Buying a new car when you get to college can be a very exciting and liberating moment in a person’s life.
Knowing that they won’t depend on public transportation as much and having the independence of traveling whenever you want or just being able to drive around town listening to music, will always make anyone smile.
But, with so many choices available in the market today, it may be a rather complicated decision if you don’t really have the information and narrow down to what you need and what you’re looking for in your first car.
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This car isn’t just about its cool looks and vibe; it is packed with lots of features and attributes that will please everyone involved. The 2016 Kia Soul is highly regarded as a reliable and safe car, with more than enough storage room and nifty interior tech options.
The fuel economy with this car isn’t the best out there, but it’s not the worst either. It can average around 24 mpg while driving in the city and if you’re on the highway, expect it to go up a bit to 30 mpg. You can choose between a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder.
The average price for a used 2016 Kia Soul is around $14,500 depending on mileage, condition, location and overall use.
SUVs are always a nice idea for college students and the 2017 Tucson should always be on the list of contenders for this purpose. It has a base price of under $23,000 and you can choose between front-wheel and all-wheel drive, as well as having the option to add nice upgrades.
Those that have driven this car point out the smoothness and comfort of its ride and the average fuel economy for an SUV of this type. The Tucson Eco, Sport and Limited have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine and a seven-speed automatic transmission.
The 2017 Honda Fit is one of the best compact vehicles you will find; its price, fuel economy and safety all make it a superb choice as
The fuel economy is notable, it gives you 29 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway if you have the manual transmission, while with the continuously variable transmission you will get 33 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway.
You can expect to pay around $17,200 for a used 2017 Honda Fit, depending on the condition, mileage, features and location.
Another compact SUV on this list, with some impressive tech, roomy and comfortable interior and turbocharged engine options, it certainly was made to impress. The price is also another feature since the base model starts at $23,600 and the SE trim goes for $25,100.
The cargo space for the 2017 Ford Escape car is great, having 34 cubic feet behind the rear seats, but doubling it if you fold them. Fuel efficiency is of 23 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway on the turbo engine of both the SE and Titanium trim.
Fuel economy on this car is its trademark, boasting 54 mpg in the city and 50 on the highway, with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors that work together giving the 2017 Prius 121 horsepower.
It also has lots of cargo space and upscale materials for comfort and style. If you want this car, expect to pay around $24,700.
A cool and fun car to drive is what you will get if you purchase the 2017 Mazda 3. It is well regarded as a comfortable, safe and high performance car with good fuel efficiency at 28 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway.
Don’t expect much cargo space though, however if you opt for the hatchback, you will get some more room for storage. The base price for the Mazda 3 sedan starts at $17,845.
It’s almost safe to say that the 2017 Civic is the best compact car of that year, with a perfect safety score, amazing performance, excellent fuel efficiency, and high-tech features.
It comes with Bluetooth, rearview camera, USB port, and other nifty details that make it a superb car in its price range. For this car, the base price starts at $18,740.
Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
There are so many advantages to the 2017 Toyota RAV4 Hybrid; safety, fuel efficiency, comfort, cargo space and most importantly, reliability. While the price isn’t on the lower spectrum, it is worth every cent, so you really get a lot for your money. The base XLE model starts at $27,910.
This car has an all-wheel drive, with a 34 mpg fuel consumption in the city and 30 on the highway. There’s a lot of features that would normally be optional on other cars, but in this one are standard.
The cargo space and extreme comfort on the 2017 Elantra makes it feel like it’s a midsize car instead of a compact car, however, the price is still on the low range.
The starting price for a base model is $17,150. The interior is very spacious, and it is high on safety features.
This is a small sedan that is efficient and affordable. It sports a nice 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that can give a solid 147 horsepower. It comes with both manual and automatic transmission and advanced safety features, like auto-braking with pedestrian detection and lane keeping assist.
The starting price for the Kia Forte is around $17,695 and the fuel efficiency is of 29 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway.
The Subaru Impreza is a compact model that comes in both sedan and hatch back and it handles and rides a lot better than most similar cars. An all-wheel drive is standard for this car and it comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder “boxer” engine.
A five-speed manual transmission or CVT automatic is also the buyer’s choice. A nice array of safety and comfort features come with this car and the starting price is of $19,355.
Ever since Toyota started manufacturing Corollas, it has been regarded as one of best compact sedans, always offering a lot for the money. It comes standard with safety features that in other cars are listed as optional.
Its engine is a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that gives you 132 horsepower, with a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission. The fuel efficiency on the Toyota Corolla is average, with 28 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway. The asking price starts at $19,520.
The Mazda CX-3 could easily be classified as the best-handling small crossover SUV at its price range. Its fuel efficiency is rather impressive and its four-cylinder engine is more than enough to take you where you need to go with a smooth and comfortable ride.
It is a bit lacking in the storage department, so unless you fold the rear seats, cargo space can be very limited. You can expect 29 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway with this car, and the price starts at $21,050.
We love this crossover SUV because while it not be the most eyecatching of the lot, it certainly provides a solid ride as it packs a 2.5-liter “boxer” engine that will give you a good 182 horsepower, or you can go for the turbo-four that will provide you with 250 horsepower.
You can choose between a six-speed manual or CVT automatic transmission, and it makes for a great winter car since it comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system. The starting price is $23,710 and it will consume 26 mpg in the city and 32 on the highway.
This is another crossover that will impress with its good looks and driving experience, however, it is definitely not on the lower priced spectrum of this list.
Kia offers a huge amount of upgrades, but remember, they don’t come for free, so if you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can get nice details and features.
The Kia Sportage comes with a 2.4-liter engine, giving you 181 horsepower, offering a turbo-four version that will bump that to 240 as well. The six-speed automatic transmission is standard and an all-wheel-drive system is optional. Starting price is $24,590.
Chevy Cruze Hatch
The Chevy Cruze Hatch has sleek design and provides lots of cool features that will surely grab any college student’s attention. It offers a quiet and refined ride which makes it feel almost luxurious.
It has a 1.4-liter engine and a nice fuel efficiency, giving you 29 mpg in the city and 38 on the highway. If this car draws your attention, expect to pay from $21,195 to $26,795.
The Ford Fiesta is a small and fun car that comes as a four-door sedan or hatchback, with a five-speed manual or automatic transmission. It has modern design that students will find appealing and you have the option of adding tons of nice upgrades.
The price for the base model starts at around $14,205 and the fuel consumption clocks in at 27 mpg in the city and 37 on the highway.
This four door car is available as a sedan or hatchback, and it is also available with manual or automatic transmission. There are several choices of trims, and each one is priced differently.
One of the main points of this car is its safety features that out-perform most other cars in its category. Its fuel efficiency is about average, giving you 26 mpg in the city and 34 on the highway. The price for the base model starts at $15,420.
An all-time classic for those that like SUVs that are built to last. While they may not be the cheapest car of the list, they are ideal for those that usually have to haul people or cargo around campus, so it is well worth the money.
The new Jeep Wrangler comes with features that are tailor-made for off-roading and always thinking about safety as well. It isn’t very fuel efficient, but that is expected for a car with these characteristics.
23 mpg in the city and 25 on the highway is what you’ll get out of this car, and the base trim starts at $27,945.
Another subcompact car on this list, it comes in hatchback and sedan versions with manual or automatic transmissions for you to choose. It is quite low in the price range, so for the price you pay and what you get, you’ll definitely end up taking advantage of the features in this car.
It has plenty of cool safety features, like hands-free Bluetooth calling system, lane departure alerts, and pre-collision deterrence system. The prce for the base model starts at $15,635 and you will get very good mileage out of this car, with 30 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway.