The Best Cars for Stages of Your Life

Like a photo collection tracking you over the years, the cars that suit you will change with different stages of your life.

Here are the best vehicles for beginning drivers, young professionals, families, and empty nesters:

* Beginning drivers—Safety is a paramount concern with cars for young drivers. But young drivers may be most interested in exciting tech features like connectivity for cellphone and music players. Look at cars with both high safety scores and a good array of tech features, such as the Kia Soul or Honda Fit.

* Young workers—Young shoppers want a stylish ride, still with plenty of tech features. Good choices among compact cars have greatly expanded, with convenience, comfort, and tech equipment now available that once came only with much more expensive cars. Consider the Volkswagen GTI, Chevrolet Cruze, or Ford Focus.

* Families—For families with more than one child, hauling children, their children’s friends, and toys or sports gear quickly becomes an issue. For parents who want a vehicle that is not boring to drive, the best answer is the Honda Odyssey. For those who just can’t cope with the image of owning a minivan, the next-best answer is the Chevrolet Traverse.

* Empty nesters—Parents who no longer have kids at home to ferry around often want to try something entirely different. Depending on how affluent they are, that might run to a stylish coupe from a luxury brand. The Audi A5 and Ford Mustang are good choices.

Whatever your stage of life and car choice, make sure you work out carefully the affordability of your choice. And for your best financing options, come to Hopewell Federal Credit Union.

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