Best Used Cars for College Students

Having a solid vehicle during college is a freedom-granting boon for all students, but determining what makes a good college car and what method is best used to buy it can be challenging. The information gathered below will help with choosing a reliable vehicle. 

NJ State Auto Auction Used Cars

Major Factors to Take Into Account When Buying

When looking for a solid vehicle for college, it is best to take many factors into account to avoid making a poor choice. Make sure you go for something that is relatively inexpensive and affordable. Promising to pay for a very expensive vehicle and then being unable to do so can do as much harm to your credit as failing classes can to your GPA. 

Used cars, even if they are only a year old, are a good choice when looking to buy a vehicle. They’ll be far less expensive than new ones, and the ones that are only a few years old are often just as good as new when well-maintained. The second factor you should consider is fuel economy. Going for a less expensive option won’t matter much if you’re sinking huge amounts of money per week into its gas tank.

Search for a vehicle that has the features you want rather than a massive list of flashy options which will lower the price tag. Make sure the features that the vehicle offers balances comfort, convenience, and entertainment. Your choice may have a great sound system, but if it has uncomfortable seating or insufficient heating and cooling power, your commute to college will not be as comfortable as you may want it to be.

Safety features are often overlooked by car buyers, but they are among the most important features to consider. College students are often not the safest of drivers, even though you’re probably more careful than most. High-tech safety features are becoming more common, so consider looking for something that comes with active collision mitigation, a reinforced or especially sturdy frame, or a wide range of airbag types.

The 2018 Ford Fusion Sedan

This five-seater sedan is reliable, has decent power, and can be equipped with all-wheel-drive, making it far more responsive on the road. It comes with one of three engines, two of which are very fuel-efficient. The first engine is a 2.5-liter inline-four, granting 175 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque. The second is a 2.0-liter, generating 245 horsepower and 130 pound-feet of torque. The last is less fuel-efficient but more powerful: a 2.7-liter V-6 providing 325 horsepower and pound-feet of torque. The combined fuel economy rating of the most efficient engine is just under 30mpg.

If you want to go full-tilt towards efficiency, choose the hybrid or plug-in hybrid versions of the 2018 Ford Fusion sedan. They can run for 21 miles without gas, so if you live on or near campus and don’t go far to gather supplies, you can go all semester without buying a drop of fuel. This sedan is often featured with the SYNC 3 Infotainment System. 

The Fusion can run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, whichever your smart device is compatible with. You can also make hands-free calls, contact first responders during an emergency with a button push, utilize GPS navigation, and listen to SiriusXM satellite radio through the interface. 

The 2018 Hyundai Tucson

If you favor sport utility vehicles over sedans, take a look at the 2018 Hyundai Tucson. It has an impeccable record for quality, easy maintenance, and long-term value. It has a supremely comfortable interior, can seat up to five, and features a responsive dual-clutch manual transmission option. It is powered by one of two engines: a 2.0-liter inline-four or a 1.6-liter turbo inline-four. The first grants 164 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque, while the second offers 175 horsepower and 195 pound-feet of torque. 

This SUV, like the sedan we mentioned above, is available with a more responsive all-wheel-drive system, and like it, it gets a combined fuel efficiency rating not far below 30mpg. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto can connect your smart device to the infotainment system, making it easy to use your phone and your favorite apps safely.

The 2018 Tucson comes with safety features like a rear-cross-traffic warning, blind-spot warning, lane-keeping alert and assistance, pedestrian detection, and a forward-collision warning system with automatic emergency braking. College students who have health conditions that can incapacitate them for short times should always choose vehicles with that last feature. They significantly reduce the impact of collisions when used properly. This Tucson has 31 cubic feet of cargo room in the cargo area and 61.9 with that and the seating area. It can tow up to 1,000 pounds and has a max payload capacity of 1,286 pounds.

The 2009 Toyota Prius

If green driving is your cup of tea, go with the most classic of hybrid vehicles: the Toyota Prius. This groundbreaking hybrid was among the first to hit the mass market with significant popular appeal. It has a fuel efficiency rating at just under 50mpg, has a reputation for stupendous reliability, and features a 100,000-mile warranty that can be renewed for a fee. Later years of the Prius are even more viable, but this one has a particularly low price tag for a hybrid vehicle. 

The engine core features a 1.5-liter inline-four gas engine paired with a potent battery core offering 110 horsepower and 82 pound-feet of torque. The list of safety features on this Prius is particularly impressive. It includes an engine immobilizer, emergency braking assistance, electronic traction control, efficient electronic brake force distribution systems, occupant-sensing airbags, and swift-acting ventilated disc brakes. It comes with six speakers, cruise control, single-zone climate control, heated side-view mirrors, four-way adjustable bucket seats, and an ultra-responsive MacPherson strut suspension system.

NJ State Auto in Jersey City, New Jersey, is dedicated to getting safe and efficient vehicles into the hands of college students from across the nation. We have many more wonderful options for you to consider. If you have further questions about how to choose the best college vehicle, please contact us, and we will gladly do all we can to help.