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6 Cars Perfect for Your College Kid (2020)

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By Erin Thompson on August 5, 2020 in Life Hacks

Finding the perfect vehicle for your child can be a difficult task! At Say, we want you to enjoy this experience.

Let’s start with what to look for. When shopping for your child’s first car, safe, practical, and inexpensive are likely the first items on your list. The car should be affordable at the point of purchase but also reasonable to maintain and insure. This is a win for both you and your kiddo! Since they’re still a young driver figuring out the lay of the land, safety features are essential. Here’s a list of the top 6 vehicles that are both safe and practical for your young driver. Pull right up and scope out the options!

Honda Civic

We’ve all heard the rave about the Honda Civic. It’s known as the perfect fit for new drivers for a few reasons – price, safety, and fuel efficiency among others! Starting at $19,850, the sedan is the best bang for your buck. If you’re willing to chalk up some more change, the hatchback starts at $21,750. Honda proves that safety is a top concern and works hard to achieve strong ratings in this category each year. The Honda Civic’s estimated 32 mpg (miles per gallon) on city roads and 42 mpg on highway roads is helpful for those long trips home for the holidays. Fuel efficiency for the win!

Subaru Impreza

Subaru has made it their mission to be one of the safest brands in the market, and the Subaru Impreza does not disappoint! Featuring all-wheel drive, this vehicle is a fantastic option for your student if they’re going to school in a state that has the joys (and driving hazards) of all four seasons. It has impressive gas mileage with an estimated 28 mpg for city and 36 mpg for highway. Although the engine power could seem a set-back for some, let it be a reminder of the vehicle’s safety when your kid takes off for the dorms!

Toyota Prius Prime

Although the Toyota Prius might not be the flashy Bugatti your kid was hoping to hit the streets of their new college town in, the perks are well worth it! Getting 640 miles on a full tank of gas and fully charged battery could be just enough to have them throwing their bags in the trunk. The gas engine and electric motor give this ride gas mileage that is hard to beat, 55 mpg in the city and 53 mpg on the highway. It might not be the car for the snowy thrill seekers, but it’s safe and efficient -- perhaps the perfect ride for your college kid!

Nissan Kicks

The Nissan Kicks is a roomier car if your teenager is notorious for overpacking. It falls under the subcompact vehicle category, so it has all the benefits of a small car in SUV form! It has excellent safety features including pedestrian detection, lane departure, and bling-spot warnings. Two more pros are the price, starting at $18,640, and the lifted hatchback which means easier moves in and out of apartments or dorms! You’ll feel a bit less sad watching them drive away knowing they aren’t missing any sentimental treasures.

Ford Fusion

With blind-spot monitoring as a standard feature, the Ford Fusion is definitely a solid option for your soon-to-be college graduate! Other safety features include automatic high beam lights, pre-collision assist, and lane-keeping assist – all things that will come in handy when driving in a new city. Despite the fact that this vehicle has the lowest city and highway mpg with 21 and 31 respectively, it’s still not a bad starting price at $23,170. There is also a hybrid model if you don’t need the trunk space and are willing to spend a little extra cash. Overall, this ride is safe, dependable, and easy to parallel park!

Kia Optima

If you are looking for something a little more stylish, the Kia Optima is the right choice for your child. Although its price point is slightly higher, starting at $23,390, its all-star safety features and Kia’s warranty might help make that price a bit more digestible. The safety features include rear cross-traffic alert, backup camera, and more! These all play into Kia’s five-star rating from the NHTSA and Top Safety Pick+ from the IIHS. This ride will be sure to make your kiddo proud to be the designated carpool driver!

Overall, we know safety is your number one priority when it comes to choosing a car for your kid. There’s no need to let stress make this decision tricky. The cars listed above have top-notch fuel efficiency, practical price points, and incredible safety features.

Erin Thompson is the Marketing Manager for Say Insurance. She's responsible for guiding the strategic direction of all Say marketing campaigns. Prior to joining Say, Erin worked for a media agency based in Columbia, MO. She spent several years developing successful advertising campaigns for a diverse set of clients across the United States. Erin began her career in television advertising after earning her Master’s from the University of Missouri Journalism School with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. Her love of communication and helping people directed her to the insurance world.