Some of the best cars for college students include the Honda Fit, Toyota Corolla, Mazda3, and Hyundai Elantra, among others. These cars offer a combination of affordability, safety, and fuel efficiency that students need. As a student, owning a car can be both a convenience and a necessity. Whether it’s getting to class on time, running errands, or simply having the freedom to explore your new college town, having a reliable set of wheels can make all the difference.
However, with so many car options available, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs and budget. Moreover, choosing the best car for college students necessitates taking into account a lot of factors, including price, fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability.
That’s why we’ve compiled this list of the best cars for college students, taking into consideration factors like affordability, fuel efficiency, and overall value. Whether you’re a first-time car buyer or simply looking to upgrade your current ride, our list has something for everyone.
What Are The Benefits of Having a Car As a College Student?
Having a car as a college student can provide numerous benefits and make your life easier and more convenient. Some of the main advantages include:
Having a car allows you to travel around campus and the surrounding area more easily, without having to rely on public transportation or walking long distances. This can save you time and make it easier to get to class, work, or social events.
With a car, you have the freedom to go where you want, when you want, without having to rely on anyone else. As a result, you can explore new places, visit friends and family, and run errands on your schedule.
In some cases, having a car can be safer than using public transportation or walking, especially if you are traveling at night or in unfamiliar areas. You can also store your belongings safely in your car and avoid the risk of theft or loss.
Depending on your situation, having a car may be more cost-effective than relying on public transportation or ridesharing services. You can save money on fares and also have more control over your transportation expenses.
Having a car can make your commute more comfortable and enjoyable, especially if you have long distances to travel or need to carry a lot of items with you. You can listen to music, adjust the temperature, and have more space to stretch out and relax.
Top 15 Best Cars for Students
The following are our top picks for the best cars for college students:
#1. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic is an excellent car choice for college students due to its affordability, reliability, and fuel efficiency. It also has great resale value and is affordable to maintain. Firstly, the Civic has a starting price of around $20,000, which is relatively affordable for a new car. This makes it accessible for college students who are often on a tight budget.
Secondly, the Civic has a reputation for being reliable, which means that it requires minimal maintenance and repairs compared to other cars in its class. This is important for college students who may not have a lot of time or money to spend on car repairs.
Lastly, the Civic is known for its fuel efficiency, which is a crucial factor for college students who are often on the go and need to save money on gas. The Civic gets an impressive 30-40 miles per gallon, depending on the model and driving conditions. All these make Civic rank among the best cars for college students.
#2. Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is a compact car that is often considered a great choice for college students due to its reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordable price. Here are some key features and factors to consider when listing it as one of the best cars for college students:
The Mazda3 is a popular choice of best cars for college students and it is for students who value a combination of performance, style, and technology. The Mazda3 is known for its sporty and stylish design, as well as its fun-to-drive nature. It is available in both sedan and hatchback body styles and comes with a variety of engine options, including a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine. Similarly, the Mazda3 has received positive reviews for its handling and driving dynamics, as well as its fuel efficiency. It is also known for its high-quality interior materials and technology features, such as a touchscreen infotainment system, and a rearview camera.
#4. Ford Focus
The Focus is a popular car among college students due to its affordability, practicality, and great handling. The car was first introduced in 1998 and has since undergone several updates and redesigns. The Focus is available in sedan, hatchback, and wagon body styles. Typically, the current generation of the Ford Focus features a sleek and modern design with a sporty profile. It comes equipped with a range of features and technologies, including advanced safety features, a touchscreen infotainment system, and a variety of engine options.
In terms of performance, the Focus offers a balanced and agile ride, with responsive handling and a smooth and efficient powertrain. The car is available with a choice of engines, including a turbocharged 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, and a high-performance 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine in the ST trim.
#5. Hyundai Elantra
The Elantra is a reliable and affordable car that offers good fuel economy and plenty of features for the price. Here are some reasons why the Elantra rank among the best cars for college students:
#6. Kia Forte
The Forte is a great choice for college students who want an affordable, efficient, safe, and stylish vehicle that is equipped with the latest technology features. This car has an efficient engine and aerodynamic design, which can help it to achieve impressive fuel economy. Furthermore, Forte comes equipped with a range of safety features, including airbags, anti lock brakes, and electronic stability control.
In addition, the car offers a range of technology features that college students will appreciate, such as a touchscreen infotainment system, smartphone integration, and a rearview camera. All these features ensure that college students are safe on the road, and also make it easier for students to stay connected and entertained while on the go.
#7. Volkswagen Golf
The Golf is a fun-to-drive car that offers great fuel economy and a spacious interior. Over the years, the Golf has undergone several major redesigns and updates, with new features and technologies added to keep up with the changing needs and expectations of drivers.
Today, the Golf is available in a range of configurations, including hatchback, wagon, and high-performance variants such as the Golf GTI and Golf R. Moreover, Golf is known for its high build quality, reliability, and practicality. It is designed to be versatile and suitable for a wide range of uses, from daily commuting to long road trips. Golf is a classic in the automotive world and remains a top choice for many college students around the globe.
#8. Subaru Impreza
The Subaru Impreza is another great choice among the best cars for college students. The car has an affordable price point, good fuel economy, and reliability. This makes it a practical choice for those on a budget, while its sporty design and performance capabilities can appeal to those who want a more exciting driving experience.
Additionally, the Impreza comes with an all-wheel drive and is perfect for students who need to navigate snowy roads. It is available in a variety of body styles including sedan, hatchback, and wagon. Ultimately, the Impreza comes equipped with various features such as a touch-screen infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and automatic emergency braking.
#9. Nissan Versa
Nissan Versa is a subcompact car manufactured by Nissan, a Japanese multinational automobile manufacturer. The Nissan Versa is equipped with a range of advanced safety features, such as anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, and multiple airbags. This gives college students peace of mind when driving on busy roads or in inclement weather conditions.
In addition, the latest generation of the Nissan Versa features a new design and improved technology. It is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower and is paired with either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
#10. Chevrolet Sonic
One of the reasons why Sonic is often recommended as one of the best cars for college students is because of its safety features, compact size, affordability, and fuel efficiency. Generally, Chevrolet Sonic has a starting price of around $15,000, which is much less than many other cars on the market.
Furthermore, Sonic gets great gas mileage, with an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. It also comes with a range of safety features, including ten airbags, a rearview camera, and electronic stability control. Similarly, the Sonic is a compact car, which makes it easy to park and maneuver in tight spaces. This is especially helpful for college students who may be living in crowded urban areas.
#11. Fiat 500
The Fiat 500 is a stylish and fun-to-drive car that is perfect for college students who want a car that stands out from the crowd. The modern Fiat 500 is a stylish and compact city car that has become popular for its retro design and fuel efficiency. It comes in several different trims and engine options, including a hybrid and an all-electric version.
Similarly, the Fiat 500 has a distinctive, rounded exterior design and a playful, colorful interior. It’s known for its nimble handling and is a popular choice for urban driving and city living. The car also features modern technology, including touchscreen infotainment systems, advanced safety features, and a range of driver assistance features.
#12. Mini Cooper
The Mini Cooper is a fun-to-drive car that is perfect for college students who want a stylish and sporty car as well as a reliable mode of transportation. The Mini Cooper is an excellent car for college students for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, its compact size makes it perfect for navigating through busy city streets and finding parking in tight spaces on campus. This also means that the Mini Cooper is fuel-efficient, saving students money on gas costs.
Additionally, the Mini Cooper is known for its fun-to-drive nature, with responsive steering and agile handling that makes it a joy to drive. This can make the daily commute or weekend road trips more enjoyable for college students, especially those who may be navigating new cities and unfamiliar roads. Furthermore, the Mini Cooper offers a surprising amount of interior space, despite its small size. This means that it can comfortably accommodate up to four passengers and still have room for luggage or groceries.
#13. Honda Fit
The Fit is also another classic in the list of best cars for college students. It is known for its efficient use of space, practicality, and affordability. The Honda Fit is available in different trim levels and comes with various features such as a touchscreen infotainment system, rearview camera, and a range of safety features. It has a relatively spacious interior for its size, which is made possible by its unique center-mounted fuel tank layout. Additionally, the car is powered by a four-cylinder engine and is available with either a manual or automatic transmission. It has good fuel economy, with an average of around 36 miles per gallon on the highway.
#14. Toyota Yaris
The Toyota Yaris is affordable, maneuverable, reliable, and safe, making it a practical choice for students who need a reliable form of transportation to get them around campus and beyond. The latest generation of the Yaris features a sportier and more stylish design, with a range of advanced safety and technology features. Similarly, the Yaris has a range of safety features that can give parents peace of mind when sending their children off to college. It has multiple airbags, anti-lock brakes, and stability control, which can help prevent accidents and protect passengers in the event of a crash.
#15. Hyundai Accent
Generally, Hyundai is known for producing cars that are reliable and durable. The Accent is no exception, and it comes with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Over the years, Accent has undergone several updates and revisions. The latest generation of the Accent features a more stylish design, improved fuel economy, and new safety features.
Some of the features that can be found in the current generation of the Hyundai Accent include:
FAQs About The Best Cars For College Students
Do I need a Car in College?
Well, whether or not you need a car in college depends on a variety of factors, such as the location of your school, the availability of public transportation, and your personal preferences and circumstances.
How much will car insurance cost a college student?
The cost of car insurance for a college student can vary widely depending on several factors, including age, driving record, type of car, location, and coverage options. On average, a college student can expect to pay between $1500 and $5000 per year for car insurance, although rates may be higher or lower depending on the above factors.
What Should I Consider When Shopping For a Student Car?
When shopping for a student car, there are several things to consider, including:
- Fuel efficiency
- Financing options
- Personal preferences
In conclusion, selecting the best car for students requires considering various factors such as affordability, fuel efficiency, safety, and reliability. While some cars may be stylish and offer exceptional performance, they may not be practical for students. Therefore, it is essential to prioritize features that cater to the needs of a student.
Ultimately, the best cars for college students will depend on their individual needs and preferences. By conducting research and weighing the options, students can find a car that meets their requirements and fits within their budget. However, before purchasing a vehicle, it is critical to consider the costs and obligations of automobile ownership, such as insurance, maintenance, and parking fees.