Best cars for young adults in the early stages of their career
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Landed your first job and looking to purchase your very first car? Purchasing your first car can be quite a chore if you lack the knowledge or the appropriate avenue. Here are some cars we've handpicked for you to consider!

Category: Car Buying Advice

If you are a student, fresh grad, or someone in the early stage of your career and are looking to purchase your first car, this is the article for you.

From hatchbacks to sedans and SUVs, this article will help you narrow down and ascertain the choice of your first-ever car.

*The list of cars below only includes new and used PARF cars with less than $800 annual road tax
Honda Jazz 1.3A (2014-2021)

You might be surprised that a hatchback like the Jazz is one of the most, if not the most, functional cars you will ever come across
First introduced in 2002, the Honda Jazz has developed a tremendous reputation over the past 20 years for many varied reasons - its reliability, functionality, price, and insanely efficient fuel consumption. And may I add how good this third generation Jazz looks? 

As Honda's entry-level car, the Jazz comes with an affordable price tag. Considering its cheap road tax and efficient fuel consumption, it is also effortless to maintain. It can achieve a real-world fuel consumption of around 17km/litre.

Despite its compact size, this hatchback can store the bulkiest items you can think of due to its 'magic seats' feature. To all young couples looking to purchase your furnishings such as plants, tables, and chairs for your BTO flat, these items can easily fit inside the Honda Jazz.

As with any car, you should note that a heavier load will cause the car to perform more sluggishly, let alone the Jazz with 98bhp and 119Nm. So, be mindful not to overload it!

Pro Tip: If you are looking to modify your Honda Jazz, you might want to consider the parallel import version of it - the Honda Fit. It has two LTA-approved exhausts that can be installed. However, opting for the Fit means forgoing the paddle shifters on the Jazz.

Estimated depreciation: $9,390 - $13,460
Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6A (2014-2019)

The Toyota Corolla Altis' reliability, practicality, comfort, and affordability make it the epitome of a bread-and-butter car
This is a car that needs no introduction. To date, the Toyota Corolla has sold more than 36 million units worldwide across 12 generations of production - its number of sales speak volumes about where consumers stand with this car. 

As with most Japanese cars, maintaining this 11th generation, Corolla is a breeze considering its low road tax and efficient fuel consumption due to its 1.6-litre engine capacity and its CVT transmission, respectively.

Moreover, it pushes out a healthy amount of power of 129bhp and 160Nm of torque, giving it the right balance of power and control for beginner drivers.

Considering that it is one of Toyota's entry-level cars, the Corolla comes with basic features found in most modern cars these days. It includes auto head lights, a Bluetooth infotainment system, and a multi-function steering wheel.

Pro Tip: Consider going for the 12th generation Corolla Altis if it is within your means. Not only does it come with many more features, but it looks exceptionally sleek too!

Estimated depreciation: $9,840 - $18,470

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Hyundai Avante 1.6A (2020)

First-time owners do not need to worry about the Avante's maintenance costs due to its cheap road tax and efficient 15km/litre fuel consumption
In recent years, the popularity and demand for Korean cars have disrupted the market share of Japanese cars. The Hyundai Avante is one of two such Korean cars. The Avante has never looked better with a wider body and bolder styling, marrying looks, comfort, and performance under one roof in its 7th iteration.

The Avante comes with a 1.6-litre engine, paired to an IVT transmission, Hyundai's in-house CVT transmission and pushes out a healthy 126bhp and 155Nm of torque.

Despite being an entry-level car, the Avante is packed with features that you would not get in a Japanese entry-level car, such as a ton of safety features, rear air-con, an 8-inch infotainment display system, a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster and more. Therefore, making the Avante the perfect choice of car for young adults by getting more for less. 

Pro Tip: Consider purchasing the 1.6 Elite sunroof (A) model, as it comes with many more features, such as ventilated seats, rain-sensing wipers, and electric seats. They are not a necessity, but they would elevate your driving experience significantly.

Estimated depreciation: $9,840 - $13,460
Kia Cerato 1.6A (2018-2021)

During the launch of the third generation Cerato, as many as 80 new Cerato owners bought and collected the car without seeing or test driving it
The Kia Cerato is the other piece to the puzzle that disrupted the market share of Japanese cars. The numerous Ceratos on our road should be a sufficient indicator of the car's success to you.

Upon looking at the Cerato, you would instinctively realise that the car is exceptionally roomy in the cabin and boot capacity. Its cabin has the capacity for three passengers in the rear, holding them with ease and comfort. Similarly, the Cerato has a whopping 502-litres of boot capacity, the largest in its segment.

Like the Hyundai Avante, the Cerato comes with plenty of features you would not expect in an entry-level car. Furthermore, it comes with a 1.6-litre engine, paired with a CVT transmission. Despite its 126bhp and 155Nm of torque, the pick-up is leisure. However, the car performs as smooth as butter and goes decently fast upon reaching a certain speed - perfect for young adults who prioritise comfort over performance for their first car.

Pro Tip: If you are looking for a sporty-looking sedan that is not out to break the bank, consider opting for the GT line. It comes with a sporty-looking body kit, interior, and many other features exclusive to the GT line.

Estimated depreciation: $9,860 - $16,720
Mazda CX-3 1.5A (2018-2022)

The CX-3 is Mazda's most compact SUV, developed based on the Mazda 2 hatchback
What better way to create an affordable yet reliable SUV by taking your most affordable hatchback (Mazda 2) and buffing up its dimensions? 

Since most people purchase an SUV because of its extra space, a compact SUV seems like a odd choice. However, if you think about it, a compact SUV might be a good first car for young adults looking for a spacious alternative to a hatchback.

Unlike other SUVs that use the CVT transmission, the CX-3 employs a 1.5-litre engine with a six-speed (A) SKYACTIV-DRIVE transmission, providing the driver with an experience of feeling each gear's shift. As an entry-level Japanese SUV, the CX-3 does not have fancy features like those found in continental or Korean cars.  

Pro Tip: Opt for the 1.5-litre facelifted version instead of the 2.0-litre pre-facelift version to enjoy cost savings on road tax and fuel consumption. If power is what you are seeking, pick the 2.0-litre variant instead - it packs a hefty 154 bhp and 204 Nm of torque!

Estimated depreciation: $11,130 (There's only one on sale at the time of writing)

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