5 cars that are perfect for new college grads
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"These are all affordable, sharp-looking cars with good performance — and some have a practicality to them as well," says John DiPietro of car-buying site Edmunds.com, which recently named 2013's Best Cars for College Graduates.
Edmunds compiled its fourth-annual list by asking readers to rank some two-dozen 2013 models that cost around $25,000 and offer good looks, a fun driving experience and the kind of features 20-somethings want.
DiPietro says the candidate models included more than just econoboxes, as "not all college graduates are alike. Some business grads need formal-looking cars to take associates at a new job to lunch, while other kids want something sportier."
Ultimately, readers gave high marks to a group of cars DiPietro says are not only good choices for recent grads, but really for any consumer who wants good performance, sharp looks and a modest price. "All of these cars are affordable, nice-looking and fun to drive," he says.
Here are the 5 models that Edmunds readers gave the most votes for best college-grad cars of 2013. All dollar figures refer to manufacturer's suggested retail prices for base versions of each model:
Fifth place: Honda Civic Si
Base price: $22,515
DiPietro calls this sport version of the Honda Civic "a car that you can buy for an affordable price, but still have some fun with on the backroads."
Honda gave the entire Civic lineup an extensive refreshing for 2013 because a 2012 redesign of the model fell flat with consumers and auto reviewers.
As a result, this year's Civic Si feature a better-looking exterior, a higher-quality interior and upscale features such as Bluetooth and a rearview camera as standard equipment.
The 140-horsepower Si — which 6.7% of Edmunds readers picked as 2013's best college-grad car — also comes standard with improved suspension, better steering and additional soundproofing for a smoother, quieter ride.