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What engine size for a first car?

What should be the maximum engine size for a 17-year-old buying a first car?

Filed under learner - Asked by S D (Dublin) - Wed, 25 Feb 2015 16:57

Neil Briscoe Answered by: Neil Briscoe - Complete Car Adviser - @neilmbriscoe


Hi Stephen,

Unless your surname happens to be Axa or Aviva, you need to stick to a 1.0-litre engine. Now, depending on your budget, that might not be the motoring purgatory that you think it is. If you can stretch to it, a Volkswagen up!, Skoda Citigo or SEAT Mii are all terrific to drive and funky to look at and all come with a rev-happy little 1.0-litre lump. Ditto recent versions of the Ford Fiesta with the non-turbo version of the three-cylinder Ecoboost engine.

Need to buy something older and cheaper? Track down an Opel Corsa 1.0. Not the most exciting car, but safe, solid and decent to drive. Older again? Consider a Nissan Micra from the '90s. Yes, it's slow but it's more enjoyable in the corners than you might think and they go forever on minimal maintenance.

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