List of cars that are great for beginner drivers

Hello everyone!
Ok, this is a list about cars that are great ,if not excellent for beginner drivers in my opinion.
First and foremost: I am sorry if your car doesn’t make this list, feel free to suggest it in the comments below.
A Car has to follow these rules in order for it to participate in this list:
. 1: It has to be at an affordable price(that doesn’t include insurance and taxes, etc.) .
. 2: It needs to be driver friendly, since we are talking about driver-friendly cars, so no more than 250 BHP, unless it’s really heavy.
. 3: It has to be sporty, or fun to drive, or both.
Before i begin,i need to tell you that car prices may vary from market to another, also i apologize for if a car gets mentioned and isn’t for sale in certain markets (Most likely the USA Market).

Now let’s begin!:

Nr. 1: Mazda MX5/ Miata NA/NB

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog
List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

You already know it was going to be here, The MX-5 has became an iconic sports car throughout the years, not to mention the best selling 2 seater roadster. It’s lightweight, weighning at a very low 940 kgs/2070 lbs for the NA, and 1065 kg /2348 lb for the NB, we’re currently looking at the first two generations, because the newer NC and ND are still out of reach to join this list, mostly because they’re new, which means their prices are still high,however, something the MX-5 Offered in all generations was a 50/50 weight distribution, which meant responsive handling and fun . The NA MX-5 came with 2 engine options: a 1.6 and a 1,8 liter 4 cylinders, the 1.6 pumps out 115 BHP and 136 nm/ 100 lb ft of torque, while the 1.8 liter had 128 BHP and 149 NM/ 110 lb ft of torque, later it was increased to 133 BHP and 155 nm/ 114 lb ft of torque, the 1.6 liter was carried over to the NB with some minor updates to improve response, while the 1.8 liter was improved to 140 BHP and 157 nm/ 116 lb ft of torque. the NA will sprint from 0-100 kmh/0-62 mph in the mid to low 8 seconds range , depending on the engine, while the NB will hit 7.9 seconds with the 1.8 liter.Both cars will come with both manauls and automatics, but we all know we are searching for the manual.
Both generations are going incredibly cheap, and i highly recommend one, since i once drove a NA on a private land! needless to say i had lots of fun, and almost grinded some gears.

Nr. 2: Audi TT 8N/Mk1

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Audi was hesistant about producing the TT, but when the conept was enthusiastically welcomed by car people, audi set off to produce the car, which began in 1998.
TT Stands for Tourist Trophy, which was a race that NSU, a former subsidary of Audi before merging into it, used to dominate, that race was located on the Isle of Man.
The First gen TT- marked as the 8N- was produced between 1998 and 2006, and in my honest opinion the TT Doesn’t have a direct rival, maybe except the porsche boxster, but anyway, the first gen TT was first offered with a 1.8 liter turbocharged 4 cylinder with 178 BHP and 235 nm /173 lb ft of torque it was offered with 2 transmission options, a 5-speed manual and a 5-speed tiptronic auto, it was also offered with FWD Or Quattro 4WD, later on audi offered 2 weaker variations of the engine, one with 148 BHP and 210 NM/ 155 lb ft of torque, and the other with 160 BHP and 225 nm/166 lb ft of torque, both engines were offered only with FWD, which didn’t allow them to get the rear-multi-link suspension the Quattro versions enjoyed. the 178 BHP engine could sprint from 0-100 kmh/0-62 mph in under seven seconds, while the weaker variants did so in the mid 7 second range, Audi Also offered the same engine - now dubbed the 1.8T- with a larger turbo, pumping the power to 225 BHP and 280 NM/ 207 lb ft of torque, it was only 4WD, and was offered with a 6 speed manual only(As far as i know), other improvements include the usage of aluminum in the body and other lightweight material,and revised suspension, brakes, for more of that sporty feel, this helped dropping the accelration time to 6.3 seconds. These are the models that one may get for an affordable price, however, consider yourself super lucky, if you find a TT 3.2 For an affordable price, this beast has a 3.2 liter VR6- the one that has been carried over to the Mk5 Golf R32- engine under its hood,and it packs quite a punch, 250 BHP and 320 nm/236 lb ft of torque, this is what could’ve been the mk1 TT S .With the improvements from the 1.8T carried over, the TT 3.2 has an accelration time of 5.7 seconds, this was not due to the power increase only, it was due to the elimination of turbo lag in this N/A engine, and a much better gearbox for faster gear changes. But as i said, if you can find a TT 3.2- and if you want one- for an affordable price, go ahead and get it, as depreciation has struck the first gen TT Very hard.

Nr. 3: Peugeot 106 Rallye.

THANKS FOR CTZEN ALEXANDER LOKKEGAARD FOR THIS PERFECT PICTURE!
THANKS FOR CTZEN ALEXANDER LOKKEGAARD FOR THIS PERFECT PICTURE!

A little pocket rocket, the french know how to make a hot hatch that is fun to drive, and handles perfectly.
Peugeot marketed the car for having “Fewer frills, more thrills”, it gave it some severe weight reduction, keeping the weight down to 825 KG/1819 lbs,it joined the line-up from 1995 until 2003 ,it featured upgraded suspension, brakes, chassis, engine, and pretty much everything, and the result was a hatch that came in both generations of the 106- phase one and phase 2, it handled like a dream, even jeremy Clarkson admitted that it is one of the best handling and most fun to drive cars for the money, it didn’t have central locking, alloy wheels or even power windows to save weight, the phase 1 106 Rallye had a 1.3 liter inline 4 with 98 BHP , just like the BRZ/GT86/FRS and the MX-5, what it couldn’t do in straights, was backed up by handling, the Phase 2 Rallye had a 1.6 liter inline 4 with 103 BHP, while you can still opt for the 106 Rallye 16V, Which shared it’s 1.6 liter inline 4 with 118 BHP, shared with the 106 S16 and GTi, the engine was split between those cars depending on your handling prefrences, but for now,let’s just concentrate on the Rallye, since it was more about the experience than the other two, and that it was the top of the line model in the phase 1 106. These guys are priced low, and they offer a lot for what you are paying, they’re good for daily driving and for having fun on your favourite back country roads.

Nr. 4: Toyota MR-S/ 3rd gen MR2

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

All MR2s are fit for this list, but the 3rd gen is the one that i ‘ll talk about, older MR2s, although they’re faster than the 3rd gen, are much less tamed than the 3rd gen , and they had pop-up headlights, which made them more appealing, so anyway,the MR2 had a 1ZZ-FE 1.8 liter inline 4 engine, equipped with toyota’s VVT-i technology, it produces 138 BHP And 174 nm/ 128 lb ft of torque, despite the power decrease, it was the lightest of the 3 generations, with 970KG/2138 lbs of weight at lightest and 996 kg/ 2195 lbs at heaviest, the MR2 is also quite small and nimble, which translates to being fun to drive, it was much close to being a mid-engined Miata comeptitor, and what a good competitor it was, pre 2002 models came with a 5 manual speed gearbox, and they didn’t feature fog lights, from 2002 onwards, it came with only a 6 speed manual and a 6 speed sequential manual, from 2003 onwards, it came with a torsen limited-slip differential to improve handling, sadly, the MR2 was discontinued in 2006, but it is expected to come back in the near future.
Also non-car people will have a much smaller chance of mistaking this for a ferrari ,or any other sports car from any sports car manufacturer,than its predecessors.

Nr. 5: MG MGF/ MG TF

the MGF
the MGF

The words “Underrated Great driving experience” Never were so fit for such car, it was launched when BMW Owned the Rover group in 1995, which contained MG , the car was sold from 1995 up until 2003, then it was relaunched as the MG TF, then it ceased production in 2006, it returned production in 2008 until 2012 under chinese management, from 2008 until 2012 the car’s sales were at worst, much because of the bad chinese build quality as it was given rated like “ Good experience as before but the build quality isn’t as good as before”. It was the car that deserved more attention it had, why you ask? because it was lightweight, only at 1070 kgs/ 2360 lbs for the MGF and 1150 kgs/2535 lbs for the TF, it came with only a 5 speed manual gearbox, a hydragas suspension,which is a system employed interconnected fluid and gas displacers, which can provide a decently comfortable ride and excellent handling, was mid engined - rear wheel drive,had a range of four motors: a 1.6 liter with 110 BHP and 145 nm/107 lb ft of torque, a 1.8 liter with 118 BHP and 165 nm/ 122 lbft of torque, and two 1.8 liters with Variable Valve Control, both push 174 nm/128lb ft of torque, while they differ in power, 142 BHP and 157 BHP Respectively ,and the famous recipe for a fun to drive, great handling car: 50/50 Weight distribution. Now you may be wondering, why didn’t it take off if it had all this amazing stuff then? Well it isn’t about the car, it’s about the company, MG Has stopped production of their famous MGB in 1980, and since then they’ve left the lightweight sports car scene, which was aimed at young new drivers, and in the time before the MGF came out, they built and sold cars with borrowing chassis from other Rover group cars, sometimes even rebadging them as their own, so when the MGF Came out in 1995, the market was already dominated by its rivals, namely the Lotus Elan, The highly anticipated BMW Z3, The Toyota MR2 and the Mazda MX-5, the car did sell well although. at the time,the rover group was under BMW Ownership, so when BMW Disbanded it in the year 2000, Rover And MG Reunited again, and the disbanding by BMW gave them the greenlight to release the 157 BHP Engine, and later the more aerodynamic second generation, known as the MG TF.
Best part about the car that you won’t find in a Miata or a MR2? You can get one in the very iconic colour, British racing green, shown in both pictures
Best thing that this car did and the Lotus elan didn’t? It depreciated, and it depreciated hard.

The MG TF.
The MG TF.

Nr. 6: BMW Z3

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

The BMW Z3 is the second car in BMW’s Z line-up of 2 seater sports cars, it’s the sucessor of the Weirdly cool Z1, and it was quite the car BMW wanted it to be.
Like Most of the Z line up (With the exception of the 2018 Z4 that is), it was based on the Then-Current 3 Series(The Z1 shared most of its elements with the E30, the E85 Z4 shared them with the E46 and the E89 shared them with the E90/E92), the E36, it was even coded as the E36/8 for the coupe and and E36/7 for the roadster, because of all of this, the car seems to be a good car for a drift project.
It was the first Z Car to be mass produced.
Production ran from 1995 until 2002, it weighed from anywhere between 1160 kgs / 2557 lbs until 1400 kgs/3087 lbs,it was only front-engined rear-wheel-drive layout, it came with three transmission options, a 5 speed manual , a 5 speed automatic and a 4 speed automatic, and it had a Total OF 13 ENGINES, but i’ll go through all of them,the base model-the 1.8- had a 1.8 liter inline 4 M43B18 with 114 BHP and 168 nm/124 lb ft of torque, later upgraded and renamed the M43B19- quite frankly it was a 1.9 liter- with 117 BHP and 180 nm/133 lb ft of torque, the 1.9i model had the already mentioned 1.9 liter and another one with 138 BHP And 180NM/ 133 Lb Ft of torque,the 2.0 model had a 2 L inline 6 with 148 BHP and 190 NM/ 140 lb ft of torque, the 2.2i had a 2.2 L inline six with 168 BHP And 210 Nm/155 Lb ft of torque, the 2.3 and the 2.5 weirdly shared a 2.5 L inline six, although the power and torque figures are different, the 2.3 Model had 170 BHP while the 2.5 had 184 BHP, But the 2.3 had more torque at 245 Nm/181 lb ft while the 2.5 had 237 Nm/ 175 lb ft, the 2.8 model had 2 engines, the M52B28, and its improved variant, the M52TUB28, the first had 189 BHP and 275 nm/ 203 lb ft of torque, the latter had 190 BHP and 280 NM/ 207 Lb ft of torque, then there is the 3.0i with a 3 L inline six with 228 BHP and 300NM/ 221 lb ft of torque, then there is the Z3M , the US Spec had a 3.2 L inline 6 with 240 BHP and 305 NM /225 lb ft of torque, and its final days it had a de-tuned version of the S54B32 unit, with 315 BHP and 340 Nm/251 lb ft of torque, while prettymuch everywhere else had the S50B32 3,2 inline 6 with 316 BHP and 350 nm/258 lb ft of torque, and the regular S54B32 with 321 BHP And 350 Nm/258 lb ft.
Chances are that you’ll only find 2.5 and lower models at an affordable price are unavoidable.
But you are getting a great car in return.

Nr. 7: Ford Mustang Fox Body GT

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

Don’t get me wrong for saying this, but the 2nd and 3rd gen Mustangs really saved the mustang, without them the Mustang would’ve been another name we wait for its return or a FWD Sports car, but the 2nd gen is only desirable for the king cobra model, so let’s get to the 3rd gen, also known as the Fox body,it had a choice of a 3 or 4 speed auto, or a 4 or 5 speed manual. it had a variety of engines, but most of us think that it’s not a real mustang if it doesn’t have a V8, pre-1983 models had 2 V8 Options, a 4.2 liter and a 4.9 liter Windsor V8(badged as a 5.0), the first with 120 BHP and the latter with 140 BHP, then, in 1982, Ford started advertising a single sentence: The Boss is BACK! : The Mustang GT Has returned ,after 13 years of abscnese. with a revised 4.9 Liter Windsor V8 , to make 160 BHP, it may seem pathetic for an engine of such size, but remember a thing called the oil crisis happened, so, in 1983 ford gave the car a small facelift,and in 1987 a full Facelift the 1987 Facelift was quite the change,as it dropped down the engine options to only a 2.3 L inline 4 and the 4.9 Liter V8 GT model, now updated to 225 BHP and 400 nm/ 310 lb ft of torque, what a monstrous amount of torque even by today’s standards, today, the 3rd Gen GT is quite popular with Tuners and drag racing, due to the cheap price and the Huge potential the Windsor V8 Packs.
The Fox Body is the Longest selling mustang yet, being sold for a long 15 years, from 1978 until 1993, when it got replaced by the 4th gen.

Nr.8 : Renault Clio 2.0 16V

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

After the sucess of the Renault Clio Williams, renault had to do something about the second gen clio in addition to replacing the back seats with a 3 L V6, the car that came to life, was the Renault Clio 2.0 16V.
Already Featured in a CT Recommendation video as a 1st car( As the Clio 172), the Clio 2.0 16V is in the middle between normal clios and the Monstrous V6, since V6 Clios’ Prices are shooting sky high, this is a bit weaker variant that you can actually afford.
It came in 2 Variants. after the release of the 2nd gen clio in 1998, the Clio 2.0 16V- sold also as the Clio RS , and as the Clio RS 172 in the UK- Started produciton in 2000. while its more powerful variant, the Clio 2.0 16V 182 came a year after, no matter what car you pick, it sure is able to handle and acclerate well, while being very practical, it’s small size helps in being nimble, the first variant came with a 2 L naturally aspirated 4 cylinder with 172 BHP( hence it was sold as the 172 in the UK Duh) and 200 Nm/ 150 lb ft of torque, while the second variant came with the second amount of torque but with 182 BHP, it had a Variable Valve Timing system, 15 inch O.Z rims, Restlyed Bumper and side skirts and Fenders, came only with a 5 speed manual gearbox, and it was FWD, of course there was upgraded brakes, suspension and other stuff to insure superb handling and fun, just like most other french hatches, the changes also continued to the interior, where it’s half leather and Half Alcantara Brand Leather, and it came standard with manually controlled air conditioning, did i mention it weighs 1050 kgs/ 2310 lbs?
Right Now, the car is priced relatively low, and there is no standard price, you can find it somewhere on the Used Car Market between many other 2nd Gen Clios.

Renault Clio 2.0 16 V Facelift...
Renault Clio 2.0 16 V Facelift...

Nr. 9: Toyota Celica

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

In a list of recommended first cars where the MX-5 and the MR2 are included then the Toyota Celica is sure to exist in that List as well, and i see no reason why not to, it’s stylish, sporty, not that fast, handles good, is fun to drive, cheap and has lots of aftermarket support.
The Celica has 3 variants, the SS-I,called the GT in the US and the 1.8 VVTi in Europe, and the SS-II and the SS-II Super strut package ,called the VVTLi T Sport and VVTLi GT in europe respectively, while they were called only as the GT-S in the US, the first one was powered by the 1ZZ-FE Engine , same one in the 3rd gen MR2, however, in the celica it makes more power at the cost of torque, 143 BHP (5 BHP over the MR2) And 169 NM of /125 lb ft of torque ( 5 NM / 3 lb ft less), the engine is pretty much the same, 1.8 L inline 4 with Toyota’s VVT-i system, the second engine, now called the 2ZZ GE,had a much improved VVT-i System, called the VVTL-i, raising power output to 190 BHP and 180 NM/133 lb ft of torque,except for the US Variant, which came with 180 BHP with an option from Toyota to increase it to 190 BHP, as for the SS-II super strut package/ VVTLi GT, these were varinats with the same 2ZZ-GE Engine, although with upgrades such as lowering springs, dampers, anti-sway bars, brake disc pads and short-shift kits, the US version offered those as options instead of standards in Trim Levels like Europe and the rest of the world, which included the Power increase option i mentioned earlier.
The celica was offered only in FWD
needless to say, just like other cars on the list, the car is going cheap.

Nr. 10: Volkswagen Golf GTI Mk3/Mk4/ Mk5.

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog
PERFECT AF
PERFECT AF
That Spec tho!
That Spec tho!

It’s a no-brainer, the Golf GTI is a real bargain, like most hot-hatches, it’s very fun to drive, handles good, and is not that fast, it stood long for what people know as affordable performance.
The Mk3 until Mk5 GTIs are the ones i recommend, the Mk1 and Mk2’s prices are quite a bit high, while the Mk6 and the Mk7 haven’t depreciated yet, so these are ones to go to, when asking for a cheap car worthy of the GTI badge.
Now let’s talk engines:
Starting with the Mk3 Golf GTI, it had 2 engine options, both of them are 2 Liter N/A inline fours, the first of which is with 8 Valves, pushes out 116 BHP and 166nm/122 lb ft of torque, if that wasn’t enough you can go for the 16 Valves engine, which boosts the power up to 150 BHP And 180NM/ 130 Lb ft of torque, gotta say that was a huge increase! it was offered with a 4 or a 5 speed manual gearboxes
As for the Mk4 GTI, it had 3 engine options, actually 2 but one was upgraded and re-coded as a new engine, the first is a naturally aspirated 1.8 liter inline-4 with 125 BHP and 170 NM/ 125 lb ft of torque, it was offered from the launch of the GTI until 2003, with no sucessor, the 2nd engine was a 1.8 liter turbocharged inline 4 with 148 BHP and 210 NM / 150 lb ft of torque, it was produced all the way up until 2001 when it got upgraded to be the 3rd engine, now it does 177 BHP and 235 nm/173 lb ft of torque, again, thanks VW, huge power boost. it was offered with a 5 or a 6 speed manual.
The Mk5 GTI had a 2 liter turbochraged inline 4 with 197 BHP and 280 NM/ 207 lb ft of torque. it was available with a 6 speed manual or a speed dual clutch.
as for all GTIs they came with only FWD.
Following the natural order, the prices of the Mk3 GTIs are the lowest, and the Mk5 GTIs are the most expensive, you can also find their czech and spanish cousins, namely the Seat Cupra models and the Skoda Octavia VRS.

Nr. 11: Peugeot 406 Coupe

My god is it beautiful.
My god is it beautiful.

Ignore the 406 Sedan, this is the car you want, designed by Pininfarina, this car is one of the most beautiful cars to ever bear the Peugeot Badge, and it bears it with prowess.
As for normal 406 Peugeots, this thing depreciated very hard, yet people can still think it’s worth tenths of thousands of euros,due to it’s design.
Launched in 1997, a year after the 406, all the way up until 2003, it was available only with a 2 L inline 4 and a 3 L V6, later on, a 2.2 L inline 4 , both in petrol and diesel forms, has joined the line up, best part about it? It only came with a 5 speed manual. the 2 L inline 4 had 140 BHP and 192 NM/ 140 lb ft of torque, the 2.2 liter HDi diesel engine had 133 BHP and 314 Nm/232 lb ft of torque! the 2.2 Petrol engine had 156 BHP and 217 NM/ 160 Lb ft of torque, while the monstrous V6 had 205 BHP and 285 nm/ 210 lb ft of torque, and it could send the power to the front wheels only, however, due to this, this thing could sprint from 0-100 kmh/0-62 mph in around 6 seconds, which is great for a car of this size, the 406 didn’t ditch practicality in the dust too, as it’s big trunk and rear seats prove so.

Nr . 12: Honda Civic Si.

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

No Matter which generation you get, EG, EK, EP, FK you name them, the Honda Civic Si was a more like a bridge between regular civics and the more expensive Type R, it’s small, practical, nimble, and fast to a certain degree, mostly comes with a manual etc., best part about it? you have lots of engine options,because of the many generations you can choose from, all of them are inline 4s, but they come in different shapes and sizes, and all of them have honda’s landmark , the V-TEC, which allows for a significant increase of power at certain RPMs, and they have lots and lots of aftermarket support, depending on your region, you can find a Type R for a cheap price, but since most of the regions don’t have cheap used type Rs, i decided to include the Si, The Honda Civic has grown very well, and Enthusiasts still love it to this day, however we already saw once or twice how can a civic go wrong, but we still like it, because the Honda Civic Si, will never be a disappointing car at its price point

Honourable Mentions : Dodge Neon SRT 4 and Toyota/Subaru/Scion GT86/BRZ/ FRS

List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog
List of cars that are great for beginner drivers - Blog

Now to the honourable mentions, these two cars are basically pocket rockets, the GT86/BRZ/FRS is not quite bad actually in terms of accelration, but it just looks faster than it actually is, it backs the 200 BHP From the 2 L NA Flat 4 with great cornering stability, same thing can be said to the Neon SRT4, although it’s a faster with it’s turbochraged 4 cylinder and 232 BHP,(Let’s not forget that you can have it tuned to OVER 550 BHP in Gran Turismo) i placed these 2 in honourable mentions, because they tick every box to this list, except for one: Price.
You See, the GT86/BRZ/FRS is still quite new, and as such, it hasn’t depreciated much, it isn’t expensive and over priced but it isn’t as affordable as any of the cars on this list.
Same thing CANNOT be said to the Neon SRT 4, this beast of a car held it’s value Pretty well for these 14 years, and years later after it’s launch, car people really knew how fast it was, and finally started appreciating it, as such, the prices didn’t go down, what else can i say about it?

Alright, i hope you enjoyed reading this blog!
Thanks for reading this blog, and thanks for all picture and information resources,
If i forgot a car that ticks all boxes of this list or you have any question tell me in the comments below.
Jawad Shalgheen Out.

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