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Best cars to buy in Canada

Whether you want a small car, a family SUV or anything in between, these are the best cars in Canada.

Buying a new car can be an overwhelming experience. With dozens of manufacturers and hundreds of models to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best cars to buy in Canada.

There are options below to suit every buyer and budget, including budget-friendly commuter cars, luxury and sports cars, gasoline-powered cars, EVs and hybrids. Keep reading to find the car that’s right for you.

Best small car: Honda Civic

Honda Civic 2024

The Honda Civic is a small car that’s big on features. Available as a sedan or hatchback, this popular compact car is powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that delivers 180 horsepower. It features a flexible interior layout, 9-inch colour touchscreen, Bose sound system, sporty handling and a range of driver assistance features.

Price: $26,790

Why it’s one of the best

No matter whether you want sporty on-road performance, practical features or maximum safety, the ever-popular Civic delivers on all fronts. This Japanese compact was named the Edmunds 2023 Top Rated Car, impressing with its refined handling, ample cargo space and easy-to-use tech. The Civic was also featured on Car and Driver’s 10 Best Cars for 2024 list and was named the Best Compact Car in the AutoTrader Awards. Add in Honda’s solid resale values, plus high safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS, and it’s easy to see why the Civic is a top pick.

Downsides

  • There are cheaper options in this category
  • The sedan version doesn’t come with a manual transmission

Other top small cars

  • Acura Integra
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Kia Forte
  • Mazda 3
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Volkswagen Jetta

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Best midsize car: Kia K5

Kia 5 2024

Kia’s K5 is an elegant and sporty performer that sits at the pointy end of the midsize car category. It features a 1.6-litre turbocharged engine mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission with all-wheel drive, ensuring secure and confident handling. It also features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility plus memory driver seats, so you can get your comfort levels just right. Stay safe on the road with advanced technologies like Forward Collision Avoidance Assist.

Price: $30,495

Why it’s one of the best

The K5 is the number-one-ranked midsize car in J.D. Power’s consumer rating rankings, scoring highly for driving experience as well as quality and reliability. The K5 also has a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, delivering impressive fuel economy figures and stylish looks in a category not always known for aesthetic appeal. That’s why we think it’s one of the best choices if you’re shopping for a midsize car.

Downsides

  • No hybrid option
  • Rear-seat headroom is a little cramped
  • Poor result in the IIHS updated moderate front overlap crash test

Other top midsize cars

  • Honda Accord
  • Toyota Camry
  • Hyundai Sonata
  • Subaru Legacy

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Best luxury car: Genesis G90

Genesis G 90

The Genesis G90 combines elegant looks with a comfortable interior, a smooth ride and a long list of standard features.

Price: $116,150

Why it’s one of the best

Genesis may not be the first brand that springs to mind when you think of luxury cars, but there are lots of good reasons why the G90 is a top luxury pick. Cars.com named the G90 the Best Luxury Car of 2023, while MotorTrend named it the 2023 Car of the Year. And with a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, it’s an excellent choice for luxury car buyers.

Downsides

  • No wireless Apple CarPlay or Android Auto
  • Not as sought-after as some premium Euro brands

Other top luxury cars

  • Audi A8
  • BMW 5 Series
  • Genesis G80
  • Lexus ES 350
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class

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Best minivan: Chrysler Pacifica

Chrysler Pacifica 2024

The Chrysler Pacifica offers seating for up to 8 people with a versatile interior layout. It’s loaded with thoughtful features, including wireless connectivity, heated front seats and a 360° Surround View Camera system. The Pacifica comes with a 3.6-litre V6 engine and 9-speed automatic transmission. There’s also a plug-in hybrid version available.

Price: $54,820

Why it’s one of the best

The Pacifica has an impressive list of on-board safety tech and scores well in crash tests, earning a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Its Stow ‘n Go seating arrangement makes it easy to quickly switch from maximum passenger capacity to cargo-carrying capability. As an added bonus, all-wheel drive is available with some trims.

Downsides

  • Fuel economy could be better
  • Second-row seats lack comfort

Other top minivans

  • Honda Odyssey
  • Toyota Sienna

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Best SUV: Toyota RAV4

Toyota RAV 4

The RAV4 was the best-selling SUV in Canada in 2023. This compact SUV has a 2.5-litre engine with 203 horsepower, all-wheel drive and city/highway fuel economy of 8.7/6.9L per 100km in the standard trim. A hybrid version is also available. Interior features include an 8-inch multimedia screen, heated front seats and Toyota’s Safety Sense 2.5 active safety features.

Price: $33,150

Why it’s one of the best

The RAV4 is quite simply an attractive all-round package for SUV buyers. It has a long list of safety technologies, features a practical interior and sips (rather than guzzles) fuel. The RAV4 earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, so you can hit the road with confidence. To top it off, Toyota was named Canada’s Most Trusted Car Brand in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards.

Downsides

  • Some buyers might want a larger SUV
  • Not the most exciting on-road performer

Other top SUVs

  • BMW X3
  • BMW X5
  • Chevrolet Suburban
  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Chevrolet Trailblazer
  • Honda CR-V
  • Honda HR-V
  • Hyundai Kona
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • Kia Soul
  • Kia Sportage
  • Kia Telluride
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Mazda CX-90
  • Subaru Ascent
  • Subaru Outback
  • Volkswagen Atlas
  • Volvo XC60
  • Volvo XC90

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Best electric car or SUV: Hyundai Ioniq 6

Hyundai IONI Q6 2024

The Hyundai Ioniq 6 EV offers a driving range of up to 581km. It boasts 18-inch alloy wheels, futuristic styling, a power trunk and LED headlights. Other features include heated front seats, a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, and standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Price: $54,999

Why it’s one of the best

The Ioniq 6 is a semi-finalist for 2024 Canadian Electric Car of the Year from the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada. It performs well in crash tests and was voted the 2023 World Car of the Year by 105 judges from 35 countries. Add its long range into the mix, and you’ve got an EV with a whole lot to offer new car buyers.

Downsides

  • Futuristic styling won’t appeal to everyone
  • Cargo-carrying capacity could be better

Other top electric cars and SUVs

  • BMW i4
  • Chevrolet Bolt
  • Ford Mustang Mach-E
  • Hyundai Ioniq 6
  • Kia EV9
  • Tesla Model 3
  • Tesla Model Y
  • Volvo XC40 Recharge

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Best hybrid car or SUV: Mazda CX-90 PHEV

Mazda-CX-90 2024

The Mazda CX-90 plug-in hybrid is an eight-seater SUV with a 2.5-litre engine and an 8-speed automatic transmission. It offers a battery driving range of up to 42km with a claimed maximum driving range of 789km once the gas engine kicks in. All-wheel drive is standard. Interior features include an 8-speaker sound system, 10.25-inch full-colour centre display and safety tech like blind spot monitoring.

Price: $54,900

Why it’s one of the best

The CX-90 PHEV offers refined handling, a luxurious interior and seating for up to 8 people. Because it has a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, you can enjoy added peace of mind when you hit the road.

Downsides

  • Third row is a little cramped
  • Base model only has wired (not wireless) Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Other top hybrid cars and SUVs

  • Honda CR-V Hybrid
  • Mazda CX-90 PHEV
  • Toyota Corolla Hybrid
  • Toyota Prius
  • Kia Sportage Hybrid
  • Hyundai Tucson Hybrid
  • Lexus NX 450h+
  • Volvo XC60 Recharge
  • Volvo XC90 Recharge

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Best truck: Ford F-150

Ford F150

The Ford F-150 is a truck that needs no introduction. This big beast comes with a variety of engine choices, including a V8, but most models are powered by a 2.7-litre or 3.5-litre V6 EcoBoost engine. Other features include selectable drive modes, a 12-inch screen, a head-up display and plenty of safety tech.

Price: $49,655

Why it’s one of the best

Regularly featured at the top of sales charts, the Ford F-150 offers new truck buyers an impressive all around package. It boasts a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA, a comfortable interior, substantial towing capacity and a wide range of models to choose from. It was also named the Best Full-Size Truck in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards, making it a great choice for new truck buyers.

Downsides

  • Fuel economy isn’t a strong point
  • May be too big for some

Other top trucks

  • Chevrolet Silverado HD
  • Ford Maverick
  • GMC Sierra 1500
  • Hyundai Santa Cruz
  • RAM 1500
  • Toyota Tacoma
  • Toyota Tundra

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Best value car: Kia Soul

Kia Soul 2024

The Kia Soul is a small SUV that knows how to stand out from the crowd. Powered by a 2-litre engine that churns out 147 horsepower, the Soul delivers a combined fuel consumption of 7.9L/100km. Its distinctive boxy shape gives it a spacious interior, while the long list of standard features include Advanced Forward Collision Avoidance Assist, a sunroof, and integration with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Price: $22,795

Why it’s one of the best

Everyone has their own definition of what represents good value, but for our money, it’s hard to go past the Kia Soul. For a price that won’t break the bank, the Soul boasts a spacious interior, an impressive list of standard features and reliable on-road handling.

Downsides

  • Boxy look may not suit everyone’s taste
  • No all-wheel-drive option

Other top value cars

  • Hyundai Kona
  • Kia Rio
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Corolla

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Best self-driving car: Tesla Model 3

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 is available in 2 models—the Base Rear-Wheel Drive model, which has an estimated range of up to 438km, and the Long Range AWD that can cover up to 548km. You can add up to 282km of charge in just 15 minutes at a Supercharger. The Model 3 comes with 18-inch wheels. Plus, there are plenty of tech features to take advantage of, including cabin pre-heating and cooling, wireless phone charging and Tesla’s Autopilot.

Price: $53,990

Why it’s one of the best

Autopilot includes features like Traffic-Aware Cruise Control and Autosteer to reduce some of the hassle of driving. Tesla also scores well on safety tests, with the Model 3 earning a 5-star rating from the NHTSA. It boasts an excellent driving range and comfortable interior. If you’re searching for a high-quality car with self-driving technology, this vehicle should definitely be on your shortlist.

Downsides

  • Real-world driving range may not be as impressive
  • No Apple CarPlay or Android Auto

Other top self-driving cars

  • Genesis G90
  • Tesla Model Y

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Best car for safety: Honda Accord

Honda Accord 2024

The Honda Accord is a 5-seat sedan that combines stylish looks with practical features. It’s powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine, but there’s also a hybrid model available. Standard features include a 7-inch colour touchscreen, heated front seats and active safety tech such as lane keeping assist.

Price: $37,500

Why it’s one of the best

With Honda Sensing technologies included—like active cruise control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Traffic Jam Assist—the Accord works hard to help you avoid accidents. It earned a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, making this a top choice if safety is your number-one priority. The Accord was also named the Best Family Sedan in the 2023 AutoTrader Awards.

Downsides

  • No all-wheel drive
  • Some drivers might prefer an engine with a little more power

Other top safe cars

  • Acura Integra
  • Genesis G80
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Mazda 3
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Toyota Camry

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Best first car: Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is a subcompact sedan with a wallet-friendly price tag. It’s powered by a 122 horsepower engine that delivers combined fuel economy of 6.7L/100km, and you’ll find 425 litres of cargo space in the trunk. There’s seating for 5 inside, while Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 suite features 6 driver assistance technologies to help you stay safe on the road.

Price: $19,798

Why it’s one of the best

The Versa ticks a lot of important boxes for first car buyers. It’s affordably priced and delivers great fuel economy but isn’t overpowered. Additionally, it features a practical interior and a 5-star NHTSA car safety rating, so add it to your test-drive list if you’re shopping for your first car.

Downsides

  • Some buyers might need a larger sedan
  • Some reviewers report cabin noise at high speeds

Other top first cars

  • Honda Civic
  • Mazda 3
  • Toyota Corolla

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Best used car for reliability: Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Corolla has long been one of Canada’s most popular passenger cars. While never viewed as a particularly exciting drive, the Corolla has a well-earned reputation for providing a safe, reliable and comfortable driving experience. And with good fuel economy, it’s an affordable car to own as well.

Price: Varies

Why it’s one of the best

The 2019 Toyota Corolla was a 2022 J.D. Power dependability award winner, scoring an impressive 92 out of 100 for quality and reliability. Toyota was also featured among Consumer Reports’ 3 most reliable car brands for 2023. So if you’re looking for a reliable used sedan or hatchback, it’s hard to go past the Corolla.

Downsides

  • Not known for providing a particularly exciting drive
  • The brand’s high resale value means you may need to pay a little extra

Other top used cars for reliability

  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Kia Soul
  • Mazda 3
  • Mitsubishi
  • Subaru Outback
  • Toyota Corolla

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Best sports car: Porsche 911 Turbo

Porsche 911 Turbo

The Porsche 911 Turbo’s performance figures will have any keen driver licking their lips. A 572hp, 6-cylinder, twin-turbo engine gets you from zero to 100km/h in less than 3 seconds. A top track speed of 320km/h and an 8-speed automatic transmission allows for seamless gear shifts. Add interior features like a 10.9-inch touchscreen display, sports seats and a standard Bose sound system, and you’ve got a car that offers luxury as well as performance.

Price: $225,700

Why it’s one of the best

The Porsche 911 needs no introduction. This iconic sports car is famous for its speed, slick handling and fun factor. And the Turbo model is seriously quick, so if you’ve got the cash to cover the hefty asking price, it’s sure to put a big smile on your face.

Downsides

  • Not cheap
  • No manual transmission

Other top sports cars

  • Chevrolet Corvette
  • Ferrari 296
  • Ford Mustang
  • Lamborghini Revuelto
  • Mazda MX-5
  • Subaru BRZ
  • Toyota GR86

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Best hatchback: Mazda 3 Sport

Mazda 3

The 2024 Mazda 3 Sport is a popular choice in the hatchback category. Powered by a 191 horsepower, 2.5-litre engine in the base-model GX, this stylish hatch delivers fuel economy of up to 6.5L/100km for highway driving. It boasts plenty of premium interior features too, such as an 8-speaker sound system, an 8.8-inch wide colour display and safety tech like blind spot monitoring and emergency brake assist.

Price: $24,950

Why it’s one of the best

The Mazda 3 Sport earned a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS and a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA. Motor journalists praise its impressive handling and premium cabin, so it’s well worth a look if you want your next car to be a hatchback.

Downsides

  • Back seat is a little cramped
  • Cargo space isn’t as big as some competitors

Other top hatchbacks

  • Acura Integra
  • Honda Civic
  • Kia Forte5
  • Kia Rio
  • Subaru Impreza
  • Volkswagen Golf GTI

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Best sedan: Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla has long been a favorite among Canadian car buyers. In addition to Toyota’s reputation for reliability, the Corolla features a 2-litre engine and a long list of safety tech and features like keyless entry, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a spacious interior. A hatchback version is also available.

Price: $23,490

Why it’s one of the best

Canadians love the Corolla, with Toyota selling over 21,000 of these popular sedans in the first three quarters of 2023. The vehicle has a Top Safety Pick award from the IIHS, a 5-star car safety rating from the NHTSA and delivers excellent fuel efficiency. Kelley Blue Book in the USA also named Toyota the best car brand for resale values in 2023, another factor that makes the Corolla a wise purchase.

Downsides

  • May not be large enough for some people’s needs
  • Not the most exciting car to drive

Other top sedans

  • Audi A3
  • Honda Accord
  • Honda Civic
  • Hyundai Elantra
  • Kia K5
  • Mazda 3
  • Mercedes-Benz C-Class
  • Nissan Versa
  • Toyota Camry
  • Toyota Crown
  • Volkswagen Jetta

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Best car to lease: BMW 530i xDrive

BMW 530I

The BMW 530i xDrive is a luxury sedan that offers a pleasing mix of comfort and performance. Featuring bold styling and a 255hp engine, it accelerates from 0 to 100km/h in 6.1 seconds. You’ll find the sort of premium interior finish you’d expect from BMW, while inclusions like a 12-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional safety tech increase comfort and safety.

Price: $70,500 (lease rates vary)

Why it’s one of the best

If you’re a luxury car buyer who wants to regularly upgrade to new models, the 530i is well worth a closer look. The BMW 5 Series gets a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, delivers a smooth and comfortable ride and is loaded with tech features. That’s why we think it’s the best car to lease.

Downsides

  • There are more affordable options available
  • Some touch controls are a little difficult to use

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Best car under $30k: Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

The four-door Hyundai Elantra sedan offers an impressive list of inclusions and a spacious cabin for a budget-friendly price. Powered by a 2-litre engine that produces 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft Torque, the Elantra offers sporty styling and a combined fuel economy of 6.5L per 100km. It’s well equipped inside with features like heated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control and a long list of active safety technologies.

Price: $21,999

Why it’s one of the best

Simply put, the Elantra offers great bang for your buck. It’s frugal on fuel, offers on-road reliability and comfort and has a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS. Because it’s so competitively priced, you can upgrade to the Preferred or Luxury trim and still get an MSRP of less than $30,000. That’s why the Elantra is one of the best-selling cars in Canada, with Hyundai shifting more than 16,000 of them in the first three quarters of 2023.

Downsides

  • Some buyers might like a bit more power than the base engine offers
  • No manual transmission

Other top cars under $30k

  • Chevrolet Trax
  • Honda Civic
  • Honda HR-V
  • Mazda 3
  • Mazda CX-30
  • Nissan Sentra
  • Subaru Crosstrek
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Volkswagen Jetta

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How we chose the best cars to buy in Canada

We chose the best cars on this page based on vehicles available in Canada. These vehicles are not representative of the entire market. When choosing our picks for the best cars in Canada, we considered price, safety, unique features, awards, ratings and sales volume. No single car will be the best choice for everyone, so compare your options to find the best fit for your situation.

What are the best-selling cars in Canada?

Below you’ll find the top-selling vehicles across key categories for the first three quarters of 2023. However, it’s worth noting that Ford failed to report sales statistics, so popular models like the F-150 don’t feature at the top of sales charts.

Best-selling SUVs

1. Toyota RAV4: 56,053
2. Honda CR-V: 39,933
3. Hyundai Tucson: 20,652
4. Nissan Rogue: 19,723
5. Mazda CX-5: 17,773

Best-selling cars

1. Toyota Corolla: 21,022
2. Honda Civic: 20,606
3. Hyundai Elantra: 16,390
4. Chevrolet Bolt: 10,957
5. Kia Forte: 9,183

Best-selling trucks

1. Chevrolet Silverado/GMC Sierra: 86,262
2. Ram P/U: 60,370
3. Toyota Tacoma: 11,775
4. Toyota Tundra: 9,702
5. Chevrolet Colorado/GMC Canyon: 8,010

AutoTrader Top Sold Vehicles

In 2023, AutoTrader released its lists of the “Top Sold” and “Top Searched” vehicles on its platform for the previous year. Here are the results.

2023 Top Sold Vehicles2023 Top Searched Vehicles
Ford F-150Ford F-150
Ram 1500Porsche 911
Ford EscapeHonda Civic
Chevrolet Silverado 1500BMW 3 Series
Honda CR-VToyota RAV4
GMC Sierra 1500Ford Mustang
Toyota RAV4Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Nissan RogueMercedes-Benz E-Class
Jeep WranglerChevrolet Corvette
Honda CivicRam 1500

How to choose the best car for you

Keep the following factors in mind when shopping for a new car:

Budget

First and foremost, work out how much you can afford to spend on a new car. Can you pay the purchase price upfront, or do you need to apply for financing? If you’re taking out a car loan, keep in mind that factors like your credit score and income will affect the interest rate you get, which will impact the total cost of your car. Before applying, make sure you can afford the monthly payments.

Your needs

Do you need seating for two people or a family of five or more people? If you’re regularly carrying rear-seat passengers, be sure to check how each model stacks up in terms of back-seat legroom and headroom. Don’t forget to consider your cargo-carrying needs and how much space is available with the rear seats up or down.

Performance is another key factor—do you want something that’s fast and fun to drive, or do you just want something practical and reliable?

Safety

A high car safety rating gives you peace of mind when hitting the road and helps you save on insurance costs. Check each vehicle’s safety ratings from the NHTSA and IIHS, and see what sort of driver assistance technology is included to help keep you safe on the road. Check out our guide to the safest cars in Canada if safety is your number-one priority when buying a new vehicle.

Running costs

The purchase price is only part of the financial equation you need to consider when buying a new car. Also consider how much the car will cost in the long run. Fuel economy, maintenance, licensing and registration fees can vary substantially between models. The Canadian Automobile Association offers a handy Driving Costs Calculator that you can use to work out the yearly cost of owning and operating different vehicles.

Buy or lease

If you like regularly upgrading your vehicle or don’t want to buy an asset that depreciates quickly, consider leasing instead of buying. Learn more in our guide to leasing a car in Canada.

Resale value

It might seem strange to think about how much you’ll get from reselling a car before you even buy it, but it’s worth considering the average resale values of different makes and models. Providers like CARFAX, AutoTrader and Kelley Blue Book all have easy online tools for checking the value of old vehicle models.

Test-drive and compare

The best way to tell if a car is right for you is to take it for a test-drive. This will give you a better idea of how it accelerates, handles and stops; whether it’s comfortable to drive and whether its features meet your needs. You’ll also get a chance to check out visibility, legroom and headroom in the rear seats and how much trunk space is available.

It’s well worth test-driving multiple models back to back to find the right car for your needs.

Bottom line

Buying a new car can be a daunting task, but don’t let it overwhelm you. Once you have a clear idea of exactly what you need and want in a vehicle plus what you can afford to pay, start comparing suitable models and take any of your favourites for a test-drive.

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