For a first car?
Don't get a BMW, or any other high brand name like that.
The absolute creme de la creme of First Cars currently available, Is the Chevy Cavalier. They are really good on gas, Retardedly cheap to maintain, They are LITERALLY everywhere, finding replacement parts will not be a problem.
For a first car you want Reliability, Cheap maintenance, good gas mileage and Cheap insurance. The Cavalier is just that. Don't get a Sunfire, not as reliable.
And don't make my mistake, Getting an older car that nobody has anymore, Finding parts for my Chevette is painfully difficult.
In theory, this is true but depends what you like and the real decision, just how much can you afford? When buying prestige, a few things.
1. If they are german, most wont be as reliable as what you thought and they are a pain in the ass when something does go wrong, with that being said, it is always not as expensive, problem is most people don't look around eg my S420 has problems with it, tappets, springs, wheel alignment and more, took it down to my grandmothers prestige mechanic, $8000 he quoted me, went to Mercedes specialist with the Mercedes club of NSW and a few W140 enthusiasts, $2000, much better price and same quality if not better, if you can be bothered and it is in alright condition, then maybe take the chance.
2. When you have a german or more european not japanese prestige, have a second car there, whether it will be your mothers or fathers or rented or whatever, just have a second one on hand, again because once a german goes wrong, they will be in the garage for a couple of weeks at least and because most if not all german cars are complex cars, most of the stuff will go wrong especially around the 13-20 yr old mark so just keep that in mind.
3. As killerdude stated with older cars, parts are pricks if something goes wrong especially on germans, cause you either have to get new, one of those second parts places or if lucky scrapyard or somewhere.
In general if you can be bothered putting in extra time, shopping around and doing DIY as part of your weekends, then sure go for a german, most you will not regret, they are mostly quality that are built like tanks but if you are going to get someone else to do your car most of the time and you have to pay all of the time, then something cheap is probs best.
My mates kept saying to me why did i get a V8 s class, and my response is why not??, you can keep your Corolla and yes i do pay for petrol and parts myself.
Good Luck bro and have fun with searching and testing cars, it is a stressful but fun time.
My S Class and my grandparents B Class , some of the best cars you will ever have.