What's the Best Car for a First-Time Driver?

CARS.COM — First-time drivers often dream of fast, sleek sports cars. But really, that's about the worst choice you can make — whether you're the owner-to-be or, ahem, the bank. (That's the parents.) New drivers need safe, reliable transportation that won't leave you penniless. Try these 2017 models on for size.

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First off is the Toyota Yaris iA, a nimble sedan with a lot of tech features for its starting price of less than $17,000. It has excellent crash-test ratings and a standard low-speed collision warning system with automatic braking to boot. Now, there's value.

Next up is the Chevrolet Sonic, which drives like a bigger car than it is. The multimedia display offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, which teen drivers will love. And hey, parents: Both systems basically take over your phone, which reduces the potential for Junior to text and drive.

Then there's the Honda Fit hatchback and related HR-V crossover. Both are small but useful runabouts with exceptional versatility; well-equipped base models start under $20,000.

In the same vein are the Mazda3 and Mazda CX-3. The Mazda3 remains one of the more fun-to-drive options, while the CX-3 is a comfortable crossover with an affordable all-wheel-drive option.

Finally, the Nissan Sentra delivers rock-solid, sub-$20,000 value and a lot of room, while the Toyota Prius c hybrid will keep a lid on the gas bill so you can save for college instead. Or blow it all on video games and concert tickets.

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