This is going to sound incredibly weird, but... "new" car is in the eyes of the beholder. Your circumstances dictate that you require a vehicle for the sake of employment, so if your primary vehicle breaks down on you, you have no way to supplement your income until you can get it fixed or replaced.
The big thing here is that in your specific circumstance, your car is less of an expense and more of an investment. You can choose to invest in a car that is newer, or you can choose to invest in a car that's less new than this model year. What dictates that investment isn't how much you're able to earn, but what value the investment is going to bring back to you.
Spoiler alert: I'm not convinced that a new vehicle would be a wise investment since the barrier of entry is too high for how much you earn and how much you save versus your debt and expense load.
You haven't specified roughly where you live, but you use USD as your currency, so I'll take a stab at "eastern seaboard", since a large amount of the population of the US lives on the east coast. (California is also population-dense, but I have yet to meet a person who could live comfortably on $1800/mo in California. That's rent in most places.)
Given that as your geographic constraint, it's fair to assume that you'll see a wide variety of weather and traffic - notably, rainy, wet with the occasional really bad snowstorm that could hit. It's also fair to assume that you'll have to deal with traffic - some good, some bad, but you'll be commuting quite a lot from place to place.
In that mindset, the cost of the car becomes the cost of entry. You then have to factor in:
- the cost of fuel (gas or electric), and
- the cost of upkeep maintenance (routine or emergency)
before you can determine if you can afford a specific kind of car.
Fuel costs on the east cost of the US are a shade lower than average at the time of writing, and assuming a 12-gallon tank and refueling every week from near empty, you'd be paying something on the order of $33/wk on gas. Factor in costs such as antifreeze/coolant, insurance, and tires, you could be looking at something between $200-$250/mo on upkeep alone, using some conservative, back-of-a-napkin estimates for insurance (around $90/mo on the median to high end), the average cost of a new set of tires across a year assuming you replace tires every 4 years ($600/48 mo -> $12.50/mo) and an oil change in the first year for a new car ($25-$35).
Getting a new car would also then add tax and title to the purchase of your vehicle, which varies based on jurisdiction and state. For example, I wish to by a vehicle that costs $55,000. After tax, that car now costs $61,000. With title, I believe I pay $500 for the first year of ownership, which then goes down over time.
There's a large up-front cost to paying for a new vehicle which most earners don't readily identify. You don't mention how much you have in your savings, what the average cost of the car is or if you have a credit score good enough to get a loan which would cover a hypothetical $25,000-$45,000 vehicle. But, just being able to save money alone isn't going to be good enough to buy a new vehicle.
...but since you need a car, get a used car. It'll still be "new". It just won't be new and still have an expensive stigma attached to it.