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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Bernie

50 years of experience
41 reviews
Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
532 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

Brian

19 years of experience
101 reviews
Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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