Best back-to-school cars for students in 2021

The kiddos could also be again in class by now, however maybe you could have a youngin’ nonetheless borrowing the household automobile to get round. Perhaps you’re the scholar ready to tug the set off on a brand new automobile your self. Do not fret one bit as a result of we have chosen one of the best back-to-school vehicles for college kids. Higher but, they’re all below $25,000.

Realizing that not all college students are created equal, we have given our record a little bit of persona. So if you happen to’re an consideration seeker, a commuter or the outdoorsy sort, we have you coated. We have additionally included the vacation spot fees for every automobile so you understand precisely what you are getting. 


Commuting to campus generally is a drag, however the Hyundai Ioniq hybrid will get as much as 58 miles per gallon mixed. This is not a plug-in powertrain, so no worries about ready round for a cost. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine is augmented by a 32kW electrical motor with a 1.6kWh lithium-ion battery situated below the rear seats. Whole system output is 139 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed dual-clutch computerized transmission.

Admittedly it is not essentially the most enjoyable automobile on the earth to drive, however the hatchback styling offers college students loads of utility and drivers can regulate the quantity of regenerative braking with the steering wheel-mounted paddles. Ahead-collision warning, a driver consideration monitor, lane-keeping help and high-beam help are customary, however it’s a must to soar to the SE to get blind-spot monitoring and to the SEL so as to add adaptive cruise management. Freeway Drive Help is barely out there on the highest Restricted trim. —Emme Corridor


With cute, pleasant styling, a properly geared up inside and a peppy however environment friendly four-cylinder energy plant, the Hyundai Venue is the right automobile for any scholar, however particularly one who has a watch for design. The Denim Version is quite a bit much less Jay Leno than it sounds, with a good-looking blue and white two-tone exterior and denim-esque seat cloth inside. We love the blue accents all through the inside, too. Add in Hyundai’s epic guarantee and an out-the-door value below $25,000 and it is gotta be my choose. –Kyle Hyatt

Emme Corridor/Roadshow

It is arduous to beat a compact crossover for versatility, and it is even tougher to beat an all-wheel-drive mannequin if you happen to go to highschool someplace with difficult climate. The 2021 Mazda CX-30 may not be essentially the most succesful mannequin within the actually tough stuff, nevertheless it greater than makes up for any shortfall by being enjoyable to drive, environment friendly and neatly styled.

For $24,625 (together with $1,175 vacation spot price), you will get your self right into a base S mannequin that comes with a brace of lively security options together with adaptive cruise management and LED lights. No, the Mazda Join infotainment system nonetheless is not excellent, however you have bought Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, which is all most younger folks care about today. —Chris Paukert


The Honda Civic is commonly a no brainer alternative it doesn’t matter what you want, however for a scholar in want of recent, dependable wheels to get to class, I can not consider a greater suggestion. The newest Civic oozes model inside and outside, however particularly inside. Plus, children will get the tech they need in at present’s vehicles with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and a 7-inch touchscreen. Gas financial system? That is additionally a grand promoting level for the Civic. You may stroll away with an impressively nicely geared up cockpit for just below $23,000. In a world the place the common new automobile prices an eye-watering $40,000, that is darn low cost, and that is hardly a cheap-feeling automobile. –Sean Szymkowski

Craig Cole/Roadshow

Look, I am positively not advocating for skipping class, but when you end up needing a, uh, break from the day-to-day monotony of sitting inside buildings (or observing Zoom displays), not many different cheap vehicles will get you off the grid fairly like a Subaru Crosstrek. With 8.7 inches of floor clearance, customary all-wheel drive and a nice-sized hatchback to accommodate all of your gear, the Crosstrek is prepared and prepared to hit nearly any path you could find, and with a complete bunch of ordinary security gear, it is a fantastic automobile to dwell with on the day by day, too. –Steven Ewing.

Read our 2021 Subaru Crosstrek review.



From tuition to room and board to ramen noodle packs, faculty may be an infinite monetary burden. For college students who want a brand new automobile however should maintain their prices as little as humanly attainable, give the Chevy Spark a very good look. Go forward, drink it in.

This spunky little hatchback ought to be essentially the most inexpensive new automobile out there in America at present, undercutting equally miserly rivals just like the Hyundai Accent, Mitsubishi Mirage and Nissan Versa. An entry-level LS mannequin with a guide gearbox, crank home windows, 15-inch metal wheels and no smiles checks out for a positively parsimonious $14,595, together with $995 in freight fees. That undercuts this record’s value cap by a whopping 10 grand. Consider all of the textbooks you should buy for that!

Positive, it could be low cost, however the Spark is not all dangerous. It is supplied in a variety of spunky colours, from orange and lightweight blue to dusty purple, plus it is small and extremely maneuverable. Whereas its 1.4-liter engine will not set the world ablaze, its 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque are greater than sufficient for a automobile of this measurement. –Craig Cole


Whereas I am unhappy that the lovable hamsters are now not getting used to advertise the Kia Soul, the automobile itself remains to be one of the vital curiously styled, versatile and inexpensive new autos out there at present. Starting at a shade above $20,000, essentially the most primary Soul is powered by a serviceable 2.0-liter I4 making 147 horsepower that works with a constantly variable transmission. Throw in a roomy cabin for passengers and cargo, customary Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain guarantee and you’ve got a fantastic automobile for younger drivers. –Jon Wong

Comparability of the greatest back-to-school vehicles for 2021

Identify Worth (together with vacation spot)
Finest automobile for the commuter 2021 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid $24,404
Finest automobile for the style scholar 2021 Hyundai Venue $23,235
Finest automobile for the cold-weather scholar 2021 Mazda CX-30 $24,625
Finest automobile for the budget-minded scholar 2021 Honda Civic $22,715
Finest automobile for the outdoorsy scholar 2021 Subaru Outback $23,295
Finest automobile for the determined scholar 2021 Chevrolet Spark $14,595
Finest automobile for the attention-seeking scholar 2022 Kia Soul $20,365

What’s the greatest back-to-school automobile?

The perfect automobile for back-to-school is one that’s secure, dependable and cheap. This can be your child’s first automobile, so there is no such thing as a purpose to go all-out with some form of monster off-road machine or luxurious convertible. Allow them to earn one thing like that. A superb back-to-school automobile offers affordable transportation, not over-the-top efficiency. Chorus from shopping for one thing like a Dodge Challenger Hellcat Redeye with gobs of energy. Your child will not be capable to deal with it and so they’ll get oodles of rushing tickets at greatest, crash it at worst. 

Similar goes for any form of large SUV. Does Emily really want to maneuver herself and 7 of her greatest mates round campus? Extra importantly, can she afford the gasoline to take action? Keep on with one thing small and economical. 

Why ought to I purchase a back-to-school automobile?

It is true, many people weren’t given a automobile after we began our senior yr in highschool or went off to school, so shopping for your youngster a automobile may appear to be excessive privilege. In actual fact, it’s. Many dad and mom have bother simply making lease, overlook about dropping $25,000 on a automobile for his or her teenager. Nonetheless, if you happen to can afford it, shopping for your child a brand new automobile is smart. With myriad security methods like ahead collision warning and emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring and lane-keeping help, new vehicles are a lot safer than what you could find on the used market. Additional, their gasoline financial system is commonly higher and they are often extra dependable. 

Your youngster has sufficient to be involved about with making grades and dealing that part-time job — they should not have to fret about how they are going to get round as nicely. | Finest back-to-school vehicles for college kids in 2021


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