10 Best P-plater Friendly Cars

By Alexi Falson
Updated on 09 Dec 2023 First published 18 Oct 2022
image for 10 Best P-plater Friendly Cars There’s no more exciting time in life than being handed your P-Plates and getting behind the wheel for the first time.

It’s a massive moment, though, it’s a milestone in life that should be met with an appropriate amount of care, considering just how dangerous the roads can be.

With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at ten of our favourite P-Plate-friendly cars currently on sale here in Australia, and then take a quick look at what makes a car ‘P-Plate friendly’.

Toyota Yaris Cross

2023 toyota yaris cross gr sport

Starting from $28,000*

Toyota has put its smallest car on stilts, with the Yaris Cross range offering all the benefits of a user-friendly compact SUV with its small footprint that makes town driving a breeze.

The Yaris Cross has a well-equipped base model and the option of an all-wheel drive system and Toyota’s super fuel-efficient hybrid tech a little higher up the range, all of which is backed by the company’s outstanding reputation for reliability and a five-year warranty.

  • Engine: 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol

  • Power & Torque: 88kW/145Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 5.4L/100km 

  • Boot Size: 390L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 7.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Hyundai Venue

2023 hyundai venue

Starting from $22,000*

The Hyundai Venue looks to be the perfect match for a P-Plate driver, considering its reasonable price tags, generous features lists and its remarkably easy nature behind the wheel.

The Venue range comes powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that offers enough power for daily driving without getting you into too much trouble, while the tall windows add to the sense of space and, more importantly, visibility around the package.

  • Engine: 1.6-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 90kW/151Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 7.0 - 7.2L/100km

  • Boot Size: 355L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches  

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Four-star

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre

Mitsubishi ASX

2023 mitsubishi asx

Starting from $23,990*

While it’s showing some signs of age, the Mitsubishi ASX remains in a prime position for P-Plate drivers, with the compact SUV offering outstanding value for money both for its outright price and its long warranty that can stretch out to ten years.

For the money, the ASX presents buyers a very impressive platform packed with the key features we’re looking for in a P-Plate friendly car, combined with a decent amount of space for rear occupants and a healthy 393L of boot space.

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol

  • Power & Torque: 110kW/197Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 7.6L/100km

  • Boot Size: 393L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches 

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Expired five-star rating 

  • Warranty: Five-year/100,000km can extend to 10-year/200,000km 

Toyota Corolla Sedan & Hatch

2023 toyota corolla

Starting from $29,270*

The latest generation Toyota Corolla range of hatchbacks and sedans is, without a doubt, one of the most P-Plate friendly packages you’ll find on the market, combining the company’s outstanding reputation for practical, reliable and safe packages in a super user-friendly offering.

On everything from a dart around town to a long distance road trip, the Corolla feels rock-solid and particularly in sedan form, offers a surprising amount of space that makes it a great all-rounder that can keep up with the needs of young drivers.

Higher up the range you’ve also got the option of Toyota’s fuel-efficient hybrid engines, though fuel economy figures from the standard petrol engine aren’t to be sneezed at.

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 126kW/202Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 6.0L/100km 

  • Boot Size: 217 - 470L (hatch vs sedan) 

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Kia Cerato

2023 kia cerato

Starting from $26,290*

The Kia Cerato is another great option for P-Plate drivers looking for a well-appointed hatch or sedan, with the company offering an outstanding seven-year warranty and bundling in a tonne of safety equipment- for an added price.

Within the Cerato range, there’s four trim levels, each of which can be fitted with the optional safety pack that adds key safety features like blind-spot monitoring, adaptive cruise control, rear cross-traffic alerts and both cyclist and pedestrian detection for the autonomous emergency braking system.

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 112kW/192Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 7.4L/100km

  • Boot Size: 428 - 502L (hatch vs sedan) 

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Mazda 2 Hatchback & Sedan

2023 mazda 2

Starting from $21,510*

Perhaps the best option in the world of P-Plate friendly cars, the Mazda 2 is a heap of fun to drive, looks great inside and comes fitted with a decent amount of kit as standard, making for a great all-rounder.

For what it lacks in size, the Mazda 2 makes up for with its charming personality on the road and its wonderful, leather-appointed interior layout that makes for a sleek and stylish place to sit, with a tonne of active safety features fitted to even the entry-level Mazda 2.

  • Engine: 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 81kW/142Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 5.0L/100km

  • Boot Size: 250 - 440L (hatch vs sedan)

  • Infotainment Display Size: 7.0-inches 

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Expired five-star rating 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Suzuki Swift

2023 suzuki swift

Starting from $22,490*

If charm could pay the bills, the Suzuki Swift would never work a day in its life, with the little hatchback remaining one of the leading options for P-Platers here in Australia thanks to its no-frills nature, pure driving dynamics and a surprising amount of space inside the cabin.

The Swift range offers something for nearly every type of buyer, with the base model picking up a decent list of features, though if you’re looking for blind-spot monitoring, autonomous emergency braking and rear cross-traffic alerts, you’ll have to step one higher than the entry-level Swift.

  • Engine: 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 66kW/120Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 4.6 - 4.8L/100km

  • Boot Size: 242L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 7.0-inches 

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Four-star (entry-level GL) Five-star for the rest of the range 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty 

Volkswagen Polo

2023 volkswagen polo

Starting from $25,750*

While the VW Polo is approaching its 50th birthday, it remains one of the leading options for a P-Plate friendly package thanks to its small footprint and user-friendly driving dynamics on the road.

Entry-level members of the Polo range come powered by a super fuel-efficient engine that offers combined cycle fuel economy figures of 5.4L/100km and the added bonus of a sleek and modern digital instrument cluster.

  • Engine: 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 85kW/200Nm 

  • Fuel Economy: 5.4L/100km 

  • Boot Size: 351L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Kia Stonic

2023 kia stonic

Starting from $22,290*

The Kia Stonic scores high when it comes to value, a decent equipment list and outstanding warranty coverage thanks to Kia’s traditionally-generous approach to packaging.

The Stonic is Kia’s most affordable compact SUV package which, for the money, is a difficult proposition to beat when it comes to outright value, though there are some key omissions on the safety equipment list like blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts.

  • Engine: 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 74kW/133Nm

  • Fuel Economy: 6.7L/100km

  • Boot Size: 352L

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Seven-year/unlimited-kilometre 

Hyundai i30 Sedan & Hatch

2023 hyundai i30 sedan

Starting from $24,000*

We’ll wrap up our list with one of Australia’s favourite P-Plate friendly cars, the Hyundai i30 which is offered in both a sleek sedan and pint-sized yet practical hatchback.

As a daily driver, the Hyundai i30 is near faultless, offering a super user-friendly platform that remains responsive at speed and easy to park when you’re back in the confines of the urban jungle, making for a great option for P-Platers.

  • Engine: 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol 

  • Power & Torque: 120kW/203Nm (hatch) 117kW/191Nm (sedan) 

  • Fuel Economy: 7.0 - 7.3L/100km (sedan vs hatch) 

  • Boot Size: 395L (hatch) 474L (sedan) 

  • Infotainment Display Size: 8.0-inches

  • ANCAP Safety Rating: Five-star 

  • Warranty: Five-year/unlimited-kilometre 

What Makes a Car P-Plate Friendly?

There are a number of things that make a car perfect for a P-Plater, including some of the obvious things like avoiding high-powered engines that are off-limits for P-Plate drivers. Other things you might not have thought of include:

  • Active Safety Features: Things like autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and rear-cross traffic alerts help to mitigate avoidable accidents and even reduce your insurance premiums. 

  • Visibility: Confidence on the road stems from a great view of your surroundings, be sure to keep visibility in mind when test driving.

  • Long Warranty Coverage: You’ve spent all that money - why not opt for a car with a long warranty program for peace of mind. 

  • Responsive Steering: Responsive cars help drivers learn how the car interacts with the road and how to react quickly when things go wrong. 

  • Fuel Economy: Keep your fuel bills low with a fuel-efficient vehicle. 

  • ANCAP Ratings: Be sure to check safety ratings when shopping around for a P-Plate friendly car; these days, a five-star rating is a must-have for young drivers. 

  • Parking Sensors: Avoid simple bumps while parking with the help of parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

Request a Quote

If you’re looking for more suggestions for a P-Plate friendly car here in Australia, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying specialists who can provide you with a list of their favourites - and help you find the best price when it’s time to buy.

* Prices accurate at time of writing.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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