Buying an electric car as your very first car has its own set of drawbacks and benefits. You are going to drive a more efficient car with a lesser impact on the environment, but you will also have to compromise more when it comes to charging and range than you otherwise would if you opted for an ICE car.
Aiways is a newcomer EV Chinese startup brand that has only recently joined the automotive market. In a little over three years, they managed to design, develop and offer the Aiways U5 to the public. The U5 is a crossover/SUV designed to give you a thorough EV experience without needing to spend vast amounts of money.
As far as a good first is concerned, there are two predominant streams of thought, one says that you should start out with a cheap and compact car because your insurance costs are going to be high and because you are only starting, thus you should not immediately move to an expensive brand-new car.
However, going for a brand-new EV as your first car has its benefits such as eligibility for government EV grants, cheap running costs, superior reliability, and the fact that you are riding the winds of change. Either way, be sure to read this article in order to find out if the Aiways U5 is the one for you.
Aiways U5 – A decent first car at best
The Aiways U5 is a car made by a brand that is relatively unfamiliar to most people out there. This means that the appeal the Aiways badge carries is almost non-existent. However, the Aiways U5 does offer a competitive price tag which means that the U5 is even class-leading in some aspects such as interior space.
All Aiways U5 models come with a single electric motor front-wheel-drive configuration that pushes out 150 kW (201hp) of power. The U5 offers a 63 kWh battery that can be charged from 20% to 80% in a little over 30 minutes if you come across a fast DC charger while slow AC charging takes about 8-10 hours.
This is enough for a 250mile WLTP range which is also more than enough for your daily commutes. The U5 is packed with all sorts of technologies such as blind-spot assist, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, and all the other advanced driver assistance systems.
However, the greatest issue with the U5 is the lackluster safety as some leading crash testing organizations rated the U5 with a rather poor 3-star rating. This is a huge red flag as young drivers tend to have a higher collision rate than every other age group out there.
A cheap ICE first car is always the best idea
Even though the U5 could be a good first car, many people tend to agree that someone’s first car should be a cheap and already well-used car because the very first years of active driving are usually associated with dings, scratches, and all sorts of stressful situations.
A cheap and well-used car is not going to cost a lot of money to insure either, and that’s essential for a student driver. This does not mean that you should buy a 20-year old 200k mile trainwreck, but rather a decent car with good safety ratings.
It is beneficial for you to start with an ICE car because you can always upgrade to a more expensive EV in the future. The differences between owning an ICE car and an EV are vast, and you should be familiar with both.
What makes a great first car?
A great first car does not cost all that much money because your very first years of car ownership tend to be stressful and filled with all sorts of compromises. It should also be a practical car because you want to have a lot of space for yourself, your luggage and your passengers.
Reliability is essential for all cars, no matter who is the one buying them. A great first car should also be not too fast for obvious reasons why superior controllability and lots of safety kit are also beneficial for inexperienced drivers.
Buying a used car offers you the ability to get more for your money, but a new car is going to come with all sorts of warranties and service benefits. A cheap to insure car is also a necessity for inexperienced drivers.
Which cars are bad first cars?
There are some types of cars that are not made for inexperienced drivers. Supercars are often more difficult to drive because they offer subpar visibility, they are too low to the ground and they cost a lot of money to run. They also feel unrefined and are way too fast for someone who is only starting out.
Full-size sedans and 7-seater SUVs are also an obvious no-go because they are hard to maneuver in thigh spaces and are a lot more difficult to park when compared to more compact cars. Finally, EVs can be bad first cars if you are not able to fully utilize the EV platform which means charging the car when necessary and knowing what it takes to own an EV.
Is the Tesla Model 3 a good first car?
The Tesla Model 3 is currently one of the most popular EVs on the market because it offers everything a Tesla car offers without costing Model S money. Tesla cars are extremely desirable right now so it’s only logical to ask if the Model 3 could be a good first car, and the answer to this question is yes, the Model 3 can be a great first car.
That’s if you are able to utilize the EV platform to its fullest potential and this is easier to do in a car such as a Tesla because you can charge your car through Tesla’s supercharger network.
What is the biggest problem for young drivers?
According to many public health officials, car accidents are some of the most serious issues facing teenagers in general. Younger drivers are always overrepresented in most car accidents which is obviously a huge issue.
As such, the logic behind buying the U5 is questionable. Aiways is indeed working on solving those safety issues so you should take your time and wait before these issues are completely resolved.