When it comes to buying a car for a college student, important factors typically include affordability, fuel efficiency and fun styling. For the 2012 model year, there are plenty of available models that meet these needs. Keep reading to compare five of the best 2012 cars for the college-bound.
The Toyota Yaris receives a complete redesign for the 2012 model year - and that's a good thing. The vehicle now boasts improved styling, a larger interior and better handling. The result is a sporty and stylish little compact that won't break the bank. Base price for a Yaris hatchback is listed at $14,115, and includes power locks, air conditioning, rear windshield wiper, fold-down rear seat, four-speaker stereo, CD player, auxiliary input, satellite radio and more. With an EPA-estimated 30 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway, the vehicle also gets high marks from those looking to save at the pump.
Learn more about the 2012 Toyota Yaris
While the low price may fool you ($13,200), the 2012 Fiesta is actually a lot of car for the money. Not only does it boast a youthful, stylish design, but you'll also get a good build quality for the money. Add in an engine that delivers one of the most fun driving experiences in the affordable compact vehicle market, and you've got a vehicle that is definitely worth a test drive. Base models are fairly Spartan, but upgrade to the SE and you'll get power everything, CD player, four-speaker stereo, auxiliary input, USB port, tilt/telescoping steering wheel and more. Fuel efficiency for base models is listed at 29 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.
Learn more about the 2012 Ford Fiesta
The Hyundai Elantra sets the bar high for bargain shoppers. Base models start at a competitive $15,345 and include one of the longest standard feature lists in the compact class. These features include keyless entry, heated mirrors, full power accessories, tilt steering wheel, height-adjustable steering wheel, six-speaker stereo, CD player, satellite radio, auxiliary input, USB interface and more. Wrap it up in an aggressive, fashion-forward package, and you've got an Elantra that is just begging to hang out in college campus parking lots. Gas mileage for the Elantra comes in at an impressive 29 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
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If you want a sporty little compact that also manages to hold a good amount of cargo, then the Honda Fit is a pretty good option. Thanks to its rear "Magic Seat," The Honda Fit can't be beat when it comes to storage versatility. It also offers a peppy driving experience and competitive base price ($14,287). Base models come standard with keyless entry, full power accessories, cruise control, air conditioning, four-speaker stereo, CD player, auxiliary input, USB interface and more. However, in the face of new competition, the Fit falls just a bit short in the category of fuel efficiency. Although, it should be said that 28 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway certainly is not really worth complaining about.
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Reviewers tend to agree that the 2012 Chevy Cruze is one of the better compact sedans available for the year. With an engine that offers 136 horsepower, the Cruze is one of the quicker vehicles on this list. For additional power under the hood, a turbocharged engine is also available. All models come with above-average fit and finish, and the standard features list includes air conditioning, full power accessories, six-speaker stereo, CD/MP3 player, satellite, auxiliary input and more. Initial asking price for the 2012 Cruze is listed at $16,800.
Learn more about the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze