While most people start learning how to drive with a hand-me-down car from parents or relatives, there comes a time when they want to get their first new car. With hundreds of models to choose from, narrowing it down to just one can seem overwhelming.
To help them start, Edmunds' experts compiled a list of four new vehicles that excel in the areas first-time owners would be wise to prioritize. These include a low starting price and high safety scores. Specifically, each model earns a Top Safety Pick recommendation from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. These are also vehicles that Edmunds has tested and consider to be among the best in their respective classes. All listed prices include destination and handling charges.
Stylish Small SUV: 2021 Kia Soul
Saying a car looks like a box on wheels would not normally be a compliment. But in the case of the Kia Soul, it somehow works. This small SUV has a distinctive upright profile that stands out compared to more traditionally styled rivals. Kia also offers the Soul in different looks; GT-Line and Turbo trim levels offer red exterior accents and a mesh grille for a sporty theme, while the X-Line has gray fender cladding for more of an off-road vibe.
The Soul is easy to get in and out of and has plenty of room for passengers. The Soul also comes with a pleasing number of features for the money. For example, every Soul except the base LX comes with advanced driver safety aids that can help reduce driver distraction and mitigate imminent collisions. Another bonus is Kia's excellent five-year limited warranty. Negatives are few but include a bit too much wind and road noise on the highway.
Our pick: Soul S, $21,710