Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Teenager's First Car

Hi my name’s John I’m new here and I’m looking for my new car. I’m 17 years old and male. I live in Chicagoland so I need a car that can withstand bad Chicago weather. I’m looking for a sedan, specifically a sports sedan or sporty sedan. I was looking at a Subaru Impreza and was pretty serious about it. I test drove one yesterday but I’m not sure if it’s the best car due to head gasket issues, and general maintenance. Is maintenance a lot for the car? Parts cost a lot? The car is reliable and safe correct? I want something safe, reliable and sporty looking. Other cars I was considering are Mazda 3, Ford Focus SE, BMW e46, e91. Mainly concerned about the Subaru, it seems cool but I am worried about if it’s not the best car. I have an “all or nothing” attitude and I want to make sure I will be happy with this car. Thoughts? Suggestions? I really need a car soon before school starts and can’t find one, nor do I have any idea where to start. Thanks.

Oh yeah the model Subaru I drove was 2009 year I am only looking at Subarus pre 2011.

Used all wheel drive, Not a good idea-BMW or any used European luxury vehicle, Not a good idea.
Seriously, you can’t have a loan at your age and insurance will have to be on your parents policy. They are the ones you need to talk to.

… you don’t think I didn’t talk to them? They are buying my car thankfully. I’m going on their insurance. Now can you please help me?

Honda Civic. Cheap, reliable, but still fairly fun to drive. That’s what you want at 17.

what do your parents drive? how about a hand me down? they get a new car and you get their older car with a known repair history? now, if you say dad drive a 2014 mercedes S550 than i might have to rethink my advise.

Dad drives a fairly new Chrysler 300 and mom drives a baby blue Ford Escape. They already have money set aside for me in a separate fund they started years ago for my car so I will be getting a new car.

Honda Civic? Hell no wtf that’s a 40 year old mom car. Even then it’s not reliable. Is it? Why would I get that when I can get a Subaru

I always use this website when shopping for a used car:

1 Like

Maybe you should just go find a vehicle that you think you could stand to be seen in and will not be mistaken for driving your mothers car. Then see if your parents will allow you to have it.
I already said that a used all wheel drive vehicle or a used European luxury vehicle are not good choices for a teenager.

Man, I wish my folks could have afforded to buy me a new(ish) car when I was first driving. Must be nice.

Best of luck to you, friend.

1 Like

Alright Car Talk regulars. Spill it. Which of y’all’s mom drives this one? :wink:

It’s been one of the most reliable cars in the world since your mom was younger than you.

Look, get what you want, but if you go onto a forum that is populated by adults and not kids who think the Fast and the Furious franchise is real, you’re going to get sensible advice.

I absolutely understand why that’s not going to jive with you. When I was your age I wanted a Ferrari, but I ended up with a CRX (which, by the way, is built on the Civic platform) and liked it so much that I still have one. As I got older and started actually earning my own money and not relying on my parents to buy me my cars, I got into things like MR2s, but I can afford to run and fix the cars I have. Can you afford to fix the Subaru when it blows its head gaskets?


first car, vw bug. ha ha. 2nd car, impala SS big block. 3rd car, mustang V8.
i would say get whatever your friends have.
what do high school kids want these days?

In gratitude to your parents, buy one that you pay for yourself. I bought my first car when I was 45; I still have it. It never crossed anyone’s mind that parents would buy him/her a car when I was a kid.

That’s what I somewhat want. Other cars I can deal with but Honda Civic? I mean I’m considering it but are there other options? Like different trims or models of the civic? I feel everyone and their mother has the refular Honda Civic.

I’m very thankful for them to purchase my car.

Don’t even try to brag about civics and show off the type R. that’s the ONLY good civic model and there’s no way in hell I could get my hands on one of those things. If there is, let me know. Civic it is. But I can’t.Those things are impossible to find.

High school kids cars? MY high school is on the edge of a super rich kid spoiled neighborhood and a dirt poor neighborhood. I live somewhere in the middle. My dad works hard and can afford mostly whatever car I want, but me and my brothers aren’t spoiled by any means.

To put that in perspective: I’m 2 years late on getting my car. You get your car when you get your permit. I used my parents cars and have gone 2 years without a car, 2 years riding the bus, 2 years walking. :confused:

The parking lots of students at my school is range rover, civic, jeep, range rover, corvette, mustang, civic, lol.

There’s a total of I believe 37 2016 jeep wranglers. all new.

Im not sure if you guys care but I stress over everything and I really need a car soon, before school starts. It’s been bothering me that I don’t have a car and I need one. I’m only considering the subaru impreza simply because the civic are ugly (except typer but theres no way).

Honda Civic, Subaru, or something really cool…

What difference would it make? It’s Chicago!!

I still drive my 09 Ford Focus SE with 140 or 150k miles and I’ve had few problems over the years (just had to replace a motor mount last year). I believe it might have been one of the last years before they switched to the 3rd generation focus (I want to say 2011 was the switch, but I’m not positive). It’s been easy to work on, it’s fun to drive, and it consistently gets me good mpg.

For a fun compact sedan, you should look at either a Mazda3 or a Honda Civic. Don’t dis the Civic unless you drive one.

Actually, buy the compact car in the best condition, no matter what the brand is. I bought a 2010 Chevy Cobalt LS in 2012 for $10,000 for my daughter to drive. It had no options and only 14,000 miles on it. Condition was superb, and it still is. She is still very happy to drive it.

Oh, and 40 year old moms drive a Camry.

There is a 40 something year old mother of 3 children in our neighborhood, she drives a BMW Z4.

Yeah, that’s why I’d never buy a Z4. Total 40 year old mom car. :smiley:

OP, get what you like. If your parents pay for all the repairs, then you’re very lucky. If they don’t, you’ll learn some lessons about financial pain if you get a car that’s too unreliable.

Mom car:


Mom car:

Mom car:

Dad car?: