A list of cars most commonly owned by college students in North America, particularly the United States.
Autotribute has numerous guides on how to buy cars, but in this article, we decided to analyze the most common choices made by college students who have already purchased their means of transportation. The reason behind making this list wasn’t mere curiosity but helping our readers figure out the best car they get for their money.
You’ll see it’s no coincidence that some brands and models are more frequent among students. All those young people have pondered the same question before, and their final choice provides useful insight into a car that does its job and doesn’t cost a pile of money.
So, you can rely on someone else’s experience to avoid unpleasant purchases and save yourself some time. It’s similar to how you first go to Writing Paper Sucks when you need help with your study projects and see which services have proven to be reliable. We advise you to use the same approach when choosing a car, and here’s the list of vehicles that have passed the test of time.
Cars College Students Drive
Without further adieu, here are the most common cars college students drive. College students are generally a broke bunch, so you will notice a strong emphasis on value.
It’s well-known that Toyotas are very good cars with incredible reliability. Even models that were initially released almost two decades ago can often be seen on college parking lots.
This fact speaks better than anything for the popularity and reliability of the Toyota Corolla. It’s easy on the eye, cheap (in a good way), and efficient. Sure, it cannot boast a lot in terms of power, but most students don’t need a racing car. Toyota Corolla totally works as a means of transportation that doesn’t eat up all your money.
While newer models may have a more attractive look, students don’t mind the simplistic exterior of the previous Toyota Camry generations. The high safety ratings and low fuel consumption tip the scale in favor of this model.
And since older cars have proven their reliability and smooth run over the years, buying a used Toyota Camry is an obvious move made by many students. Low insurance costs contribute to the explanation why it’s such a popular choice among students.
Honda makes some of the best cars, and the Honda Accord is one of its best-sellers. The roomy sedan can often be seen parked on college campuses, and like the Toyota Camry with which it competes directly, is known to be a reliable and long-lasting car, newer and older models alike.
See: Toyota Vs Honda – Which Brand Makes Better Cars?
Although some of the previous generations may not hold up in terms of looks, students who value safety and fuel efficiency seem to be satisfied with their choice. They also don’t see anything wrong in buying a used Honda Accord because of Honda’s good reputation.
Here’s another trusted, more affordable representative of the Honda family that many students drive. You get to save on insurance, as it’s relatively low for a Civic known to require little maintenance and rarely experience major breakdowns.
If you plan to get one yourself, make sure to explore the available data on recalls to see what year is better to avoid. However, the company acknowledges such problems, offering free repair for certain defects, which is a definite plus for Honda owners.
Since its remodeling in 2007, Nissan Sentra has become a much more attractive car for students. Its reliability and fuel efficiency helped it become a mainstay for college students. Even though it costs a little more to insure a Nissan Sentra than its alternatives from other brands, you get an incredibly affordable car that does basic transportation very well.
See why we think Nissan makes good cars.
Nissan Altima comes with a slightly higher cost for insurance, and even older models will cost a bit more. However, the proud owners of this car see that as completely justified.
After all, Nissan Altima has a pretty slick and stylish look and is a comfortable and reliable ride. Newer models are also popular, as they offer additional tech features for safe driving; those include cameras for safe parking, detection of blind spots, and other modern must-haves.
It’s only logical that the most common cars owned by students are affordable models, and Hyundai Elantra usually ranks as the most affordable. Hyundai’s compact sedan/hatchback is spacious, good on gas, and has good safety ratings.
An older used model will cost even less while still providing its owner with a reliable and decent-looking means of transportation.
In case you’re wondering, Hyundai does make good cars. Once the butt of jokes for their cheap build quality, Hyundai cars have climbed the ranks to become some of the best-built vehicles on the road. You also get a lot of bang for your money.
Having a roomy and comfortable car is crucial for many young people going to college, especially if they commute to get there. That’s how Hyundai Sonata ended up becoming a fan favorite among students.
Essentially a larger Elantra, this midsize sedan is known for its longevity and steady operation and has the looks that signal maturity and pragmatism. It has good reliability and fuel efficiency, competing toe-to-toe with the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, and other contemporaries.
Many students want some extra baggage space that a hatchback can provide, and Ford Focus proves to be one of the most common choices with that body type. It’s a neat-looking car with a good safety rating and low insurance cost.
Despite what you might have heard, Ford does make good cars, SUVs, and pickup trucks. The automaker has improved its reliability drastically over the past several decades.
It is natural for young people to want a nice-looking and powerful car that embodies the spirit of youth. The Ford Mustang fits the bill very well.
As one of the most affordable sports cars, it’s quite sturdy, reliable, and ageless in design. Despite being a sports car, it’s surprisingly not much more expensive to insure than the other cars on our list.