By Madeline Klein on August 21, 2018.
Sending a kid to college isn’t cheap. You’ve got the new dorm room gear, maybe some new clothes, a meal plan that seems like more food than anyone could eat, and oh yeah, paying for classes. Among all these costs is the question of whether your college student needs a car.
If you do opt to get them a used car or spring for a new ride, you’ll want to make sure the car will fit the college kid lifestyle. Some key features to pay attention to are:
- Cargo space
- Maintenance costs
- Gas mileage
The decision is a tough one, so we’ve found some solid options to send your kid away to college in.
1. Kia Soul
In addition to a fun look, the Kia Soul has high safety and reliability ratings, making it an ideal choice for college kids. It will keep them safe and secure as they drive home from school on their breaks. It also has a good amount of cargo space to fit that extra laundry they’ll bring home to wash for free.
2. Subaru Forester
The Subaru Forester is a classic for the more adventurous college student. It has enough cargo space for moving apartments or packing everything up for winter break. The Forester performs exceptionally well in safety tests, and its all-wheel-drive makes it great for wintery drives home or weekend getaways with friends.
3. Honda Civic
This little car packs quite the punch. Civics are known for lasting forever and holding their resale value over time. This car has an excellent safety score and enjoys great fuel efficiency, both in town and on the highway. And for the tech lovers out there, this one comes equipped with some fun features. You really can’t go wrong with this compact car.
4. Volkswagen Jetta
Are you a safety nut? The Jetta could be perfect for your college kid. It’s got side-curtain airbags, traction and stability control, and anti-lock brakes. This means it will ensure your kid makes it around town and home for the holidays safe and sound. The Jetta is a more affordable car option that won’t break the bank for you or your student.
5. Toyota Prius
Our environmentally-friendly readers will love this option. The Toyota Prius has an impressive fuel efficiency that will mean your student will have no excuse for not coming home on the weekends. This option doesn’t have quite the cargo space as some others, so it could work well for the more minimalist-minded students out there. Depending on the trim, Prius’ can be a pretty upgraded ride that drivers can feel good about.
6. Ford Escape
If you’re looking for a compact SUV, then look no further. Newer models of the Escape will make your tech-loving teen drool. The rear seats fold to create enough room for all their dorm room essentials. All that’s left is to figure out how to pack all the college necessities into the car. If your kid seems to be bringing a lot to college, we’re looking at you with this option.
A car is a big purchase and investment, so if you’re buying one for your college kid or helping them shop for their own, this list will help give you a jumping off point depending on their needs. And for more options, check out this list of vehicles for teens. No matter what they end up with, you can guilt them into coming home to visit much easier if they have a safe, reliable car, right?