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I am going to be getting my license in December and I am having so much trouble finding the perfect first car. I want one that is small and compact, has 4 doors, and is safe and good on gas. I have looked at Mazdas, Hondas, Toyotas, and now I am currently looking at a Ford Focus. I am just not getting any "thats the one" vibes. help!

Answers from the Automotive Experts

Lisa Schomp, Owner/CEO  at Ralph Schomp Automotive Christina, A Honda Civic would be a great first car. Not only do they get great gas mileage (typical automatic gets 25 city/36 highway) but you can also purchase either a CPO (certified pre-owned) or new at a great price. Good luck! Lisa Schomp

Georgia Brown, Director of Education at National Independent Automobile Dealers Association (NIADA) Hi Christina, Sounds like you are looking for the right things, especially the safe and good on gas! Just to make sure you are looking at all of the other things, you might want to view our "How to Buy a Car in 8 Steps" video located on our website. Go to http://www.niadafoundation.org and click the Consumer Information link. This was video designed especially for first time car buyers and has some really good advise for all of us!! After you have reviewed all of the not so fun stuff to consider, you may have narrowed your choices. Because I really like driving and drive a lot, I always select a car that is fun and that I feel good in, that fits me..the right "vibes" if you will, as well as how comfortable I am while sitting in the driver*s seat. Imagine all of the conditions you might be in while you are driving,rain, sleet, snow, wind, heavy traffic, several passengers, lots of junk to haul,etc. and see how you feel as you try out each car. I recently purchased a two door, black Honda Civic which I love. Before that a red Saturn Ion II and VW Beetles. I really loved all of them but each "fit" me for what I needed at the time. Right now I need a safe car that handles well in traffic*especially freeway traffic. My Honda has a "front-end frame structure that absorbs and disperses frontal crash energy over a large area, which increases passenger protection, and is more crash-compatible with vehicles of differing ride heights". I get 33 MPG in the city and 42 on the highway, and it's still sporty and fun!! Georgia Brown National Independent Automobile Dealers Association

Marnie Kramer, Owner and Creator at EverythingCarz.com Dear Christina, Thank you for visiting AskPatty.com. It is tough to pick that first car! Your line up of choices is a good start... The newer Focus's have a good reputation on being safe and reliable and as always the Toyota's, Honda's and Mazda's have a good track record. You may want to also try these The VW Rabbit http://car-reviews.automobile.com/Volkswagen/review/2008-volkswagen-rabbit-4-door-road-test/5340/ Chevrolet Cobalt http://www.autobytel.com/content/research/detail/Chevrolet/Chevrolet-Cobalt/2009Cobalt-LS-Sedan.htm You may also want to consider a vehicle in the Saturn Line up the Astra or Aura. The Saturn dealers are known to treat women well. Good Luck. Marnie Kramer Everything Carz

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