Truthfully, I am going to buy my daughter an 2000 Buick for her first car, with worn out seat and paint from a neighbor. The reason is, you have to have an old junker for your first car so you can appreciate the better cars later-ie. don't get a new car. Also, the large Buick is safe in case of accident or mishap. I know it's not what you wanted to hear, but don't spend a lot on a car until you know what yu want and have a proven driving record of safety.
I would always go with new, if that's an option. (Of course if u find a good used one you love, go for it!) I've always wanted to get a Ford f250 with an Eco-boost engine. If trucks aren't your thing, see what else Ford has to offer!(:
A new car for a new driver is a waste. The truth is it takes time to become a skilled driver and its more likely then not that you will ding it up from time to time. Hold off and save up for a new one. By then u should have more experience.