The Best Used Cars to Buy for College Students

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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