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The Best Car for First-Time Drivers in Canada 2023

Buying the best car for first-time drivers in Canada is slightly trickier than buying a car in most of the other countries. Buying your first car is a big decision, especially in Canada where the winters can be harsh. You want to find something that is safe, reliable, and affordable. The specific effects of harsh winters on cars can vary depending on the province. For example, provinces with colder winters, such as Quebec and Manitoba, may require winter tires by law. Other provinces, such as British Columbia and Ontario, may not have such laws, but it is still a good idea to use winter tires in these provinces as well.

When choosing a car for winter driving in Canada, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • The type of terrain you will be driving on: If you live in an area with a lot of snow and ice, you will need a car that is equipped to handle these conditions. A four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive car is a good option.
  • The size of your car: If you have a small car, it may be more difficult to drive in snow and ice. A larger car will give you more stability.
  • The features of the car:┬áSome cars come with features that make them better suited for winter driving, such as heated seats, a heated steering wheel, and snow tires.

You should also know the basic effects of harsh winters on a vehicle such as freezing of Engine Oil and Deterioration of rubber parts such as tires and hoses.

First-time drivers, take care of these things:

If you are a first-time driver in Canada, there are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a car. First, you need to consider your budget. How much can you afford to spend on car payments, insurance, and gas?

Second, think about your needs. How many people do you need to seat? How much cargo space do you need? Do you need a car that is good in the snow?

Finally, consider your driving style. Are you a cautious driver or do you like to take risks? Do you live in a city or in the suburbs?

Why choose Sedans over SUVs for winters:

The choice between sedans, SUVs, and hatchbacks in winter locations often involves considerations of physics related to vehicle dynamics, weight distribution, and tire traction. Here are the key physics principles behind this choice:

  1. Weight Distribution: Sedans typically have a lower center of gravity compared to SUVs, which are taller and have a higher center of gravity. This lower center of gravity in sedans contributes to better stability on slippery surfaces. When driving on snow or ice, the weight of the vehicle is distributed more evenly across all four tires in a sedan, providing more consistent traction and reducing the likelihood of skidding or tipping over.
  2. Tire Traction: Sedans, especially front-wheel-drive sedans, often have better tire traction in winter conditions compared to rear-wheel-drive SUVs. The weight of the engine in the front of most sedans helps provide better grip on the front tires, which are responsible for steering and much of the acceleration. In contrast, rear-wheel-drive vehicles may experience reduced traction when accelerating on slippery surfaces.
  3. Tire Size and Type: Sedans usually have smaller tires compared to SUVs. Smaller tires create a higher pressure per square inch on the road surface, which can help cut through snow and ice to reach the pavement for better grip.
  4. Aerodynamics: Sedans typically have a more streamlined and aerodynamic design compared to the boxier shape of SUVs. This can reduce the impact of crosswinds and improve overall handling and stability on winter roads.
  5. Braking Performance: Sedans tend to have a shorter braking distance on snow or ice compared to larger and heavier SUVs. This is because the additional weight of SUVs requires more force to stop, and their higher center of gravity can lead to instability during sudden stops.


However, it’s important to note that SUVs, especially those with all-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, can offer improved traction and ground clearance, making them suitable for areas with heavy snowfall. Hatchbacks, like sedans, may also handle well in winter conditions, especially if equipped with appropriate tires and features.

Once you have considered all of these factors, you can start narrowing down your choices. Here are a few of the best cars for first-time drivers in Canada in 2023:

1. Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla 2024: best car for first time drivers

Toyota is renowned for its long-standing commitment to safety and reliability. With a rich history of safety innovation, including pioneering features like ABS and driver-side airbags, Toyota has consistently set high standards in the automotive industry. Their vehicles, such as the Toyota Corolla, are known for their durability, thanks to top-quality materials and construction.

The Toyota Corolla, a popular model, exemplifies these qualities. It offers standard safety features like ABS, ESC, and multiple airbags for comprehensive protection. Its fuel-efficient 1.8L 4-cylinder engine delivers impressive mileage, and its comfortable and well-equipped interior, with features like a rearview camera, touchscreen infotainment, and Bluetooth, makes it an excellent choice for drivers, especially newcomers. Toyota’s reputation for safety, reliability, and quality is reflected in the Corolla, making it a trusted option for many.

Here is a chart of features that are useful in harsh winters:

All-wheel drive (AWD)Provides better traction in slippery conditions.
Snow tiresDesigned to grip better on snow and ice.
Heated seatsKeep you warm on cold days.
Heated steering wheelKeeps your hands warm on cold days.
Windshield wiper de-icerHelps to clear ice and snow from your windshield.
Remote startAllows you to start your car from a distance, so it can warm up before you get in.

The price of the Toyota Corolla in Canada starts at $22,690.

Corolla undoubtedly is one of the most loveable cars for first time drivers in Canada.

2. Honda Civic

Honda Civic black - best car for first time drivers

The Honda Civic is a standout choice for Canadian drivers, offering a combination of reliability, fuel efficiency, and versatility perfectly suited to the Canadian landscape. Known for its long history of dependability and commendable gas mileage, the Civic is well-equipped to handle the challenges of Canada’s cold winters and extensive driving distances. With the option of both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive models, drivers can select the drivetrain that best aligns with their specific needs, whether prioritizing cost-effectiveness or enhanced traction in slippery conditions. Safety is paramount, with a comprehensive suite of standard features, including ABS, electronic stability control, and multiple airbags, ensuring peace of mind on the road. Additionally, the Civic’s sporty handling and responsive steering make it an enjoyable car to drive, even in wintry conditions, further solidifying its status as a practical and enticing choice for Canadian motorists.

Here is a comparison between Civic and Corolla that will make you easier to decide which one to go for:

FeatureHonda CivicToyota Corolla
PriceStarts at $22,790Starts at $22,690
Engine1.5L turbocharged 4-cylinder1.8L 4-cylinder
Horsepower174 hp139 hp
Fuel economy (city/highway)7.7/6.0 L/100 km7.8/6.1 L/100 km
Safety featuresStandard: ABS, ESC, traction control, 7 airbagsStandard: ABS, ESC, traction control, 7 airbags
Available featuresAll-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer, remote startAll-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer

3. Mazda3

Mazda 3 in Canada

The Mazda3 emerges as a compelling choice for Canadian winters, offering several key advantages. Firstly, its availability with all-wheel drive (AWD) enhances traction on snow-covered roads, a crucial feature for areas experiencing snowy winters. Furthermore, the Mazda3 boasts a low center of gravity, reducing the likelihood of rollovers in snowy conditions, and its commendable ground clearance equips it to tackle snowdrifts and obstacles with ease. A responsive steering system ensures precise control even in challenging snow conditions, making it a dependable winter companion. Safety is paramount, with the Mazda3 incorporating a comprehensive array of standard safety features such as ABS, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, and an array of airbags, including side curtain airbags and a knee airbag for the driver, enhancing both confidence and protection when driving in winter conditions.

Here is a comparison between Civic and 3

FeatureMazda3Honda Civic
All-wheel drive (AWD)AvailableAvailable
Snow tiresRecommendedRecommended
Heated seatsAvailableAvailable
Heated steering wheelAvailableAvailable
Windshield wiper de-icerAvailableAvailable
Remote startAvailableAvailable

4. Hyundai Elantra

Best car for first time driver in Canada- Elentra

The Hyundai Elantra is a well-suited choice for Canadian drivers for a multitude of reasons. Notably, its reputation for reliability over the years makes it a dependable option, ideal for both first-time buyers and those seeking a long-lasting vehicle. Its fuel efficiency is another advantage, helping drivers save on gas expenses, particularly in a country with high gas prices. Safety is a paramount concern, and the Elantra addresses this with a comprehensive suite of standard safety features, encompassing ABS, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control, and a generous array of airbags, including side curtain airbags and a driver’s knee airbag. Moreover, the availability of all-wheel drive further enhances its suitability for Canadian winters, ensuring better traction and stability on snowy and slippery roads, ultimately making the Hyundai Elantra a strong and well-rounded choice for Canadian driving conditions.

Here is a comparison between Mazda 3 and Elentra:

FeatureHyundai ElantraMazda3
PriceStarts at $20,599Starts at $22,900
Engine2.0L 4-cylinder2.5L 4-cylinder
Horsepower147 hp186 hp
Fuel economy (city/highway)7.8/6.1 L/100 km8.1/6.1 L/100 km
Safety featuresStandard: ABS, ESC, traction control, 7 airbagsStandard: ABS, ESC, traction control, 7 airbags
Available featuresAll-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer, remote startAll-wheel drive, heated seats, heated steering wheel, windshield wiper de-icer

Kia Forte

Best car for first time driver in Canada- Kia Forte

The Kia Forte emerges as another compelling value proposition for Canadian drivers, offering style and a range of winter-friendly features. Notably, its availability with all-wheel drive (AWD) enhances traction on slippery winter roads, a key factor for Canadian winters. Pairing this with snow tires designed for better grip on snow and ice further reinforces its suitability for challenging weather conditions. Additionally, the Forte provides comfort and warmth with heated seats and a heated steering wheel, ensuring a cozy ride on cold days. The windshield wiper de-icer helps maintain clear visibility by efficiently removing ice and snow, while the remote start feature allows for a pre-warmed vehicle, offering convenience and comfort during the winter months.

Here is a comparison between Forte and Elentra:

AspectKia ForteHyundai Elantra
Starting Price$21,995$20,599
Power2.0L 4-cylinder, 147 HP2.0L 4-cylinder, 147 HP
Fuel Economy (City/Highway)7.8/6.1 L/100 km7.7/6.0 L/100 km
All-Wheel Drive AvailableYesYes
Heated SeatsAvailableAvailable
Heated Steering WheelAvailableAvailable
Windshield Wiper De-IcerInformation not providedInformation not provided
Remote StartInformation not providedInformation not provided

News by 7Motors Maintained by Designer Sahab

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