Every year around this time two momentous things happen. First, the kids go back to school! Second, Kelly Blue Book (KBB) releases its list of the best back to school vehicles!
So KBB has been releasing this list for the past few years and it’s become pretty popular with consumers. Why? Well it’s the best time to buy a new car and most families are looking for larger vehicles to take the kids, teams, and friends to all the activities, meetings, and gatherings associated with the new school year. Koons represents over 22 manufacturers in 16 locations and all of them are here to help you find your new car for whatever time of year it is.
Couple that with current Koons offer of 125% KBB value on your trade-in and you can see why getting a new car now for the school year is so great! So not only do you get the best vehicle for your little ones but you also will get the best price on your trade-in!
Here are some of the vehicles that made the list:
This year’s wide-ranging list includes a small SUV, a 50-mpg hybrid and an all-wheel drive option, and every car here starts under $20,000.
#7. 2014 Chevy Sonic – 26/35 MPG:
The well-rounded Sonic is one of the most fun-to-drive and most comfortable sub-
compact cars out there. Available in sedan and hatchback flavors, the Sonic was also one of the first cars to offer next-level iPhone integration via Siri Eyes Free. As a bonus, it’s also the most affordable car on this list.
#5. 2014 Toyota Prius C – 53/46 MPG:
The easy-to-park and amazingly fuel-
efficient Prius C is an ideal choice for
students living far off campus. Likeable
looks, hatchback versatility and Toyota
reliability make its combined fuel economy
(both city and highway driving) rating of
50 mpg even more attractive.
#4. 2014 Mazda 3 – 30/41 MPG:
The stylish and sporty Mazda3 isn’t just a smart choice for students; it’s also one of this year’s 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000. Available in sedan and hatchback versions, the totally redesigned 2014 Mazda 3 is also more efficient, more tech-savvy and more comfortable than ever.
#2. 2014 Kia Soul – 24/30 MPG:
The redesigned-for-2014 Soul is loaded with personality, yet at its core is wonderfully
practical. The fuel-efficient hatchback seats
five comfortably and has a large and impressive cargo volume to ace a trip to IKEA for dorm room furniture.
The list has been fairly consistent over time and has been a helpful guide to base your buying decisions on. In the coming years the list will become more and more popular and we’ll keep an eye on it here. But, just remember you’ll get the best deal around from Koons no matter what you buy or when you buy it. ♛
My first car was a used pick-up that I got when I was a sophomore in college. It was dark blue, had a gray, cloth bench seat, manual transmission, and no AC. It got good gas mileage and it was awesome when it was time to move my small pile of stuff from apartment to apartment. My Dad bought that first truck for me and I had no idea why, but later in life I would come to find that it was the best car for me at the time.
When you’re in college, you want affordable and reliable transportation. Students and parents alike usually begin the search for that first auto by looking for solid, flexible, economical vehicles. But they will quickly see that it’s difficult to find value be cheap.
Koons has on average over 5,000 used vehicles a month to chose from with the vast majority of those vehicles being Certified Pre Owned and all of the dealerships can work with you financially. Start your used car shopping with a budget of around $9000, this way you should be able to get a vehicle that will last beyond graduation.
Here’s a bit of advice: Make sure you know your student’s needs before selecting a vehicle. Buyers should be aware of the college’s parking rules, proximity of service and parts stores, and weather conditions. If parking is tight, a subcompact or compact car may make more sense. Find a local mechanic who you trust that can work on the car if the need arises. It might be wiser to have an all-wheel-drive on a campus prone to snow and bad weather. If they are driving more than three hours from home each way, make sure they have comfortable working seats and cruise control.
For this article we broke our vehicles down by type of vehicle and then mention a few well-known vehicles for each type.
Best Compact Car – city colleges
Kia vehicles are known for their durability and reasonable price tags. This all still applies to a used Kia’s as well, which can cost about $5,000-$6,000 for a 2009 model, which also boasts a surprising amount of interior space. Because Kia offers such extensive warranties, students may be able to purchase a vehicle that is still covered.
Top Midsize Car – driving a long distance and more urban settings
The Toyota Corolla may not be able to fit into the same tight spots that a Kia Rio can, but it offers more space, more room for passengers and a classic style that won’t be embarrassing to drive to a job interview. A 2010 Corolla is likely to cost less than $10,000, perform well, and get a college student through graduation and into that first job before needing replacement.
Best Hatchback (5-Door) – for majors that have a of gear associated with them
The hatchback has now pretty much taken over the station wagon slot, what was once the workhorse of the American family has pretty much vanished. The hatchback or 5-door has taken it’s place, small and flexible these vehicles are great for many different situations and that’s why they’re great for the college kid of today. The Ford Focus offers a familiar name and a reasonable price tag for those looking for a vehicle that will offer plenty of interior space without sacrificing its ability to squeeze into tight parking arrangements. With a price tag of about $6,000 for the 2003 model, the Focus is likely to last a student well past the college years, but take just about anything the student may throw at it.
Students may also want to consider the Toyota Matrix, which is comparable in many ways to the Focus. It’s a tad more expensive but like the focus it comes with a well know brand name and a long history of styles and trim levels to choose from.
Best SUV – campuses with bad weather and for majors that have a of gear associated with them
The Chevy Equinox may put a bigger dent in a car shopper’s wallet than other vehicles, but this SUV is easy to navigate around campuses or cities while offering all-wheel drive in case of bad weather or rough roads. If your student is going more than 4 hours drive from home this is definitely the vehicle you’ll want them in. Capable of moving an entire dorm room with ease it’s also capable of pulling a trailer with the contents of their first apartment. With a price of about $9,500 for the 2005 model, the Equinox may not be the cheapest used car that a person can buy, but it is one of the most durable, practical, and flexible for its size.
Top Truck – for the student who will be moving… A LOT!
There are times when a person needs a truck and there are also times when a student may simply prefer one. The Toyota Tacoma offers all the normal features of a pickup truck, but with a compact size that can be easier to drive on a campus. The price for the 2000 Tacoma is about $6,000, but it can come with a powerful V6 engine and the ability to go off-road or on snowy roads, and carry a hefty payload.
These top 5 used cars by type for college students offer a wide range of choices to meet your different needs. In addition to needs and price, reliability, feature sets, fuel-economy, and auto insurance rates, along with safety are also important factors that should not be overlooked. No matter what you need, you can come to any of the Koons dealerships and we’ll make sure you find the right car for the right price. ♛
For some people the act of buying a vehicle is the ultimate statement of their personality, who they are, and that they have arrived. Sometimes they buy a certain vehicle consciously, like a flashy sports car to gain attention and to feel young and trendy. Sometimes people buy unconsciously, like when they buy the same car over and over again, every model year, or out of habit because that’s what their parents always drove.
So which one are you? Functional, practical, powerful, respectable, dependable, or adaptable? Doesn’t matter, right? It’s just great to have a choice!
Whether purchased with a purposeful eye to make a statement or purchased without conscious knowledge of why, the type of car you choose says a lot about who you are.
No matter what you see yourself in; a sports car, minivan, station wagon, SUV, or a crossover, we offer the following guide to body styles and what they say about the driver.
- Sedan: The 4-door sedan’s three-box configuration appeals to folks who are more comfortable with familiar forms. This is especially true in the executive class where longer overall car lengths benefit from the sedan’s balanced look. It also appeals to car owners who prefer to have the cargo area completely sealed and out of view in a separate compartment. — Functionality is who you are if you buy a sedan, comfortable and easy going, no statement here beyond wanting to get from point A to point B.
- Station Wagon: Long a favorite of drivers who needed more cargo capacity, the wagon has declined in popularity, due to the versatility of minivans and SUVs. Nevertheless it’s a good choice for buyers who prefer sedan-like handling and accommodation. With the rear seat folded flat, the station wagon can handle everything from a sheet of plywood to an antique hutch. With the seat up, it performs like a sedan. The wagon has been making a comeback lately, especially in European models. — You care more for practicality than style and you want a vehicle that will change with your needs kind of like a reversible jacket or belt.
- Sport Utility Vehicle (SUV): More utilitarian than sport, the SUV’s popularity is due to a number of factors including a “command” seating position, spacious cargo capacity, and the availability of four-wheel-drive. Highly recommended for those who must drive through snow, mud and sand and, of course, for participants in the off-roading hobby. — You’re real person here with a desire to be seen but also get around town and the farm. You want the ability to go where you want when you want, and you want to carry all of your stuff with you.
- Hatchback: Arguably the most sensible passenger car yet devised. A sedan with a lifting rear door where the trunk would be, it allows for the carrying of large items when the back seat is not in use. The smaller the car, the more you need one because of the hatch’s ability to look, drive, and feel like a sedan while carrying all sorts of odd-shaped cargo. With lifestyles demanding more versatility, the hatchback concept is enjoying a rise in popularity. — You’re a bit on the green side, you like being able to day trip here and there, you want to carry your stuff with you. But you don’t want to necessarily have to be conscience of how many will go with you, how much it will cost, or how far you can go on a tank. You’d rather spend money on the destination than the trip.
- Minivan: It’s been said the minivan is the station wagon for today’s families; at least large ones. A minivan can transport up to eight passengers in three-row seating and still leave room for cargo. Parents like the walk-through space between the front seats. Kids like the way video screens provide on-the-go entertainment. — You love family and the idea of taking a trip is about making sure everyone is accommodated, you enjoy driving and the idea that you could transport a large dresser or eight of your kid’s teammates really intrigues you.
- Coupe: If you subscribe to the “door for every seat” theory a coupe is not for you. Basically, a coupe is nothing more than a 2-door sedan but its appeal lies in the sporty look. That image will cost you more, though coupes actually cost less to manufacture. Getting in and out of the rear seat is secondary. In spite of all these negatives, coupes remain popular because there’s more to driving than just transportation and a coupe says something about its owner. — You’re transitioning, you’re in between things and you want style but you can’t quite let go of functionality, that said you like power and you like performance and you will not go quiet into that night.
- Convertible: If a coupe is not the most practical conveyance, a convertible is even less so. Rear seats are often more cramped than a coupe’s and the trunk is inevitably smaller due to the space needed for a folding top. And you will definitely pay a premium for the privilege. Yet, for all its inconveniences, driving with the top down, especially on a warm spring day, makes the convertible worth every penny. The feeling is glorious, the all-round visibility wonderful. — For you, the idea of driving is having the wind in your hair, it’s like feeling the sand between your toes on the beach, you don’t want anything to come between you and the experience, it’s all about things that are good for the soul.
- Sports Car: In the beginning they were all sports cars, for you had to be a sport just to drive one of those early automobiles. Later, the sports car became a vehicle built solely for the fun of driving, often quickly, and has remained so to this day. A true sports car puts handling, steering, braking, and agility first, passenger comfort and convenience second. In most cases it will have only two seats, as size and weight are the enemies of performance. — Fast fast fast… did we say fast? ‘Nuf said here.
- Crossover: “Crossover” is just one term manufacturers are coining as they attempt to name a new breed of vehicle that combines the virtues of several categories. Take a sedan, for example, and mix in equal parts of SUV, station wagon, and minivan, and you get a crossover. They come in all sizes and a variety of shapes as designers continue to experiment. — You don’t settle, never have never will, with that in mind you do enjoy versatility and change and you find a dash of practicality is good for the soul, in the end you as much about change as you are about functionality.
So which one are you? Functional, practical, powerful, respectable, dependable, or adaptable? Doesn’t matter, right? It’s just great to have a choice! Come down to Koons and we’ll help you figure it out. We carry every single one of these and some that aren’t listed (pick-up truck for instance). Either way you will make a statement with your new vehicle from Koons. ♛