When selecting a new car for the college student, several criteria must be met. The vehicle should be fuel efficient, economical to maintain and insured with the lowest possible rates. Before shopping for a new car, learn about the top 5 most sensible and economical new cars for college students.
The student should be able to estimate the annual costs of owning the vehicle and budget accordingly, considering the cost of payments, finance charges and fuel. The student must also remember to budget for the additional costs associated with owning a car, such as registration and safety inspections, as well as parking charges and other miscellaneous costs. Citations are a costly unexpected expense. By always practicing the principles of safe driving, the student will reduce their annual transportation costs.
To assist with the new car selection process, we have compiled a comparison list of the top 5 economy cars for college students based on initial price and the costs of owning the vehicle:
1.) Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is attractive and fuel-efficient, achieving 31 MPG on the highway. This car is available at the base sticker price of $10,700 and is covered by the best warranty of any economy car. Hyundai provides a five-year/60,000 basic warranty and the drivetrain is warrantied for 10 years to reduce the chances of unexpected costs to the college student.
2.) Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa is “Car and Driver” magazine’s Number One pick as an affordable car for college students. This car has a sleek body style, with the look and features of a small luxury car. Features like the rear intermittent windshield wipers and the Vehicle Dynamic Control system win this vehicle the Number Two spot on our list. The Versa gets 29 highway MPG and the base sticker price is under $11,000. The Versa is available in a hatchback model for hauling books and furniture between dorms. Nissan offers a three year / 36,000 mile warranty with a five-year/60,000 warranty for the drivetrain.
3.) Scion xB
The Scion xB is the largest model of the Scion line, though the entire line is designed for younger drivers. The Scion xB is a great choice for the college student because the vehicle is roomy with second-row seating, yet fuel efficient. The Scion xB serves up plenty of room for hauling friends and moving between semesters with passenger seats that fold flat. The vehicle sports a boxy design similar to other SUVs. However, the Scion xB is the most modestly priced vehicle with the boxy body style, available at a base price of $18,000.
The Scion xB is economical to drive at 28 MPG on the highway, and this model received a Top Safety Pick “Good” rating from the IIHS. The Scion xB is equipped with a four-speed automatic transmission and a 2.4 liter four-cylinder engine.
4.) Dodge Dart SXT
The Dodge Dart SXT is available for a base price of $18,800 and receives a Top Safety Pick “Good” rating by the IIHS. The small sedan is sporty and fun, in addition to being one of the most fuel efficient choices. The Dart SXT gets 36 MPG on the highway and 25 MPG in the city. The interior is roomier than similar cars for hauling friends and gear. Dodge claims that the Dart may be configured in over 100,000 ways.
5.) Hyundai Veloster
The Hyundai Veloster was designed for the college-aged driver, with features that are both practical and fun. The Veloster is available with an automatic or six-speed manual transmission. This vehicle achieves 37 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG in the city. The Velostar is available for the sticker price of $18,225. This vehicle is not yet rated by the IIHS for safety.