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Sure, getting a job is at the top of the needs list for freshly minted college graduates. However, they also need reliable rides to get them to those job interviews. To help college grads and their families navigate the car-shopping world, five cars have been identified as being the perfect cars for new college grads. Talking about these selections, John DiPietro, of car-buying site, said:

“These are all affordable, sharp-looking cars with good performance, and some have a practicality to them as well… All of these cars are affordable, nice-looking and fun to drive.”

  • The Honda Civic Si, the fifth car on the list, has a base price $22,515 and is, according to DiPietro, “a car that you can buy for an affordable price, but still have some fun with on the backroads.” The new Honda Civic Si sports 140 horses and improved steering and suspension.
  • The fourth car on the list, the Hyundai Genesis Coupe, $24,250, features a 274-horsepower turbocharged engine and rear-wheel drive. It is, DiPietro said, “[a] budget-friendly car that still manages to be sharp looking. It’s a good choice for recent grads who are looking for a performance coupe.”
  • The third car on the list is from one of the carmakers that, in my opinion, amazes the car industry at a steadier rate than just about any other auto maker out there. The Kia Optima, a midsize sedan with a base price of $21,350, features a four-cylinder, 200-hp engine a fine looks. DiPietro describes it as being “one of those models where you seem to get a lot more car than you paid for in terms of styling, quality and refined performance. It has this upscale vibe about it that belies its price tag.”
  • The Volkswagen GTI is the first runner up on the list. With a reasonable base price of $24,200, the VW GTI has a turbocharged 200-hp engine, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and mighty-fine 18-inch allow wheels.  A big fan of the GTI, DiPietro says it is “a well-rounded package of a car. It’s got a sporty ride, it’s comfortable on the inside and it’s got a hatchback style that lets you fit a lot of stuff into it.”
  • The meanest looking car on the list, the Scion FR-S, has earned the list’s top spot. This pretty rear-wheel-drive sports car, $24,500, was jointly developed by Toyota and Subaru. DiPietro says it is “a real ‘back-to-basics’ sports car in the vein of the 1970s Datsun 240Z or the [1980s] first-generation Mazda RX-7.  It’s lightweight, well balanced, responsive and very rewarding to drive… Personally, I think very highly of the car.”

If you are planning to finance your purchase, keep in mind that you may need to a co-signer to qualify for an affordable interest rate. You may also need a down payment of 10-20%. Often the trade allowance from your existing vehicle is sufficient to cover this. Go here for more information on financing a car as a student. There are challenges, but it’s doable, especially if you have secured a good job and have at least 6-12 months of positive credit history.



About the author: Andrew Greene


Now playing the role of grumpy old man in the foothills of Northern California’s Gold Country, Andrew has had a life-long love affair with vehicles of all sorts, from the bicycle he pedaled across the continent in 1991 to the armored personnel carriers he drove in the Army to the bamboo rafts, elephants, motorcycle taxis, ferries and buses he traveled by during the 13 years he lived and worked in South East Asia. Always eager to learn more about how the people of the world get from here to there in their day-today lives, he, a professional journalist, has been covering the vehicle industry for years.


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