet Malibu

The midsize Chevrolet Malibu is a worthy pick for the young drivers who need more legroom. While the Malibu’s sleek exterior styling may initially catch your attention, its fun-to-drive character will leave you even more impressed. An attractive MSRP of $21,680 sweetens the deal.

Chevy gives you two turbocharged engines to pick from. The base 1.5-liter engine is a great choice for the budget-minded car shoppers. It develops a lively 160 horsepower while managing to return up to 36 mpg. Only the top-of-the-line Malibu Premier boasts the larger 2.0-liter engine. However, most drivers can do without its 250-horsepower output. While a manual gearbox is not offered, the automatic transmission does a great job of transferring the available power to the wheels. Slick handling makes the Malibu especially entertaining to drive.

Although the base L model has the least expensive price tag, the LS model’s features will be more appealing to young folks. It is just $1,500 more than the base Malibu. You will be rewarded with smartphone integration and an improved MyLink infotainment system. A 4G Wi-Fi hot spot is available as well.

Like every other vehicle on this list, the Malibu received a five-star safety rating. If you are the parent of a young driver, you will love Chevy’s Teen Driver mode. It enables you to set a speed limit and track your teen’s current location. Advanced driving aids, such as autonomous braking and blind-spot monitoring, are also offered.

2018 Subaru Impreza

For the young drivers who must face snowy road conditions, the Subaru Impreza stands out from the competition. It is the only sedan in its class that comes standard with all-wheel drive. You can also take advantage of the 2018 Impreza’s roomier interior. With a low MSRP of $18,495, the Impreza certainly deserves some consideration.

All versions of the redesigned Impreza come equipped with the same four-cylinder engine. This engine offers a commendable 152 horsepower and 145 pound-feet of torque. Although a manual transmission comes standard, the optional CVT enables you to obtain additional fuel savings. According to the EPA, you can expect to get a solid 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. This year, Subaru has introduced an exciting Sport trim into the lineup. A set of 18-inch performance tires and a sports-tuned suspension ensure great handling.

Don’t overlook the base Subaru Impreza. It comes standard with a lot of niceties. Featuring smartphone integration and touch-screen display, the standard infotainment system is a breeze to use. The standard rear-view camera is also a big help when parking. Available on the higher trim levels, the high-powered Harman Kardon sound system is bound to captivate music fans. When it comes to passenger safety, the Subaru Impreza remains atop the segment. It is the only car in its price range that offers both forward and reverse automatic braking.

Darren Brode /




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