The Best Used Cars to Buy for College Students | YourMechanic Advice

The Best Used Cars to Buy for College Students

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You’ve done it – high school is officially behind you. Now it’s time to head off to a brand new world. College is that and more and you may need a car during your pursuit of a higher education. Thankfully, there are plenty of models that combine affordability, safety, and the features that younger drivers want most. Here’s a look at some of the best.

  • 2006 Honda CR-V: It might seem strange to recommend that a college student buy an SUV, but the 2006 Honda CR-V isn’t just any SUV. It’s compact, which makes parking on campus easy. It also provides plenty of cargo space, and you get Honda’s reputation for reliability, as well. You’ll also find models with available all-wheel drive (standard format is front-wheel drive). It’s also notable that the cargo floor can be removed and turned into an impromptu table for tailgating or picnics.

  • 2011 Scion tC: Sure, it’s sporty looking. It’s low-slung and offers an aggressive stance. However, it’s not a sports car. It earned a 5-star overall crash testing score from the NHTSA (National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration), and the engine puts out 180 hp, meaning that you have enough power to handle almost anything that comes your way without being overpowered.

  • 2011 Volkswagen Jetta: Volkswagen might not have the most sterling reputation right now, but that actually works to your advantage as a used car buyer. The 2011 Volkswagen Jetta offers two choices of engines (115 hp from the 4-cylinder version and 150 hp from the 5-cylinder option). It’s also priced to move thanks to its age and the fact that Volkswagen’s reputation has taken a hit.

  • 2003 Acura TL: No, it’s not the sexiest car on the market. It’s also a four-door sedan. However, it does offer decent power and performance (225 hp from a 3.2-liter V6) with 17/27 mpg. It’s not a gas-sipper, but it’s also not a guzzler like an SUV would be. Finally, there’s Honda’s reliability backing it up.

  • 2010 Hyundai Tucson: The Tucson is a fun little compact SUV that offers personality, decent fuel economy and good cargo capacity. The higher ride height is nice to have, and it comes standard with an iPod connection. You’ll find other niceties available too, including Bluetooth connectivity.

Whether you’re a soon-to-be college student or a parent looking to buy your child a car for their first year at school, these are some of the best choices.


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Jason

14 years of experience
228 reviews
Jason
14 years of experience
Chrysler 300 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - New York, New York
Very calm, understanding told me the true price flog the vehicle and also helped me negotiate saving me $$$ great mechanic and did the pre purchase inspection good
Honda CR-V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Flushing, New York
Jason was great, prompt, and extremely helpful! He explained every aspect of his concerns with the car and answered all our questions in detail. Since I don't know much about cars, it was amazing to have someone who explained how things work in a simple but well rounded way. We are so appreciative of his help!

Chris

21 years of experience
1861 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz SLK280 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Laguna Hills, California
I hired Chris to inspect a car I wanted to purchase. He arrived on time and gave me a very detailed report, took the time to call me after to review details, and share his impression of the car. He was great and very knowledgeable, I would highly recommend him!
Lexus IS250 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Irvine, California
Smooth experience, was able to communicate succinctly and arrived early to the appointment. Thoroughly completed the 50-point check and gave me his professional opinion. His report on the vehicle reflected knowledge on the vehicle, along with giving me his own estimate on the pricing. Definitely helped me with my purchase.

Peter

24 years of experience
338 reviews
Peter
24 years of experience
BMW X5 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Burbank, California
Peter saved me from buying a lemon. He was extremely knowledgeable, professional and easy to work with. He is extremely through more than the standard and so he would be your go to guy for any picky buyer like I am. THANK YOU PETER!

Jimmi

25 years of experience
69 reviews
Jimmi
25 years of experience
BMW 750Li - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Sanford, Florida
Jimmi is thorough! As I am buying the car unseen, he gave me a very good idea of the overall state of the vehicle. I am very impressed!!! He called me and discussed everything with me. Gold star!

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