The first car is important because you’ll be telling people what it was for the rest of your life. So it’s important to pick something that isn’t very rubbish or embarrassing.
I remember when I was younger and obsessed with Fast and Furious movies, I imagined my first car would be a crazy Skyline or an Evo. I’d wear racing apparel, say ‘yo’ a lot, drag between the lights and ask for NOS at my local garage. There’s still a part of me that want’s to live the boy-racer dream of driving a loud, big boost, body kitted, and stickered Japanese car, but the simple fact of the matter is, you just can’t drive a car like that. Reason being – apart from the fact you’ll crash it within a few minutes if you’re inexperienced – your friends will be embarrassed to be seen in such a monstrosity – which is good for fuel consumption I suppose – and strangers will instantly label you as a spikey haired wannabe racer, and they’ll probably hate you, but not to worry, because the police will love you. So cross any kind of Skyline, Supra, Silvia, Evo and WRX off your list.
Ideally you want a cool but respectable car and respectable does not mean a tarted up Citroen Saxo. I’m thinking more along the lines of a VW Golf or a Ford Focus. These are classy unisex cars, they’re very bland, very sensible, and very parent friendly. If you rock up to a girl’s house in one of these, her parents should let you in. They might even cook you dinner. The tarted up Saxo on the other hand, you’ll be left outside in the cold to starve. So these hatchbacks are a decent pick. But they’re boring I hear you cry?
Yes, you’re right. There are more interesting hatchbacks around; think anything from France, but they’re generally not as nice to drive and are normally only driven by people who have hair sprouting uncontrollably from places where hair shouldn’t sprout.
So we’ve discussed hatchbacks, how about sedans. This is where things begin to get a little more interesting and less, er, beige. Depending on your budget, you can look at older BMW’s, Audi’s And Merc’s. Quite often you’ll find that these older German luxury sedans have all the safety features of more modern hatches, so they’re very safe and being German they’re very reliable which will keep mum and dad happy. Plus they have cool badges. There’s also plenty of room inside the cabin for massive speakers which is what every young driver needs.
But I’m an enthusiastic driver and want a sports car I hear you say? Well unfortunately there isn’t a massive amount of options here, and insurance costs will be frightening. But if you insist on having a sports car, it’s pretty difficult to look past the Mazda mx-5. The mx-5 is unbelievably well balanced, and you’ll be surprised by how much speed it can carry through the bends, plus parts are quite cheap and they’re easy to work on. As long as you can look past the ‘girls car’ image, this is no doubt your best option.
If the mx-5 doesn’t float your boat, then there’s the front wheel drive Honda Integra Type R which is widely regarded as one of the best handing front wheel drive cars of all time and it has a glorious vtec engine. Or if you insist on rear wheel drive but don’t want an mx-5, check out the E36 BMW 3 Series coupe, the Toyota MR2 and the incredibly sparse Lotus Elise depending on your budget. All of these cars will provide the thrills you desire, all are relatively safe and reliable with the exception of the Lotus which doesn’t really feature any safety equipment apart from the obligatory seat belts.
What you choose will depend on your personality and self-confidence. If you think you can get away with a Fast and Furious Skyline or a hairdressers mx-5, then go for it! They’re both fantastic cars that have unfortunately been tarnished by these superficial stereotypes. If you want something a bit different with big ‘luxury cool’ factor a big black Mercedes will be incredibly cool with the ‘gangsta’ image, but BMW’s are generally the more sporting drive. You could even look at retro-cool rides if you’re into that – 70’s Mercs are cool, robust and cheap! Otherwise, there’s an abundance of sensible hatches to choose from – the Focus is the best driver
Obviously I’ve just scratched the surface in this article; there are literally millions of cars to choose from, you just need to do a little research. The most important thing is to pick something that’s going to make you excited about driving. Something that you’ll be proud to walk out to in the morning, and something you’ll be relieved to get into after a days hard work. But most importantly, something that’ll make you smile!
And something that isn’t a Mitsubishi Mirage.
– AIDEN TAYLOR ( AidenT_RD )