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.

Suzuki SX4
If you're looking for an SUV:
Suzuki SX4
Base prices: $15,000 to $17,400

Engine and transmission: 143 horsepower, 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine with 5-speed automatic or manual transmission and all-wheel drive

Fuel economy: 24 mpg city, 30 highway, 26 combined with automatic transmission; 23/38/25 with manual

Suzuki bills the SX4 as a small SUV. It's not.

The SX4 is a small car with optional all-wheel-drive. In fact, it will soon be offered in a sedan version. (Ever seen an SUV offered in a sedan version?)

Aside from having AWD, the SX4 is a good, but not really remarkable, little car. It's roomy and comfortable inside with a well-constructed cabin. But you can find other small cars that manage that.

If you need something that will get you around in the snow, though, the SX4 is your little car. It even has an "AWD lock" setting for those times when there's really no pavement to grab.










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