Best Used Cars for College Students

By

Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage. 


, Automotive Editor - August 22, 2016

When you're hitting the books and working a part-time job or two, you need a car that will get you around town with as little hassle and expense as possible. A brand new set of wheels is probably out of the question, but there are plenty of smart choices floating around on the used market. They may not be the most exciting cars you can own, but they deliver what really counts: reliability and economy.



Honda Civic

You don't have to be a college student to appreciate the thrift and reliability of Honda's signature compact. The Civic is easy to handle, offers fine visibility and fuel efficiency, and holds up well over the long haul. Beyond those basics, the Civic has a youthful vibe and looks the part of a young person's car.

Find your used Honda Civic>>


Volkswagen Jetta

Like the other compacts on our list, the Jetta is a supremely sensible choice for students. It also offers European road manners and a bit of international flair. You might even learn to love the Jetta's snappy reflexes and confident personality. It's also widely available with a manual transmission, which adds a bit of fun to the mix.

Find your used Volkswagen Jetta>>


Subaru Impreza

Available as a sedan or hatchback, the Impreza is a roomy compact with good looks and a spunky personality. But the real draw here is the peace of mind that comes with all-wheel drive. It's been standard on the Impreza since 1997. Even so, prices on the used market have been very favorable. If you're worried about commuting in bad weather, we can't think of a better choice.

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Mazda Mazda3

The sprightly Mazda3 carries out the brand's mission to provide some fun for the driver in all of its models. Firm suspension tuning and communicative steering provide athletic handling that's easy to appreciate in everyday driving. Mazda deploys quality materials throughout the interior, so there's little evidence you're riding in an economy car.

Find your used Mazda Mazda3>>


Hyundai Elantra

You don't have to make any sacrifices with Hyundai's resident econo-sedan. The Elantra delivers commendable efficiency at a bargain price, but you also get a roomy cabin and a good number of convenience features. The styling is rather sophisticated for a small car, as are the Elantra's interior appointments. The result is a well-rounded, inexpensive sedan that you can take anywhere with no apologies.

Find your used Hyundai Elantra>>


Chevrolet Cruze

For several years now, the Cruze has been quietly demonstrating that Chevy can build a high-quality, affordable compact. You'll appreciate its high feature content and fine balance of performance and efficiency. Its spacious interior and pleasant ride will remind you of larger, more expensive sedans. And yet, the Cruze handles with the precision of a small, sporty car.

Find your used Chevrolet Cruze>>




, Automotive Editor

John Diether has been a professional writer, editor, and producer since 1997. His work can be found on TV, radio, web, and various publications throughout the world.  He is a graduate of Northwestern University and has a 1992 Cadillac Brougham d’Elegance in his garage.