10 Best Back-to-School Cars 2017

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10 Best Back-to-School Cars 2017

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but the following new cars can make it easy for parents and students to agree. Here, we started by gathering a list of vehicles with a Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price of less than $20,000, then we debated and researched our way to the 10 affordable but appealing entries that follow.

Chevrolet’s subcompact SUV has been updated for 2017 with a totally redesigned front end, significantly enhanced interior, and the addition of available Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility.

Comfortable, roomy and relentlessly reliable, Toyota’s venerable compact car will carry teens into their twenties and all the way through med school if that’s the plan. New for 2017, even the lowest-priced Corolla includes appealing driver-assist and safety technologies like adaptive cruise control and automatic collision braking.

The Mazda CX-3 is on the smaller side of the subcompact SUV segment, but it’s arguably the best looking and most fun to drive.

Totally redesigned for 2017, the Subaru Impreza remains the country’s most affordable all-wheel-drive vehicle. Its strong resale value and proven reliability make the Impreza a smart choice anywhere in the country, but it’s an especially compelling option for students subject to snow days.

Not to be confused with the cheaper Versa sedan, the Versa Note subcompact hatchback combines surprising roominess and versatility with appealing options and the lowest starting price of any vehicle on this list. 

A regular entry on our annual list of the 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000, Mazda’s gorgeous compact car is also the most fun-to-drive car this side of $20,000.

Introduced just last year, the newest addition to the Honda lineup very quickly established itself as the benchmark in the burgeoning subcompact SUV segment.

The 2017 Honda Civic is our Compact Car Best Buy for 2017, our Overall Best Buy for 2017, and a repeat winner of both. It’s a good first new car for students and just about anyone else.

Kia’s boxy style statement morphs into a practical, feature-filled, respectable small car with each passing mile.

The fun, funky and functional Honda Fit is the well-rounded varsity team captain of this annual list. Proven value, famous reliability and five-star safety are proven parent pleasers, while the Fit’s standout style, fun-to-drive nature and class-leading cargo flexibility will satisfy students all the way to the real world.


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