Fun Yet Practical Cars for College Graduates


Automotive Editor

Writing professionally since 1999, Matt Milano has covered the automotive industry extensively, writing about the latest technologies, makes and models the industry has to offer. 

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, Automotive Editor - March 18, 2013

Fresh out of college, and with the world at your fingertips. Few moments in life are so exciting, so full of promise and so terrifying as this one. So many decisions to make, so many opportunities to choose from. One decision you definitely want to get right is your choice of vehicle. The right vehicle is not only dependable, but says a lot about you as a potential job candidate. With that in mind, here's a list of 10 vehicles that offer a nice balance of fun and practicality for those just starting out on that journey we call life.

2013 Scion FR-S

If your first thought at the mention of “Scion” is a boxy, quirky vehicle...think again. The FR-S is a head-turning performance car that is sure to get you noticed. Since the FR-S was developed with Subaru, it's powered by an engine that delivers 200 horsepower. Superb handling and impressive fuel economy round out this compelling performance car.

2012 Ford Focus Hatchback

Already popular in its own right, the Ford Focus received a much needed redesign for the 2012 model year. The result is a European-inspired car, loaded with technology, that's as fun to drive as it is to look at. Add in 36 MPG and it's easy to see why the Focus is considered the leader in its segment.

2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan

When it comes to practicality, few cars can rival the legendary Civic. For decades, the Civic has been synonymous with reliability and fuel economy, two hallmark traits of practicality. With a redesign in 2012, the Civic features a sleek look and handling that make it as fun to drive as it is practical.

2013 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

The Genesis Coupe gets a refresh for the 2013 model year, one that significantly improves both engine output and fuel economy. Power can only really be appreciated if it's paired with a suspension system to match. Fortunately, the suspension system has been beefed up to compliment the engine enhancements. Add in a high-quality interior and Hyundai's increasing reputation for reliability, and the Genesis Coupe is a real winner that's sure to get you the attention you want.

2013 Audi A3

Although wagons may not be the most popular style of car these days, Audi not only bucks the trend...they buck it with style. Enter the A3, a well-rounded luxury wagon that offers a nice balance of handling, power, luxury, features and economy. For eco-friendly drivers, there's even a diesel model that achieves 42 MPG.

2012 Subaru Impreza

The Subaru Impreza was completely redesigned for 2012, and the result is a noticeable improvement in many areas. Choice of four-door or hatchback body styles, Subaru's famed BOXER engine, all-wheel drive, and Subaru's Vehicle Dynamics Control (VDC) stability system make the Impreza a blast to drive.

2012 Chevrolet Cruze

Compact cars are all too often synonymous with sacrifice. Not with the Cruze. Chevrolet claims the Cruze gives you more of everything you need, from safety to cargo space, feature to fuel mileage. With an available turbocharged engine and sleek looks, the Cruze strikes a nice balance between fun and professional.

2013 Acura ILX

If you're looking for sporty luxury, combined with reliability and efficiency, the Acura ILX is hard to beat. Plus, it comes with a variety of high-end features, such as Bluetooth, voice text messaging and a USB port, that are standard on all available models.

2013 Ford Escape

The Ford Escape has long been a best seller. With the 2013 redesign, the Escape is bound to continue that trend. Ford claims that in order to redesign the Escape, they had to rethink the entire SUV paradigm. Looking at the new model, it seems they did just that. European inspiration, sleek lines, high- quality interior, innovative features, Ford's available EcoBoost engine and impressive fuel economy make the Escape a near perfect balance of economy, performance, practicality and fun.

2012 Mini Cooper

Few cars have achieved such iconic fame as the Mini Cooper, thanks in large part to the prominent role it played in the film The Italian Job. Even if you don't need to make a fast getaway after a heist, the Mini Cooper still has plenty to offer. Excellent performance, good fuel economy, high-end features and a mini size ideal for city driving make this vehicle an outstanding choice for many graduates.

, Automotive Editor

Writing professionally since 1999, Matt Milano has covered the automotive industry extensively, writing about the latest technologies, makes and models the industry has to offer. 

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