This question is often asked. The trouble is the answers are often about preferences and not facts. It’s not about a particular make of car, and it definitely should not be about price only. Also, it should not be prefaced by the statement; “well it doesn’t want to be too good because it’s going to get some dents and they will probably have a few minor accidents initially anyway”.
You need to be checking for a good safety rating when buying a car, know it’s service record and check out reviews on that particular model. Check availability of parts for the vehicle your thinking of buying, also cost of servicing. Maintaining your car is going to cost money, and skimping on this can lead to potential accidents and breakdowns.
Also, adequate insurance needs to be taken and the premium will reflect the insurance industries view of that particular model of vehicle.
Remember buying a car wisely, is more important than buying the latest fashion statement, as your life may depend on it!