Best Used Cars for College Grads

If you’re a recent college grad (or you’re getting ready to graduate), splurging on a brand-new vehicle might not be your top priority just yet. Luckily, there are a number of great used cars you can turn to when it comes to finding a car you can count on for at least the next couple of years. Read on to see which vehicles have grown to be some of the most affordable, practical, and, more importantly, dependable used cars around.

2014 Nissan Sentra


Models of the 2014 Nissan Sentra are equipped with a slew of tech and safety features. Its comfy interior and stylish exterior allow it to be a great vehicle for drivers who want something practical, reliable, and fuel-efficient. All models are equipped with a 1.8 L inline-four engine that delivers 130 horsepower and 128 lb foot of torque. Offered in both manual and automatic transmission, drivers can expect an EPA estimate of 30 MPG in the city and 40 mpg on the highway with its automatic configuration. Great fuel efficiency and a modern interior allow the Sentra to be a great everyday-use vehicle for commuters and families alike.

2011 Honda Accord LX


While it’s one of the older models on our list, the Honda Accord remains to be one of the best-selling sedans for drivers who want a vehicle they can depend on. At the heart of this well-loved vehicle is a modest yet mighty 2.4 L inline-4 engine. Delivering 190 horsepower and great fuel economy, this is the ideal car for budget-conscious drivers. While the interior of 2011 models doesn’t tout the latest tech, they do offer plenty of interior comforts that enhance your experience behind the wheel. Bumping up to the SE trim brings with it a leather interior, driver’s power lumbar support, heated front seats, and other enjoyable luxuries.

2013 Hyundai Sonata


This midsize sedan has plenty to offer when it comes to performance, power, and comfort. Models of the 2013 Sonata see slight revisions from its predecessor but remain to be one of the most practical sedans available. Drivers can look forward to comprehensive standard safety features, including Hyundai’s Blue Link infotainment and concierge service, Bluetooth capability, and a range of safety features. Some models are equipped with factory options that help enhance the tech and safety offerings as well. There are three available engine options you’ll encounter, with the 2.4 L inline 4 being the base engine. The 2.0 L turbo delivers a little more power, and the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder hybrid is the top-tier engine option available.

2014 Kia Optima


The affordably priced 2014 Kia Optima is a great vehicle for families who want more space. For everyday commuters, the Optima is a fun vehicle to drive because of its great handling and responsiveness. The cabin touts a modern design even for the 2014 model. A voice-activated navigation system, heated and cooling front seats, heated rear seats, and a dual-panel moonroof are just some of the great features you can find with select models. There are also three engine options you’ll find with the base engine being the 2.5 L inline-4 that delivers a respectable 200 horsepower.

2015 Hyundai Tucson


For drivers wanting the best of both a sedan and an SUV, the Hyundai Tucson crossover provides the best of both worlds. 2015 models offer plenty of great features for commuters, families, and drivers who simply want a little more comfort and performance. The base engine is a 2.0 L inline-4 that delivers 164 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. It fetches pretty great fuel efficiency with an EPA estimate of 23 MPG in the city and 29 MPG on the highway. Available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, this is a great commuter or adventure vehicle.

Not Ready to Splurge on a New Car? Shop These Reliable Used Cars

Once your college days are in the rear-view mirror, your priorities shift to finding a job to start paying off those student loans.

You need a car to get around, but a brand-new model might be out of reach. These five used cars are affordable, reliable, and versatile. And as an added bonus, they’re stylish enough to make you feel confident driving them around town.

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