ou’re in search of a car, we’ve established that. But exactly what kind of vehicle catches your eye depends entirely upon the following determining factors: safety, affordability, look, and comfort. Ideally, you would have a combination of all of these factors, however, as a young professional on an entry-level budget, this is not always possible. For this reason, I have compiled a list of all of the best cars for young professionals based on exactly what you are looking for. 

For the Outdoorsy Professional: Subaru Outback 

If you’re in love with the outdoors, you’ll surely fall in love with the Subaru Outback. Image Courtesy of Subaru of America official website. 

The Subaru Outback is to be found in parking lots all throughout the U.S. A very popular car, for it’s classic look and great colors, it is surely a reliable choice for any young professional perusing the market today. 

However, the Subaru Outback is not without its cons. For example, it is very generic. At times this is not a bad thing, as it doesn’t draw attention and is easily adaptable to any environment (no one at work will judge you for owning this model). However, this generic-ness can make it an absolute nightmare to find your Outback in the parking lot of wherever you parked it…Especially if you chose a red paint (the most popular color). 

Still, this little Outback is great. Safe, yet outdoorsy. Small, and yet not so tiny that you ever feel cramped. With a roomy and luxurious inside, as well as a stylish outside, this is the car for any outdoorsy person in a city setting. 

Buy a Subaru Here

For the Person playing it Safe: Toyota Prius Prime 

Slick and space-conscious, the Toyota Prius Prime is a great choice for city-dwellers.  Image Courtesy of Toyota.com.

Next on this list is the Toyota Prius Prime. Running on an all-electric power system (with high power efficiency), this is a car for those both concerned about the planet, and about their fuel (a bit paradoxical, I know). 

This car is power efficient, yet contains many different features for a person to toggle with. For example, it comes with heated seats, climate control, and keyless access. This wonderfully convenient car hasn’t skimped on the safety features, either, offering up road sign recognition and bicycle detection for those of you who have trouble navigating roads. 

This is a car for the person playing it safe and looking for a great electric vehicle with reliable tools. 

Buy a Prius Here

For the Practical: Ford Maverick

You’ve all heard about it via commercials, well here it is! Image Courtesy of Ford.com

The Ford Maverick is a great truck that can easily lend a hand if you have a job that requires you to haul materials with a vehicle. This truck also comes with the perk of being less expensive than other brands, typically priced in the $19,000’s range, whereas many others on this list are in the $20,000’s and above. 

Emergency braking and high beams allow for added safety while on the road. While this car might not be the fanciest one on this particular list, it comes with the added bonus of being highly customizable so as to fit anyone’s tastes. 

Buy a Ford Truck Here

For those with Student Loans: Honda Civic 

Looking for an inexpensive yet quality assured car?  Image Courtesy of Norm Reeves Honda Cerritos. 

Those of you grappling with your monthly payments for old student loans might want to take a gander at the Honda Civic (pictured above). At a very low price point overall, this little “fancy” car possesses both low cost and reliability. It also has a good safety rating and is heavily crash tested, making it the perfect car for a young professional with kids. 

Added features include: cruise control and lane keeping assist, to ensure that the car stays properly oriented whilst on the road. This may be a very standard car overall, but keep in mind that higher-end models have more features to offer (though at a higher price). 

Buy a Civic Here

For the Touch-Screen Lover: Genesis G70

If you simply cannot live without all the accouterments, try the Genesis G70.Image, Courtesy of Genesis.com 

Not every young professional wants a basic, “starting out” car. Some of us have done our time with lemon’s or cream puffs, and now are looking for a car that fulfills our fantasies of possessing a quiet sense of luxury. 

The Genesis G70 comes with quite a few gadgets. For example, collision warning, blind spot warning, and rear-cross traffic assist. It’s essentially a car that instructs you as you drive. 

As far as its sense of luxury goes, the G70 offers a heated steering wheel and front seats, as well as a handy touch screen. Quiet luxury at a lower cost, this car can be particularly dashing in the color red. 

Buy a Genesis Here

For the European: Volkswagen Golf 

Volkswagen.  A reputable brand we’ve all heard of.  Image Courtesy of VW.com.

Volkswagen is a time-tested brand. Their Volkswagen Golf is stylish and stands out, so that you can easily find it in a crowd (this is not true for the Subaru Outback, which is everywhere). 

Equipped with general safety features and highly fuel efficient (can be as low as 6.4 liters per 100 km on highway) this car can both get you out of a dangerous crash and help you save money at the gas station. 

Buy a VW Here

For the One who Values Space: Kia Soul 

I’d sell my soul for this car.  Image Courtesy of Kia.com. 

One thing that this list has seldom addressed is the matter of interior space. Compact and boxy, the Kia Soul might not appear to be a bastion of interior space, however, its unusually tall roof allows it to properly utilize its available space. 

Quite fancy, you might’ve guessed that the nomicker “Soul” comes from Seoul, the location of Kia’s HQ. NOTE: On their website, you get to essentially build your own. 

Buy a Kia Here

For the Luxury-Lover: Lexus UX 

At a higher price point, the Lexus provides exactly what you pay for.  Image Courtesy of Lexus.

Lexus is for those looking for more overt luxury, as opposed to quiet luxury. Compact, this car also happens to appear to be a hatchback. On its “infotainment system,” the UX250h offers services like Apple Carplay and Amazon Alexa, to keep you entertained for the duration of your ride. 

Easily able to keep you comfortable and entertained, this car is great for those who travel a lot and can afford the price of the vehicle and combined gas prices. 

Used is around $27,000 but it’s debut at new is likely to fetch around $34,000 usd. 

Buy a Lexus Here

What makes a Car a Quality Choice for a Young Professional? 

When making a purchase as large as a car, it is important to bear in mind exactly what you want out of the purchase. To start…

  • Consider whether or not you actually need a car in order to reach all of the destinations that you visit on the regular–a car is a massive purchase and may require loans or financial assistance from family. If you live in a big city with cheap public transportation (or if you live in NYC, where there is absolutely no parking) you may want to rethink your decision to purchase a vehicle 
  • Consider the features that you cannot live without? Do you live in a cold climate, and therefore need heated seats and steering wheel? Or do you just need a fuel efficient car to cut on gas costs? Thinking like this will help you to narrow down your choices.

In Conclusion, It all Depends on What You’re Looking For

A car is a different thing to everyone. For some, it represents a luxury, a means of showing off. For others (probably the vast majority of young professionals out there) it is a necessity, required to get you from point A to B on your journey to the office/supermarket/apartment. However, a car is a massive commitment and it is important to be sure that you are ready to make those monthly or yearly payments on time.

Though if you are ready to commit to owning and caring for a car, they can be a great purchase. Especially today, when you put into consideration all of the new features that car’s hold which can be of use (navigation systems, entertainment, controlled environment). 

Nov 8, 2023