Need a ride to school? We've got 10. The approach of a new school year often necessitates the start of a new (or used) car search. Choosing a ride that will make everyone happy - students, parents, friends, prospective love interests -- is as easy as finding a car that's at once affordable, reliable, versatile, fuel-efficient, safe, tech-savvy, fun and expressive. Piece of cake, right?
To lend a helping hand, every year we put together a list of the Top 10 Back-to-School Cars - five new, five used. New cars offer all the latest and greatest safety and technology advancements and a full warranty. Used cars typically deliver more car for the money. Each has merit. In choosing the new cars, we considered everything available with a Fair Purchase Price under $18,000. For the used entries, we narrowed it down to 2005 model year and newer vehicles that had a Kelley Blue Book Suggested Retail Value of less than $12,000 (with base-level equipment and average mileage). This year, we mixed new and used together, and ranked them 10 to 1. Click through to see which cars made the list, and which one we crowned the best of the best back-to-school rides.