Send your grad off to college in style. You’ll want to make sure your grad heads out in a safe car that’s going to last through miles of driving and isn’t going to break the bank. College is expensive enough without having to add a massive car payment on top of that.
Some car dealerships even offer great student and grad discounts, like the Ford Drives U program that lets students and new grads get $500 off a new car purchase or lease. Most dealerships also offer a discount for recent college grads.
Starting at $18,640
The 2016 Honda Civic is a great pick for anyone looking for a reliable car with outstanding fuel economy. If your grad is heading back and forth between school and home, you can’t beat the 31-mpg city and 42-mph highway. Plus, with an excellent build quality and handsome styling, your grad will look great driving around in this car for years to come.
The 2016 Honda Civic is one of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winners for small cars. It’s been dramatically redesigned outside and the inside is packed with all sorts of the latest tech features. Your grad can drive away in a car that is packed with features added to keep their eyes on the road including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto to seamlessly use the phone without ever touching it or the Driver Information Interface that shows what song is playing and who’s calling right behind the steering wheel.
All of that with a starting MSRP of only $18,640 the Honda Civic is still coming in well within your budget.
Starting at $20,000
The all-new 2016 Fiat 500X takes on the crossover market and would make a great option for anyone headed off to college. Not only do you get innovation, more space and loads of tech and security features, but you’re sure to turn heads all over town. The Fiat 500x is designed with striking Italian style and 180 horsepower that’s ready to perform.
The 2016 Fiat 500X is one of the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ winners for small SUVs. The muscular look of the crossover SUV was no accident and with seven airbags, a steel safety frame and a number of other standard and available safety features, you can feel safe letting your grad head off in a Fiat 500x.
You’ll also get 25 mpg city and 35 mph highway, making it a pretty good option if there will be some driving back and forth between college and home. Along with all of the extra space available over the sedans, your grad might show up with some extra laundry.
2016 Mazda 3
Starting at $17,845
The 2016 Mazda3 is an exhilarating drive that’s packed with features. If your grad is heading back and forth or doing a lot of driving for classes, the Mazda is a great pick – it has outstanding fuel efficiency and combines fun and function in an eye-catching design. The style will turn heads, “because looking good means feeling food behind the wheel.”
With Skyactiv Technology, the Mazda3 delivers unmatched driving dynamics alongside unbelievable efficiency. With an impressive 184 horsepower and an EPA estimated 30 city and 41 highway miles per gallon, your grad can go far in this car.
The tech features included are sure to make anyone happy. With Mazda Connect infotainment on the built in touchscreen, a commander control knob on the center console and a heads up display, your driver will feel totally in control in this vehicle. Add a comfortable cabin design and acoustic-enhancing perforations in the available leather-trimmed upholstery and you might just want to keep this car for yourself.
Starting at $14,090
The 2016 Ford Fiesta is a reliable, stylish car that’s perfect for grads. It features great fuel economy at 28 city and 36 highway and the hatchback shape leaves plenty of space for moving in or fitting the dorm room essentials. With a starting MSRP of $14,090 – that’s way below our $20,000 affordable cap for this list – parents don’t have to worry about the Ford Fiesta breaking the bank.
The Fiesta is built to be fun to drive; it has nimble handling combined with comfort in the available heated leather-trimmed front seats. Plus, you get all the latest tech and safety features packed into the hatchback. Send your grad out in a car that will give you peace of mind. With an available rear view camera and reverse sensing system as well as the MyKey system and voice commands on the touchscreen, the Ford Fiesta takes away a lot of distractions that come with driving.