Cars For College Students: 5 Of The Best Vehicles For The Collegiate

cars-for-college-students college girls taking a selfie

School season is still a few months away. But, when you or your college kid are planning to get a car for school, now is the best time. Below is a list of the best cars for college students.

We do know that not all college students need a car to drive around. Some kids go to universities that are near their homes, so a new vehicle won’t be necessary. But there are those who will need it, especially for those who are entering schools in neighboring states. Since going to finish college can be heavy on the budget, you may want to get a car that is safe, trustworthy, and affordable. Not necessarily in that particular order. With that in mind, the question now is which one to get? Below are five of the top picks we have.

These five cars for the college students are picked by the Carketa. A team that consists of experts in the automotive industry and sales. With that said, you can rest assured that these vehicles are going to be the best, no matter what you choose.

cars-for-college-students guy getting out of the car

Cars For College Students: The Important Factors

Before we enumerate our choices for the best cars for college students, we are going to tackle the factors to consider first. Because when it comes to vehicles for college kids, there are numerous factors to think about. These factors are at most present in all cars, which makes it more confusing for you. That’s why we asked some industry experts who know how to differentiate the so-so to the best. If you’re a soon-to-be college student or you’re a parent of one, below are the factors you need to look for when selecting the best vehicle.

Car Safety Features

When it comes to cars for college students, safety is the utmost priority. With all the technological advancements we have today, the safety features of the car are more than just seatbelts. When choosing the car you’re going to bring to college, always look for advanced safety features. More often than not, these high-tech features come with newer vehicles; this only means you need to spike your budget up a bit. But your expenses will be pay off when your insurance costs are lower.

There are many new safety features to look out for. Some of these include electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes, and blind-spot detection to name a few. These features mentioned have been existing for quite some time now and are proven to provide more mileage when we speak of safety. When coming up with a decision, you need to weigh in whether to go for a slightly higher-priced vehicle with all the safety features or just go with the less expensive, albeit older one. The decision is up to you but thinking about those safety features, anyone can tell that it can be a good investment.

If you’re going for the latter, just make sure to go for a vehicle that has the classic yet fool-proof safety feature: the seatbelt. Seatbelts have been around for more than half a century and are still one of the most effective safety features.

Size Of The Vehicle

Size does matter. At least when choosing the best cars for college students. While small cars may look sporty and flashy, these are not the best types of cars for college students. This is according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The institute added that the best ones younger students should drive are those vehicles belonging to the mid-size and large categories. (

So, why does size matter? The reason still has something to do with total safety. Bigger and heavier vehicles can provide more protection against collisions, as opposed to smaller and lighter ones. In the event of a frontal crash, the distance between the passenger and driver compartment to the vehicle’s front provides a safety gap. In addition, heavier vehicles tend to continue a forward-moving path during crashes with lighter vehicles. Lighter vehicles, depending on the impact, are more likely to swerve in a different direction. Some even tumble upside-down. Thus, people inside larger vehicles are not subject to great force during a crash.

The only caveat that vehicle size has is fuel consumption. The heavier the vehicle. the more it needs energy to keep on moving. Aside from that, heavier cars require inertia and rolling resistance, which means it needs more fuel to do its function. Speaking of fuel economy…

Fuel Savings

We all know that it requires a lot of hard-earned cash to get into college. And in case you haven’t noticed, the price of gas has gone up at an unimaginable rate. The significant increase in fuel might make you think getting a vehicle for college is not a good idea. Fortunately, there are vehicles that can help you save as much as possible to ease out your monthly budget. That’s why fuel economy is one of the factors when choosing cars, especially if it’s for college students.

Fuel economy doesn’t only save you money, but it can also potentially save the world. According to the Department of Energy, energy-saving vehicles immensely help in fighting against climate change. They also added that carbon dioxide coming from gasoline and diesel-burning is one of the biggest contributors to climate change. When you go for fuel-friendly cars for college students, you’d be able to help in lessening the carbon footprint by burning less fuel each ride.

And it can go without saying that a car that runs for 35 miles per gallon will have a tremendous impact on the student’s budget. This way, the students can have more money to spend on vital things such as food and educational items such as books.

Cars For College Students: Carketa’s Top Picks

Now that we’ve elaborated on the factors to consider when picking a car for college students, we list down five vehicles that we deem suitable for those entering the universities. Regardless if you’re a student yourself or a parent considering providing your kid his or her own transportation, these five vehicles have the factors you’re looking for.

Jeep Wrangler

cars-for-college-students jeep wrangler

The Jeep Wrangler is on the top of the list, not because most college kids are obsessed with it. The archetypal Jeep is a favorite among college students for a variety of reasons. One, it looks cool and youthful. Two, it can go anywhere – from the campus, to the beach, and even up the mountains. And three, it’s just fun to drive around. It also has a large build and the newer models come with several safety features that minimize the worry of many parents.

The only downside to the Jeep Wrangler is that it does consume more fuel compared to the other vehicles listed here and it can cost a lot in repairs. But this is a vehicle that can take anyone anywhere, which is a plus, especially for young adults.

Read More: Here’s What The Utah Monolith Is For, According To Jeep

Toyota Prius

cars-for-college-students toyota prius

The Toyota Prius is the perfect car for college students who are keen on saving the environment in their own ways. This vehicle boasts of one of the most eco-friendly sedans out there. It has one of the best gas mileage available and it is a hybrid car, meaning it runs on both electricity and fuel. The Prime model comes with a plug-in hybrid system that can run up to 25 miles of range on electricity alone. And since most college kids rely on their allowance for their daily expenses, they can definitely save up from eliminating their trips to the gas station.

But the Toyota Prius doesn’t only come with its eco-friendly features. It also comes with a spaciously large cargo area, perfect for students who are always on the go during weekends.

Hyundai Elantra

cars-for-college-students hyundai elantra

Reasonably priced yet full of safety and tech features, no wonder why Hyundai Elantra is yet another favorite among college kids. Aside from being affordable, the Elantra also comes with a great warranty. And not only that, it runs using a formidable engine and great horsepower. And the best part? It also comes with great gas mileage.

But that doesn’t stop there for the Hyundai Elantra. It also comes with a lot of tech and safety features such as a blind-spot detector and dual front side-mounted bags. Tech-wise, the Elantra comes with Bluetooth and a 5-inch infotainment system, two of the most popular car tech features every college student will like.

Honda CR-V

cars-for-college-students honda cr-v

College students usually come in groups. If you’re a natural extrovert who can’t stand being alone, then the Honda CR-V is the right car you should have when studying in the university. The CR-V is an SUV that is small enough it doesn’t look chunky yet still provides comfort and space. It has a roomy cabin where four of your college mates can sit and relax. In addition, it also has a spacious room in the back for your school gear, among other things. Being an all-wheel drive, it lets you travel anywhere, including slippery roads and even when it’s snowing.

Yes, the Honda CR-V is an SUV, but it’s a compact one. This only means that it’s easy to maneuver and park, even in crowded lots of colleges. It also has many reassuring safety features, such as adaptive cruise control and automatic high-beam lights. With all the leg room and safety features, it’s not surprising that we include the Honda CR-V as one of the most suitable cars for college students.


cars-for-college-students mazda3

And the last on this list of best cars for college students is definitely not the least. We place this last because it doesn’t have that one key factor we talked about; size. Mazda3 is a small car. But don’t let the size fool you because what it lacks in proportions makes up for its reliability and affordability. Mazda3 is one of the most affordable cars in the market; it costs as low as $5,300! It also has one of the most excellent grades when it comes to safety, so you won’t have to worry about getting stranded on the road all the time.

Although compact, the Mazda3 also comes with a spacious interior that can fit up to five passengers. Moreover, for its fuel economy, this vehicle is also one of the most reliable. And, it’s compact enough to fit in the tightest of parking lots, which is usually the case within campuses.

Which Of Our Top Cars For College Cars Is Your Favorite?

If you already have a pick that is not included in this list, that’s your decision to make. But before you go ahead with your decision, it is best to check first whether it’s a good vehicle to have, especially if you plan to buy a used vehicle. Before buying, make sure to look for a vehicle condition report to know the ins and outs of the vehicle. Also, make sure that the price is right; some vehicles online undergo through car valuation tool. Last, pick a vehicle from a trustworthy car marketplace that attracts thousands of car market leads every day. Click on the link to find your pick in this huge inventory of vehicles for sale.

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