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5 best cars for school leavers

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Updated 20 Nov 2019

Jason Unrau

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Buying your first car is a process that deserves some serious consideration, but often receives less attention than it should.

This goes double for young car buyers who have just completed their studies and are excited at the prospect of owning a car as quickly as possible.

Or there might be an urgency to buy a vehicle that will get them to and from a new job.

With a little forethought and research, you can seek out some of the best cars for school leavers.

There are a few critical features to look out for: fuel consumption, spaciousness, manoeuvrability, low cost of ownership, and fun to drive. Plenty of cars hit all these points, in particular, the following makes and models:

Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 comes in either a sedan or hatchback. Either one is a joy to drive, with just enough power to avoid trouble, or get you out of a sticky situation.

The Mazda 3 is spacious, with four doors and a hatch or boot.

Even the entry level Mazda 3 Neo has rear parking sensors and Smart City Brake Support to prevent accidents before they happen.

A vast array of optional equipment can be added, including navigation, adaptive cruise control, LED headlights, and more.

It boasts other features which make it a good car for school leavers – the available head-up display which reduces dangerous distractions by displaying key information directly in the driver’s line of sight, 5-star crash rating, and remarkable fuel economy, to name a few.

Honda City
The Honda City sedan is a great car for fuel-conscious drivers, yet its 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine still has enough zip to be enjoyable.

There’s space for five adults inside the compact sedan without feeling too crowded.

The driver is treated to Honda’s extra features including available push-button start, a great Display Audio infotainment system, and a multi-angle backup camera.

Parents can relax too – the City sedan also has a speed alarm, 5-star crash rating and great safety features. Vehicle Stability Assist and a host of airbags protect the youngster in the driver’s seat as well as their passengers.

Toyota Yaris
A great car for school leavers is the Toyota Yaris. It’s one of the best-priced cars on the market, and it’s incredibly inexpensive to maintain.

The Yaris comes in three different trim levels depending on your needs, and offers a complement of options at each level.

Even the entry-level Yaris Ascent has Bluetooth, cruise control, touchscreen audio controls and a reversing camera.

This compact car feels quite cavernous inside and the hatch is super convenient to use. While it’s not the most powerful small car on the market, school leavers will love its fantastic fuel efficiency.

Holden Astra
A fun drive is just the beginning! The Holden Astra is a smart-looking, fully-featured sports coupe in every sense.

Two turbocharged four-cylinder engines provide plenty of performance whether you choose an auto or manual gearbox.

And the uber cool interior will make all your school friends totally jealous.

The Astra offers attractive options including heated seats, available satellite navigation, and Bluetooth capability for hands-free connectivity.

Fuel economy is assisted by auto start-stop technology, and safety features include rain-sensing wipers. The boot is easy to access and opens wide for loading and unloading.

Ford Fiesta
The subcompact Ford Fiesta delivers perhaps the best combination of features for school leavers.

The Fiesta is like a party on the inside, especially fantastic for its price point!

A range of trim levels are available, including a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine that consumes less than five litres per 100 kilometres on the highway.

Bluetooth, airbags, and power convenience features make the Fiesta an awesome buy.

There’s a compromise with the small size – less passenger space and cargo capacity. However, the other benefits, from its sporty attitude and great fuel efficiency, to its low entry-level price, make the Fiesta a popular choice amongst school leavers.

Want to find out the annual servicing and maintenance costs for these school-leaver friendly cars and many more? Visit AutoGuru.com.au for car servicing quotes from local, trusted workshops.

Image credit - Jeshoots

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Written By

Jason Unrau

Jason is a Canadian automotive content writer with a background in the auto service industry, but he’s been hooked on cars and mechanics since childhood.

One of his first cars was an ’80 Mazda RX-7 that’s sorely missed to this day. A ’68 Ford Torino GT, a ’66 Ford Country Squire Woodie station wagon, and a ’96 Suzuki GSX-R 750 have spent time in his fleet of cars, bikes, and trucks over the past two decades.

Jason’s pride and joy is under construction – a turbocharged ’88 Mazda RX-7 convertible. Also on his resume is CASCAR official certification.