5 of the best first cars to buy your teenager

5 of the best first cars to buy your teenager

When looking for a car to buy for your teen, it’s important to consider the car’s reliability, safety features and fuel consumption – and let’s not forget the price!

We’ve rounded up five cars on the market that tick all the boxes and are therefore great options for your teen.


The Rio is a 75kw/135nm and is one of the best hatchbacks for its price, having a good build and considerably impressive safety ratings. It has six airbags, electronic brake distribution andABS. The new KIA also has a great overall average fuel consumption of 5.8l per 100km.

Cost: From R242 495

Volkswagen Up!

The Volkswagen Up! is the smallest in its class andbrings practicality and clever spacing to a whole new level. It’s also one of the most affordable in its class (starting at R171 200 for the 1.0l 3-cylinder engine). It’s not very powerful, with a total power output of 55kw/95nm, but that also means great fuel consumption at an average of 4.6l per 100km.

Cost: From R171 200

Ford Fiesta

The Fiesta is one of the most attractive in its class. It has the best fuel consumption range by quite a distance – 3.3l per 100km. It has a good safety rating and comes with anoptional seven airbag system; traction control and brake assist BASEBA.

Cost: From R292 500

Mazda 2

The 1.5l four-cylinder engine pushes out an impressive power output of 82kw/145nm which manages to get from 0-100km in 9.6 seconds, making it one of the fastest cars in its class, and does all of this with considerably good looks and a very stylish interior. However, the Mazda fuel consumption will put more of a dent in your pocket, but still manages a reasonable 5.5l per 100km, which is a small price to pay for considering the performance of the Mazda 2.

Cost: From R219 500

Volvo V40

If safety is your biggest concern, then the Volvo V40 is your go-to, and it’s the safest in its class, with a Euro NCAP rating of 98% for adult occupation protection.


Its turbocharged four-cylinder puts out 88kw/250nm, which also makes it the most powerful of all, and is second to the Ford Fiesta in fuel consumption, managing 3.4l per 100km. The Volvo is also by far the most luxurious and best lookingof the lot, which is expected for the far more expensive starting price.


Cost: From R394 600

Prices correct at the time of publication

If it’s time to let your child embrace independence with his or her first car, be sure to also teach them about road safety and car maintenance. These articles are a good starting point:

- Follow these road safety guidelines to prevent a road accident

- How can I tell if my car’s brakes need replacing?

- What if I have a breakdown?

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