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17 Unbelievably Affordable Cars for Grads

Last updated on April 19th, 2018 at 03:40 pm

It’s graduation season for students across the country. If you’re a newly minted grad with a brand new job, or are congratulating someone in your family on a job well done — a car can be a great (and super useful) gift.

Yes, it’s a big gift, but this is a major life event! You’ll want to make sure the car is safe, but also a little fun. We did the leg work for you to bring you a list of 17 of the coolest, safest and most budget friendly cars for college grads and young professionals.

To be clear: this isn’t some willy nilly list of cars we like. We didn’t even really pick these cars. This list was whittled down by several factors.

  • First, we deferred to the experts. We combined the lists for the U.S. News & World Report’s 2018 Best Cars for the Money and the 2018 Car and Driver Editor’s Choice Awards (this is what they do after all).
  • Then, we limited that list to only cars that received a 5-star overall crash test rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (you want to make sure you’re safe in your new ride).
  • Finally, we limited the list again to cars that have MSRPs starting under $25,000 (we’re all on a budget, right?).

Here’s how all that sorting and searching ended up in a list of budget friendly cars for college grads (this list is simply sorted by starting MSRP, low to high):

  • Chevy Sonic – $15,295
  • Toyota Yaris iA – $15,950
  • Honda Fit – $16,190
  • Kia Soul – $16,200
  • Mazda 3 – $18,095
  • Honda Civic – $18,840
  • Hyundai Sonata – $19,300
  • Honda HR-V – $19,670
  • Mazda CX-3 – $20,110
  • VW Golf – $20,910
  • Hyundai Tucson – $21,050
  • Chevy Malibu – $21,680
  • Subaru Crosstrek – $21,795
  • Mazda 6 – $21,795
  • Toyota Camry – $23,495
  • Honda Accord – $23,750
  • Honda CR-V – $24,150

These are base model starting prices. Options can be really freakin’ cool, but will run you a little extra dough. And, you’ll need to make a decision about whether you want to lease or buy your new car. There’s no one answer for everyone – it’s going to come down to what makes sense for you.

If you do buy that new car, make sure it’s well-protected, too.

4 thoughts on “17 Unbelievably Affordable Cars for Grads

  1. I’d like to see a blog about the basics of owning an electric car. What’s available and what is involved with a home charging station.

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