There are few feelings more elating than buying your first car with your own hard-earned money. Generally speaking, many will get their first car — their first new car, at least, from a dealer — when they’ve landed their first grown-up job in their specified field of choice.
The folks over at Edmunds decided to take it upon themselves to match up potential shoppers from various careers with the vehicle that they felt was best. “Your first full-time job is an important milestone on life’s road,” the site said. “It signifies entry into adulthood. Finally, you’re self-sufficient, paying your own way and making your own decisions.”
Obviously, cases vary. But for those lucky enough to secure some quality full-time employment, Edmunds paired up ten professions with a specific vehicle, the results of which are the following. “We’ve made our choices to appeal to new jobholders in a range of professions, from doctors to government workers,” it said. The models are listed in alphabetical order.
Lawyer: BMW 2 Series
Lawyers and BMWs are just one of those sets of things that work well together, like baseball and hotdogs. So as an entry-level lawyer, how about an entry-level BMW? The 2 Series starts at a modest (relatively speaking, of course) $32,100, but that’s not a huge swing for a career that saw a median salary of $113,530 in 2012. The 2 Series is “a solid gateway model for the young attorney looking to experience the driving excitement and overall quality for which the brand is known. Its handling is superb, its cabin is gorgeous, and its available engines are both potent and fuel-efficient,” Edmunds said.
Engineer: Chevrolet Volt
For most, the Chevrolet Volt represents a relatively affordable play on superb fuel economy with an adequate electric range. But engineers can’t help but appreciate the harmony orchestrated between the Volt’s electric and gasoline powertrains. “Engineers love smart solutions and the Volt is one of the smartest,” Edmunds noted. “Able to cruise solely on battery power for about 38 miles, this Chevy boasts the strongest all-electric range in the plug-in hybrid segment.”
Architect/Art Director: Fiat 500
“Creative types like architects and art directors appreciate the value of superlative form. With its retro-yet-modern sheet metal, the Fiat 500 is a textbook example of just how magnetic outstanding design can be,” Edmunds surmises. “Its shapely lines exude Italian charm, giving this Fiat a style and personality uncommon in economy-car segment.” It’s also an ideal city car, and makes up for its lack of passenger space with exceptional maneuverability and urban agility.
Government Worker: Honda Civic
Honda Civics seem to be quite popular with just about everyone, but Edmunds is sold on the idea that it makes particular sense for those employed in the public sector. “Government positions have a reputation for offering a great deal of security,” it says. “In an era in which jobholders flit from company to company, many government workers spend entire careers in Uncle Sam’s employ. The Honda Civic’s appeal is cut from similar fabric. The Honda brand is known for reliability and this will no doubt will be a strong draw for the young government employee looking to invest in a car that promises hassle-free longevity,” Edmunds added.
Sales Representative: Kia Forte
Unless it’s some pretty high-end sales (cars, machinery, real estate), being a sales rep (at least on a retail level) isn’t generally considered a lucrative career choice, and is often used as an in-between for other jobs. But for those looking to take up residence in this particular field, Edmunds recommends the Kia Forte sedan — “A product has to catch the eye but it also has to function in a satisfying way if there is to be any hope of repeat business,” it says. “The Kia Forte is emblematic of this winning blend. Its assertive exterior helps the Forte stand apart in a sea of generic-looking compact cars. And its good looks are supported by tremendous value.”
Physician: Mercedes-Benz CLA
After years of medical school, the last thing a budding doctor likely wants to do is shell out more cash. But if they’re going to, they may as well go all-out: enter the Mercedes CLA, which offers “Mercedes-Benz opulence at a not-too-steep price tag,” Edmunds notes. “And while it may be entry-level, the CLA-Class is no low-budget compromise. It’s the genuine article, with the superb power and uniquely Germanic handling that Mercedes-Benz buyers expect.”
Marketing Associate/Junior Publicist: Mini Cooper Hardtop
“Marketing and public relations associates know that some of the most successful brands are the ones able carve unique niches for themselves,” Edmunds says. Enter the Mini, a brand that has, for all intents and purposes, been built on a single car that is about as iconic as it gets. “This adorable British subcompact is a wonderfully odd duck in its segment, with playful styling flourishes that give it a look all its own,” it added. “It’s also a blast to drive and easy on the wallet at the pump.”
Software Developer/Computer Systems Analyst/Web Developer: Nissan Leaf
“IT and Internet professionals work in careers that owe their existence to the forward march of innovation,” the site said. “With its cutting-edge electric powertrain, the Nissan Leaf is candy for the driver with a sweet tooth for new technology.” There’s no doubt that the Leaf is a technologically advanced car, but its range of 84 miles may be troubling for some, and there are more impressive cars out there for those who can afford it. But for beginners, consider the Leaf the gateway Tesla.
Teacher: Nissan Versa
“Teachers are the unsung heroes of our day. Though many of the jobs in this field are neither glamorous nor high paying, the profession itself is of vital importance to our progress as a species,” Edmunds commends, and rightly so. The site believes that the Nissan Versa sedan — the most affordable car on the U.S. market at the moment — is the right choice for the modestly paying profession, as it’s cheap to own, insure, and maintain.
Financial Advisor/Accountant: Toyota Prius c
Generally, when we think of big-time financial advisors and accountants, we think Maseratis, Porsches, and Benzes; Edmunds had another idea, though, instead taking a more philosophical approach. “Accountants and financial advisors understand that a penny saved is a penny earned,” it says. “The Toyota Prius c offers remarkably sensible fuel economy that’s bound to make it an appealing choice for the first-time jobholder who makes a living balancing finances.” At its sub-$20,000 starting MSRP, it makes for a sensible purchase as well.