Heading back to school is that much easier if you've got the right car to get you there.
Heading back to school is that much easier if you've got the right car to get you there. Whether you're trekking across the country to attend university, or simply looking for an affordable runabout in your home town to get you to high school and back every day, there are a number of solid choices you can make.
Let's take a look at five back to school cars that can fit a variety of needs and budgets.
1. Toyota Corolla
Is there any better student car than a recent, used Toyota Corolla? If you can't afford to swing a brand new model, fear not, because the previous generations of the vehicle are extremely reliable and cheap to own, even with 100,000 km on the clock. This compact sedan will get you where you're going with a minimum of hassle, and it won't cost much at the fuel pump either thanks to its frugal four-cylinder engine.
2016 Toyota Corolla Base MSRP: $15,995.
2. Volkswagen Golf
On a budget, but bored to tears by the idea of driving a beige Corolla? The Volkswagen Golf steps in as an appealing substitute - and it brings the extra practicality of a hatchback to the party, too. The additional space found inside the Golf makes it easier to transport the contents of your childhood bedroom to wherever your dorm might be located, and the Volkswagen's more agile chassis gives it a bit more character than the appliance-like Toyota. There's a price to be paid for that spunk, however, and it comes in the reliability department, which means you won't be able to snag a high mileage Golf and expect the same trouble-free service as you would from a Corolla.
2016 Volkswagen Golf Base MSRP: $18,995.
3. Kia Soul
Looking for more space than a hatchback can offer, but still want to keep your footprint small in the university lot? The Kia Soul is an effective compromise that borrows from the crossover segment to give you substantial interior room without busting out into full SUV mode and crippling both your fuel bill and your parallel parking potential. Relatively inexpensive in terms of fuel consumption, especially considering its size, the Soul also comes highly ranked in terms of reliability and warranty coverage.
2016 Kia Soul Base MSRP: $17,195.
4. Hyundai Accent
The Hyundai Accent is small, you can get a hatchback or a sedan, and it's seriously cheap to buy - especially used. Like the Kia Soul, it's a reasonably well built vehicle for the price, but given how affordable it is to buy you can pick one up, drive it until you graduate, and then sell it again without having to worry too much about repairs or maintenance in the meantime. Not the greatest choice if you're driving long-distance back to mom and dad's every weekend, but perfect as a city runabout.
2016 Hyundai Accent Base MSRP: $13,899.
5. Honda Fit
The Honda Fit is sort of like the holy grail of student cars. It combines so many of the attributes listed above: Soul-style space, Accent-like size, Toyota-level reliability, and excellent fuel efficiency for its class. The only thing missing? It's not as fun to drive as a Volkswagen Golf, but hey, shouldn't you be in class anyway? The other issue with the Fit is that it's no secret how versatile this particular car is, so even used models command a premium. Still, this is a car that will last you through undergrad, graduate school, and your PhD studies, so it may well be a worthwhile investment.
2016 Honda Fit Base MSRP: $14,790.
Photos: OEM PR.