Best Cars for a College Student

Best Cars for a College Student

The Best Cars For A College Student: A Guide For Your Auto Needs

A car is almost a necessity for any college student. There are several material and monetary advantages to having a good, reliable car during your college years. 

With such small dorm rooms, a car provides some much needed storage space for all the things you’ll need for all your school activities, from class projects to college sports and clubs.

Further, college isn’t just meant for long study hours and stay-at-your-dorm weekends.  It is also about fun and excitement via long road trips and after-school hangouts with friends and classmates. 

A new car, in comparison to an old one, means more convenience and less hassle when it comes to car breakdowns on those frequent drives between home and school.  However, in my mind, it is far more practical to buy a used car for your college student or as a college student.  

So, in that spirit, even older used models of these cars below are very reliable, and provide good value, and fun.

Here are our 10 best car recommendations for you to choose from. 


The Best Cars For Every College Student | Top 10 Picks

For the Adventurous

Best Cars for a College Student Winding Road

1. Subaru Crosstrek

Are you looking for a vehicle to take up those high mountain roads or town to the sandy beaches? This car is your perfect partner for your treks, offering you a smooth ride no matter how bumpy or rocky the road is. 

With its improved crash energy absorption, blind-spot detection, and rear cross-traffic alert features, it can guarantee you safer travels. 

It runs at a lovely 33 MPG gas mileage and offers extra spacious storage for anything you’d love to bring along on your adventure. If this car fits you, its price ranges from $21,500 to $24,000 for the newer models. 

2. Ford Escape

Although this is a bit pricier than the Crosstrek, the Ford Escape is perfect for parking newbies, especially if you’ll be parking in limited spaces inside the campus. 

It costs around $24,000 - $34,000 but gives you your money’s worth with its compact features such as the ample seating and loading capacity. 

It also boasts of improved engine performance and handling control made possible by the 4-Wheel-Drive System. 

Its next-level tech features such as the SYNC3, FordPass Connect with Wi-Fi hotspot, and Ford+Alexa also offer better accessibility and hassle-free driving all rolled into one.

For the Budget-Conscious

Best Car for a College Student Car Piggy

3. Honda Accord

If you’re not much into state-of-the-art tech features and head-turning, sleek designs, the Honda Accord is a simple and yet worthy car investment. 

You can buy a brand new model for about $20,000 and, if you go for a used car, it can cost as low as around $10,000. 

It doesn’t fall short when it comes to its coolest features such as the new infotainment system and the high-performing turbocharged engine. 

If you prefer owning a reliable car solely for smooth cruising down the boulevard, this can be just the right choice. 

4. Volkswagen Jetta

How about owning a brand new car for $17,000? Yes, that’s possible with the Volkswagen Jetta, which also offers you a sleek and stylish design for a sedan. 

This car performs well on mileage and has a park-assist feature suitable for tight spaces, especially in terms of parallel parking. 

It also comes with an Automatic Climate Control feature, an Anti-Lock Braking System, as well as other great features for a seamless driving experience. 

For the Long Road Trip Lover

Best Cars for a College  Student Road Trip

5. Toyota Prius

For a price of about $23,400, the Toyota Prius brings a very modern vibe with its electric engine. 

An environmentally-friendly vehicle, it is dubbed as one of the highly-noted hybrids of all time.  There are no emissions and it runs on 50 MPG for city driving and on the highway, 58. 

It also offers a sound-proof cabin even when the engine is engaged and an all-wheel-drive system paving the way for long travels on the road. It also has a cargo area versatile enough for any type of baggage. 

6. Toyota Camry

When using the Toyota Camry to drive around the city, it offers 24 MPG while getting up to 33 MPG on the highway. It is considered as one of the top-ranking midsize vehicles and one of the best cars for college based on fuel efficiency, easy driving, and cutting edge technology. 

The interior doesn’t fall short in terms of functionality and design having ample space for the cargo and offering comfortable seating for the passengers. 

A new feature for the newer model includes the Apple CarPlay along with improvements in handling, engine, and driver assistance features. 


7. Nissan Altima

One of the key features of the Nissan Altima is Nissan’s ProPilot assist, which is a semi-autonomous driving system. 

It runs at about 29-32 MPG and comes with lane-centering steering and adaptive cruise control. 

Compared to the new model’s sporty look with its lower and wider features, the older versions have a more rigid and aerodynamic finish for its exterior. Nissan’s Altima goes for about $24,000 - $35,000. 

For the Sporty

Best Cars for a College Student Ford Mustang

8. Hyundai Genesis Coupe

If a bolder and fiercer car is more of your element, Hyundai’s Genesis Coupe can elevate your college driving experience with its powerful V6 engine and manual transmission on six speeds. 

Though it has provisions for a rear seat, you cannot utilize it that much, as common to all coupes. It is being sold in the market for $29,000 to $39,000.

9. Ford Mustang

Got an eye for a red sports car? How about driving onto campus in an eye-catching muscle car? 

Getting a Ford Mustang will cost you anywhere from $26,000 to $46,595 including the California Special and the Mustang Bullitt 2019 models. 

The cabin is quite as handsome as its exterior with a touch of high-tech specifications such as the Active Valve Performance Exhaust System with Quad Tips. 

10. Mazda MX -5 Miata

With a $30,000-SRP, the MX-5 Miata from Mazda offers you a boost in engine performance and handling with its 50/50 balance feature for equal weight distribution from the front to the rear. 

It comes with a sleeker style offered in two top color options – Black or Brown. It’s built for faster speed, winding roads, and the track, thus, it is one of the best cars when it comes to reliability, safety, efficiency, and performance. 

To Learn More About the Best Cars for a College Student, Call Us Today

There’s quite a number of options to choose from when it comes to the best cars for college, so before getting one, you should look into several factors to help you choose the best car for you – storage, performance, safety, cutting edge tech features, and price. 

Weighing these options will help you find a vehicle to suit lifestyle and personality without breaking your bank account. 

Regardless of which type of car you choose though, always remember that driving safely and responsibly will make your car investment worthwhile in the long haul.

And if you are choosing a used car, we are always happy to look it over for you and let you know what we think about it.  For questions on choosing the right car for you or for car maintenance concerns, feel free to call us at (951) 461-2507