10 great first cars

With prices under $25,000 (some way under) these cars make excellent choices for those shopping for their first new set of wheels.

Toyota Rav4
If you're looking for an SUV:
Toyota Rav4
Base prices: $21,000 to $26,500

Engine and transmission: 166 horsepower, 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 4-speed automatic transmission or 269 horsepower, 3.5-liter V6 with 5-speed automatic transmission. Available with front-wheel or all-wheel drive.

Fuel economy: 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined with 4-cylinder and FWD; 21/28/24 with 6-cylinder and AWD

When the Rav4 was redesigned last year, it got longer and took on an optional third row of seats.

It also has excellent fuel economy for an SUV and decent performance even with the standard 4-cylinder engine. With the V6, the Rav4 borders on sporty.

Its looks may not please everyone - to me, it always looks like it's melting - but it's hard to deny that the Rav4 is perhaps the most purely sensible choice in a small SUV.


Fusion

Aura

Rondo

Lancer

Fit

Versa

Cooper

Escape

SX4

Rav4
Toyota's truck could make a big mark Full-sized Tundra is having some early success in the market, but domestic contenders won't be easy to push aside. (more)
Acadia: Big, roomy, almost perfect General Motors' big crossover, a first for GMC, has a lot going for it. (more)
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.