12 Best Cars For College Students (2023)

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When a student is in the phase of transition, from school to college, a lot of things change and so does the mode of transport.

When it is all about pride, images and status, college students never miss a chance to show off and what best than a cool car.

There are a number of options that can be considered significant cars for college students but, here we have listed some of the most lucrative options for the students according to different requirements.

From best affordable cars for college students to best sedans for college students, the list consist of a number of options.

1. Kia Soul

Cars For College Students

Image Credit: Kia

The first car in our list is peppy and sporty. Yes, the Kia Soul is cool and quirky car that has a range of attributes combined in an effective manner.

The car is compact yet spacious for your daily college commutation requirements. The styling is attractive, handling is reliable and engine is responsive.

All this in a smart pricing that makes it one of the coolest college student cars. Under the hood is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers 130 hp maximum power.

For more power, there is a 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that comes with automatic transmission and 164 hp maximum power. The fuel economy varies between 24 mpg and 31 mpg, making it light on the pocket as well.

2. Hyundai Tucson

Cars For College Students

Image Credit: Edmunds

What about sending your child in his/her first SUV? What better than a sturdy, bold and dynamic Hyundai Tucson.

The SUV is at the second spot in our college student cars list which is slightly costlier yet worth it. It not only comes in front and four wheel drive, it also offers comfortable and highly advanced cabin that makes the overall ride more interesting.

Powering this beast is a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that delivers a maximum power output of 175 hp and paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission. It is available in Eco, Sport and Limited variants, with difference in drive and features.

3. Honda Fit

Best Affordable Cars for College Students

Image Credit: Motortrend

When it comes to some of the best affordable cars for college students, Honda Fit finds a leading spot.

The car has a reliable engine, comfortable cabin and a number of features that makes it one of the hot sellers for the manufacturer.

One of the highlighting aspects of this spacious hatchback is its ‘magic seat’ that can be transformed in various ways to accommodate your luggage by extending the boot space to 52.7 cubic feet.

Powering the Fit is a 1.5-litre 4-cylinder engine that delivers a maximum power of 130 hp at 6600 rpm while the peak torque rest at 114 Nm at 4600 rpm.

The hatchback is not only comfortable and spacious, it is fuel efficient with mileage ranging between 29 and 36 mpg.

4. Ford Escape

Cars For College Students

Image Credit: Motortrend

Another prominent SUV in our list is Ford Escape that is not only tough and sporty but, totally urban as well to give you up beat feel.

The roomy cabin just give you a ‘wow’ factor, the advanced music system and high-tech comfort features make the ride pleasant.

It also offers significant cargo space which is 34 cubic feet with rear seats up and 68 with the rear seats folded.

There are two engine options available in the market – 2.5-litre 4-cylinder with 168 hp maximum power and 170 Nm peak torque and 1.5-litre 4-cylinder with 179 hp maximum power and 177 Nm peak torque. The mileage range of the SUV varies between 23 and 30 mpg.

Also Read: 15 Best 6 Passenger Vehicles

5. Toyota Prius

Best Sedans for College Students

Image Credit: Toyota

A drive which is exclusive, premium and efficient, Toyota Prius is the next car in our list of cars for college students.

This front-wheel drive hybrid can deliver a maximum mileage up to 54 mpg and powered by a 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine backed with two electric motors that has a total output of 121 hp maximum power.

In addition, the sedan has a spacious cargo area to transport dorm room gear and upscale materials for a comfortable ride.

In its higher trims, the sedan also feature heated front seats, a power driver’s seat and leatherette upholstery. The spacious cabin and firm handling makes it one of the best sedans for college students.

6. Mazda 3

College Student Cars

Image Credit: Mazdausa

Mazda 3 is not only a cool car for the college students, it is a perfect companion for your family getaways also.

It is one of the premium sedans that is a perfect blend of luxury and safety without compromising the comfort aspect at any level.

The 2.0-litre 4-cylinder drive of the sedan delivers a maximum power output of 155 hp at 6000 rpm while the peak torque rest at 150 Nm at 4000 rpm.

The engine is not only powerful enough to give you a bit of adrenaline rush, it is efficient enough to take care of your fuel expenses in an effective manner.

With a decent driving style, one can easily achieve a mileage ranging between 27 and 37 mpg.

7. Honda Civic

College Student Cars

Image Credit: Autoblog

Honda is known for producing some of the most poise and marvelous cars and one such car is the Honda Civic, which is next in our list of cars for college students.

The updated version is more aggressive, more comfortable and offers better performance.

It also scores perfect on safety scale as it has received perfect safety scores on crash tests from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and has an array of high-tech features.

Powering this one of the best sedans for college students is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that delivers a maximum power output of 158 hp which is further mated with either a 6-speed manual or CVT.

Another option is a 1.5-litre turbocharged 4-cylinder mill that generates 174 hp maximum power.

8. Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

Image Credit: Autoblog

Though the car looks compact, and boxy, there are a lot of aspects which make it interesting. It scores high on safety, comfort, fuel efficiency, cargo space and reliability.

Though the SUV is not the cheapest, the RAV4 hybrid is definitely one of the most practical cars for the college students.

A number of standard features like dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, push-start button, satellite radio, and an Entune Plus Audio Plus system with Bluetooth and voice-controlled navigation further makes it more competitive in its respective segment.

The SUV has received a 5-star rating from the NHTSA and delivers 194 hp maximum power and 152 Nm peak torque through a 2.5-litre 4-cylinder engine which is further backed by an electric motor.

Also Read: 18 Coolest American Police Cars

9. Hyundai Elantra

College Student Cars

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If your child loves elegance and class, Hyundai Elantra is a perfect option. The midsize sedan has recently received its updated version that reflects the company’s fluidic sculpture 2.0 design philosophy and gets upgraded tech package.

The spacious interiors and supportive seats offers a high level of comfort level that is well complemented by the poised engine of the sedan.

Under the hood, there is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine that delivers 147 hp maximum power and 132 Nm peak torque, which is also efficient.

One can expect a mileage ranging between 29 and 38 mpg. It also scores high on safety benchmarks by NHTSA and the IIHS and offers 14.4 cubic feet cargo space.

With the hatchback version, this space reaches to 51 cubic feet with rear seats down.

10. Kia Sorento

College Student Cars

Image Credit: Kia

What if your child’s whole gang commutes along and you need a ride to suit their requirements? Kia Sorento is a perfect option for your child which is bulky, elegant and spacious for more than 5 occupants.

The redesigned Sorento’s cargo space and fuel economy estimates are good for the class and it scores high on safety tests.

Though there are a number of engine options available with Sorento, the most decent is the 2.4-litre 4-cylinder mill that churns out a maximum power of 185 hp at 6000 rpm and peak torque of 178 Nm at 4000 rpm. It delivers a fuel economy of 21 and 29 mpg depending on the terrain you are driving.

11. Kia Rio Hatch

Cars For College Students

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When it comes to best small cars for college students, Kia Rio is one of the most likeable cars in the market. The Rio ranks just above the Honda Fit in the J.D Power and Associates Vehicle Dependability Study.

It may not be the safest hatchback in the segment, it definitely has a number of airbags, anti-lock braking system and standard engine immobilizer.

For city commutation, the 138 hp of maximum power offers enough boost while the fuel economy above 30 mpg further makes it one of the best affordable cars for college students.

Also Read: 10 Best 4-Cylinder SUVs

12. Chevrolet Sonic

Cars For College Students

Image Credit: Youtube

Our last car in the list is from the American automaker, Chevrolet, which is again compact and reliable.

Yes, the Chevrolet Sonic is the last car in our list that performed marginally well in the small overlap front crash test and offers a number of standard features at an affordable price.

Although the exterior styling may not be able to reflect its true power but, when you are behind the wheels, the Sonic does not disappoint the driver on any front.

The cabin is designed carefully and seats are supportive that ensure that bumpy roads and pit holes does not hamper the comfort of the occupants much.

So, these were the 12 cars for college students that we think are appropriate depending on the different set of requirements.

These cars are mentioned depending on the different capabilities they offer to its occupants at a different price range.

Thus pick according to your range and requirements and also let us know your favorite from the lot in the comment section.

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