These Are the 10 Best Back to School Cars

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Some college students need cars to get around campuses. Others are fortunate to get a car from their parents just for fun. The challenge for many parents is cost. Marry that with safety, and the list of models ideal for students gets narrowed down quickly.

Kelley Blue Book (KBB) has put together a list of 10 back-to-school cars that fit the bill for both parents and students. As a check for safety, 24/7 Wall St. measured them against the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety and Top Safety Plus lists. These are picked based on a number of crash tests, meant to see how drivers and passengers would do in a collision.

Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for KBB, said, “We’ve chosen 10 new cars for students that are a great mix of safe, reliable, cool and affordable, with the fuel-efficient.” These cars include advanced consumer electronics features like Apple Play. KBB also measured them based on their “Fair Purchase Price and Fair Market Range,” which is the amount a car buyer should expect to pay a dealer.

Rank Model KBB Fair Purchase Price
1 Toyota Corolla Hatchback $19,205
2 Kia Soul $16,138
3 Honda Civic $18,505
4 Mazda 3 $20,913
5 Volkswagen Jetta $16,749
6 Honda Fit $16,080
7 Hyundai Kona $19,638
8 Honda HR-V $20,538
9 Subaru Impreza $18,141
10 Nissan Kicks $18,290

From Kelley Blue Book: *Fair Purchase Prices for base models were sourced on July 27, 2019. Prices are updated weekly and vary based on region.

When 24/7 matched this list up against the IIHS, we found that Toyota Corolla hatchback was on the safety list. So was the Kia Soul. The Mazda 3 was on both the KBB and IIHS lists. So was the Hyundai Kona. The Honda HR-V made both lists, as did the Subaru Impreza. Finally, so did the Nissan Kicks.

Because they are cheap and relatively safe, many of these cars also tend to have lower insurance premiums. These are the 25 least expensive cars to insure.

While many of these cars are fuel efficient, none get more than 45 miles per gallon in combined city and highway driving, a trait shared by only the greenest cars on the road. Here is a list of the 18 most eco-friendly vehicles sold in America.