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10 Best First Cars for Car Guys in 2023 And 2024

Last updated on December 18th, 2023 at 11:07 pm

Buying your first car is a thrilling venture, especially for car enthusiasts who cherish a good drive. The best first cars for car guys aren’t just about going from point A to B, but about enjoying the journey and feeling the road beneath. They combine affordability with a fun driving experience, making every ride an adventure.

The market offers a variety of cars but finding the right one that suits your taste and budget is crucial. First cars for car enthusiasts come with a blend of performance, style, and practicality. They provide a platform for budding car aficionados to explore their passion, whilst ensuring a reliable daily drive.

Engaging with a community of like-minded individuals enhances the joy of owning your first car. Finding and owning your first car can be a memorable journey. It involves sharing experiences, discussing modifications, and cruising around town together. Through this camaraderie, car guys not only find a vehicle, but they also find a lifestyle.

10 New Best First Cars for Car Guys/Enthusiasts

Finding the best first cars for car guys can be as exhilarating as driving a high-speed car down an open highway. It’s about discovering a machine that doesn’t just get you from point A to B but does so while igniting a spark of excitement with every turn of the key. This list unveils cars that embody the spirit of automotive enthusiasm. It makes them the ideal contenders for the best first cars for car guys.

1. 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata is a beloved roadster. It continues its legacy among car enthusiasts. The model has a classic appeal. It is lightweight and compact. It emphasizes driving enjoyment over lavish amenities.

The MX-5 Miata is known for its playful handling. It also has responsive controls. This car makes every drive feel special. Its power is modest. A finely tuned chassis balances it. It has rear-wheel drive. It delivers a pure driving experience.

The MX-5 Miata lacks high-tech features. It prioritizes the joy of driving. It embodies the spirit of a true driver’s car. It comes in a modern package.

  • Price: Starting at $27,600
  • Engine: 2.0-liter inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 26 city / 34 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 181 hp
  • Torque: 151 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Easy handling
  • Lightest sports cars on the market
  • Standard Brembo brakes

2. 2023 Honda Civic Si

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Honda Civic Si is a delightful blend. It has sportiness, efficiency, and everyday usability. It is tailored for those who appreciate an engaging drive. The model keeps the Civic’s modern aesthetics. It adds a dash of sportiness. It is a fun companion on city streets. It is also fun on twisty roads.

At its heart is a 1.5-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine. It delivers 200 horsepower and 192 pound-feet of torque. This provides a lively performance while maintaining efficiency. This sport compact is front-wheel-drive. It is known for its well-balanced driving dynamics. It is described as a vehicle that doesn’t break the bank.

It embodies a blend of affordability and enthusiasm in driving. Despite being performance-oriented, it doesn’t compromise on practicality. It offers seating for five and decent cargo space. This makes it a versatile choice for car enthusiasts who value daily usability.

  • Price: Starting at $28,800
  • Engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Fuel Mileage: 31 city / 40 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 200 hp
  • Torque: 192 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Rev-matching system
  • Best-handling cars in its class
  • Sporty exterior styling

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3. 2023 Toyota GR86

first car for car enthusiast

The 2023 Toyota GR86 is a splendid sports car. It upholds the essence of fun driving. It doesn’t break the bank. The 2023 model is similar to the previous version. It has a Special Edition that combines GR86 Premium features with exclusive additions.

The model remains a “back-to-basics” sports car. It captures the joy of driving in its purest form. The affordability factor is highlighted with a price range of $28,400 to $35,860. This makes it an attractive choice for average folks who desire a sports car experience.

  • Price: Starting at $28,400
  • Engine: 2.4-liter boxer four-cylinder
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 6-speed automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 22 city / 27 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 228 hp
  • Torque: 184 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Excellent handling thanks to its low center of gravity and well-tuned suspension.
  • The GR86 is one of the most affordable sports cars on the market.
  • The GR86 is a lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car with a well-balanced chassis and a responsive engine.

4. 2023 Subaru Impreza

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Subaru Impreza is a reliable choice. It is considered one of the best first cars for car guys. It may not have extraordinary features. However, its affordability makes it attractive for many. The Impreza is the smallest in Subaru’s lineup. It is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles. This caters to different preferences.

One of its strong suits is the standard all-wheel-drive system. It provides extra traction, especially beneficial in wet weather conditions. This makes it a sensible choice for new drivers. It has strong safety ratings. The Impreza still offers a manual transmission. Car enthusiasts appreciate this feature. They enjoy a hands-on driving experience.

  • Price: Starting at $24,085
  • Engine: 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Transmission: Continuously variable automatic (CVT)
  • Fuel Mileage: 28 city / 38 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 152 hp
  • Torque: 145 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Most fuel-efficient cars in its class
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • The Impreza comes standard with a suite of safety features

5. 2023 Hyundai Veloster N

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Hyundai Veloster N is no longer available. It cannot be considered as one of the best first cars for car enthusiasts in that model year. The discontinuation is part of Hyundai’s strategy. They are shifting focus towards the new N Brand’s Elantra N and Kona N models. Hyundai’s move reflects its plan to reposition performance-oriented models in the market.

The Hyundai Veloster N was popular in the hot-hatch scene. However, it is not available in 2023. Car enthusiasts can consider other models from Hyundai or other manufacturers. It is important to consider other vehicles. These vehicles offer a mix of performance, affordability, and practicality. They are great choices for car enthusiasts looking for their first car.

  • Price: Starting at $32,500
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 22 city / 28 highway mpg (manual), 20 city / 27 highway mpg (automatic)
  • Horsepower: 275 hp
  • Torque: 260 lb-ft (manual), 278 lb-ft (automatic)
Best 3 Features:
  • Its turbocharged engine delivers plenty of power and torque
  • It’s responsive, agile, and has a great exhaust note.
  • N Grin Shift

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6. 2023 Ford Fiesta ST

best first car for car enthusiast

The 2023 Ford Fiesta ST is a great choice for car guys. It has lively performance, a compact size, and affordability. The vehicle has a 1.5-liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost engine. It is smaller than the previous model’s 1.6-liter four-cylinder.

However, it is more economical and still delivers 197bhp and 236 lb ft of torque. The Fiesta ST has a power that enables it to accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds. It can reach a top speed of 143mph.

The Fiesta ST has a reputation for playful handling. It offers an exhilarating and economical driving experience. Its price point is competitive. It stands toe-to-toe with rivals like the Hyundai i20 N and the Volkswagen Polo GTI. They are comparable in terms of cost and performance.

  • Price: Starting at $29,500
  • Engine: 1.5-liter turbocharged inline-three
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Fuel Mileage: 28 city / 35 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 197 hp
  • Torque: 236 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Brembo brakes
  • Recaro sport seats

7. 2023 Honda Civic Type R

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is refined and fast. It is a significant model in the line-up of first cars for car enthusiasts. The new model has a more restrained styling. It is compared to its precursors. This change doesn’t compromise its exhilarating driving experience. It makes it a compelling choice for car enthusiasts.

The 2023 Type R version of the 11th-generation Civic has a less “boy racer” vibe. It has enhanced power and rigidity. It proudly stands as the most powerful Civic ever produced. It has 315 horsepower. The power comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. The car has a blend of robust performance and a mature design.

  • Price: Starting at $43,990
  • Engine: Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual
  • Fuel Mileage: 22 city / 28 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 315 hp
  • Torque: 310 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Adaptive dampers
  • Active sound control
  • Rev-matching system

8. 2023 Volkswagen GTI

best first car for car enthusiast

The 2023 Volkswagen GTI is an appealing choice for car guys. It has well-balanced handling and satisfying speed. It is considered one of the best first cars. The model starts at $31,625. It has three trims: GTI S, SE, and Autobahn. Each trim has different features and prices.

This hatchback is front-wheel-drive. It continues the GTI tradition. It is both fun and practical. The pricing is competitive. The performance it offers makes it a compelling choice for car enthusiasts. Especially those who appreciate a well-rounded driving experience. They don’t have to compromise on practicality.

  • Price: Starting at $31,625
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four
  • Transmission: 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 25 city / 34 highway mpg (manual), 24 city / 33 highway mpg (automatic)
  • Horsepower: 241 hp
  • Torque: 273 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Sporty exterior styling
  • Comfortable interior
  • Standard infotainment system

9. 2023 Toyota Camry TRD

best first car for car guys

The 2023 Toyota Camry TRD is a noteworthy mention. It is one of the best first cars for car enthusiasts. They are looking for a blend of practicality, affordability, and performance. This model showcases a sporty demeanor. It also retains the essential features of a family sedan. The vehicle has a robust V-6 engine. It is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The engine produces 301 horsepower and 267 lb-ft of torque. This ensures a lively performance on the road.

The 2023 Camry TRD has power. It also has performance features. These features enhance its driving dynamics. This includes TRD track-tuned shock absorbers. It also includes front and rear coil springs.

Additionally, it includes stabilizer bars. The braking system is well-designed. It has power-assisted ventilated 12.9″ front brakes with dual-piston calipers. It also has 11.1″ solid rear disc brakes. This adds to the confidence while driving. The Camry TRD has selectable drive modes. These include Sport, Normal, and Eco. They allow for driving customization.

  • Price: Starting at $36,595
  • Engine: 3.5-liter V6
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 22 city / 31 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 301 horsepower
  • Torque: 267 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Dual exhaust
  • Limited-slip differential
  • TRD-tuned suspension

10. 2023 BMW 128i

best first car for car enthusiast

The 2023 BMW 128i is a compact luxury car. It holds a special place among the best first cars for car enthusiasts. This is due to its stellar performance, cutting-edge technology, and luxurious interior.

The 128i has a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine under the hood. The exact horsepower and torque figures are not specified. This engine ensures that the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph briskly. City driving or merging onto highways becomes a thrilling experience.

The 2023 BMW 128i is equipped with modern features. These features enhance convenience and safety. The car has an intuitive infotainment system. It has a responsive touchscreen display. The display provides easy access to navigation, entertainment, and vehicle settings.

  • Price: Starting at $37,900
  • Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Fuel Mileage: 24 city / 34 highway mpg
  • Horsepower: 241 hp
  • Torque: 295 lb-ft
Best 3 Features:
  • Sporty exterior styling
  • Standard infotainment system
  • Driver assistance features

FAQs

What makes a car a good first choice for car enthusiasts?

A good first car for enthusiasts typically has a balance of performance, affordability, and ease of maintenance. It should also have a good community of fellow enthusiasts for knowledge sharing and support.

Why are certain cars recommended as the best first cars for car guys?

Certain cars are recommended due to their performance capabilities, modifiability, and a supportive enthusiast community. Some of them are:

  1. 2023 Mazda MX-5 Miata
  2. 2023 Hyundai Veloster N
  3. 2023 Subaru Impreza
  4. 2023 Honda Civic Si
Are the best first cars for car enthusiasts always sports cars?

Not always. While many enthusiasts favor sports cars, others might prefer trucks, sedans, or hatchbacks due to personal preferences or practical considerations.

What are some examples of the best first cars for car guys?

Examples include the Mazda MX-5 Miata, Ford Mustang, Subaru BRZ, and Honda Civic Si, among others. These cars are known for their performance and modifiability.

Can affordable cars qualify as the best first cars for car enthusiasts?

Absolutely. Many affordable cars have a cult following due to their performance capabilities and modifiability, making them great choices for enthusiasts on a budget.

Conclusion

Selecting the best first cars for car guys is an exciting journey. Balancing passion for performance and practicality of costs is important. These cars offer a canvas for modifications. It is a critical aspect for car enthusiasts. They are hungry to personalize their rides.

The best first cars for car enthusiasts have a welcoming community. They offer support. They share knowledge. They fuel the excitement of owning a car that’s more than just a means of transport. Being part of a culture that appreciates the mechanics and aesthetics of automobiles is what it’s about.

The thrill of revving engines, the sleek design, and the camaraderie among enthusiasts are all reasons why the right first car is important. It lays the foundation for a long and enjoyable journey in the car enthusiast world. When the keys to the best first cars for car guys are handed over, it marks the beginning of a love affair. This love affair is characterized by the roar of engines and the open road ahead.

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