Best Cars for College Grads

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So your baby has grown up and is starting out in college, they need a car, but what to buy?

Styling is less important to you, although your precious son or daughter may have more than a passing interest in the style of their auto, fortunately, there’s enough choice out there to give you half a chance at pleasing them while still keeping an eye on safety and of course, the budget.

Buying a car like this isn’t just about the sticker price though; what happens if it goes wrong? A decent warranty is a must-have. We need to think about insurance as well.
All of the following cars have a decent safety record and should be cheap to insure (depending on circumstance of course). Here is our chart of the best first cars for college students.

Smart ForTwo
$12,635 36 MPG

The Smart ForTwo is one of those quirky little cars that you’ll either love or hate the style of. It’s small enough to fit virtually anywhere and of course, the small size means that your precious baby can’t fill it with people.

2 Year / 24,000 Mile Warranty

Hyundai Accent
$10,690 31 MPG

Hyundai Accent has the cheapest sticker price in this list, also well equipped and has one of the best warranty’s on the market.

5 Year / 60,000 Mile Base Warranty with 10 Year / 100,000 Mile Drivetrain Warranty

Chevrolet Sonic
$12,685 30 MPG

The only American on the list.
The Chevy actually looks half decent, perfect for the style conscious youngster, it also has a reasonable warranty.

3 Year / 36,000 Mile Warranty with 5 Year / 100,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty

Nissan Versa
$10,710 29 MPG

A well-specced little auto, and considering the price has a good range of equipment, including Vehicle Dynamic Control with a Traction Control System.

3 Year / 36,000 Mile Warranty with a 5 Year / 60,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty

Kia Rio
$12,390 31 MPG

The little Rio looks quite smart and you just know that with Kia’s reputation, it will be as reliable as you’ll need. It will go on forever.

5 Year / 60,000 Mile Warranty with 10 Year / 100,000 Mile Powertrain Warranty

Any of these autos will work well for you (as the parent) and your child. They’re all super reliable, cost conscious and return good gas mileage. That’s the main criteria for the best cars for a college student.

Yeah, they may not be your first choice for something cool or sporty, but that’s exactly the point, they are just reasonable autos, doing a good job and don’t drive terribly, all while keeping an eye on the money you need to spend.

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