Helping your child launch into college life is exciting and stressful. There are so many details to manage to give them the best shot at having a rewarding experience. Finding a vehicle that’s not only safe and reliable but also affordable is no easy task. Though you may want airbags covering every inch of the car, your teen likely prefers something cool-looking and roomy enough to fit their friends.
The best cars for college students
U.S. News recently published “Best Cars for College Students in 2020.” The article compared safety features, affordability, comfort, and reliability. Having the latest in infotainment technology was also a consideration.
Each vehicle was assigned an overall score, with 10 points being the highest. The 2020 Honda Fit topped the list with an 8.8, while the 2021 Honda CR-V received an 8.6. Both vehicles scored high but for different reasons.
The 2020 Honda Fit starts at $16,190 and is a practical choice for any student. Winner of U.S. News’ 2020 Best Subcompact Car for the Money, the Fit has good safety ratings, impressive fuel efficiency, and high predicted reliability ratings.
Scoring 8.3 out of 10 are the 2020 Kia Forte, starting $17,890, and the 2021 Kia Sportage, with an MSRP of $23,990. Other cars on the list that are considered a good choice for college students include the Hyundai Sonata, Ford Escape, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Corolla, Chevy Equinox, and Nissan Kicks.
What parents are looking for in a car for their college student
Any parent who has sent their child off to college in a Honda CR-V will tell you their relief in knowing they were providing the best safety features for their precious cargo.
The Honda Sensing suite includes driver-assist features such as road departure warnings and traffic sign recognition. Knowing your child can avoid a collision with the mitigation braking system is worth every penny. An impressive array of safety features includes automatic high-beam headlights, adaptive cruise control, and a multi-angle rearview camera.
Car and Driver recommends looking at the sticker price, financing options, and insurance costs when selecting a student-friendly car. Understand the efficiency and safety ratings, and ask the dealer to explain all the optional add-ons and features before buying.
The 2021 Honda CR-V
With an MSRP of $26,470, the 2021 Honda CR-V is more expensive than the Honda Fit, but the higher price tag is warranted considering the included standard features and dependability.
U.S. News highly recommends this car because of its popularity in the compact SUV segment. The 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine puts out 190 hp, which is more than enough power for tooling around campus. The all-wheel-drive system is a bonus for students who need to drive on slippery roads in inclement weather.
Above-average fuel efficiency may be the deciding factor. The CR-V gets an impressive 28 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. That means less time at the pump and more money in your student’s wallet.
The compact size makes the Honda CR-V easy to maneuver in crowded parking lots while still providing plenty of room to accommodate the driver and four passengers comfortably. There’s also plenty of cargo space for carrying gear. Wireless charging, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and a navigation system will help keep your college student connected.