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As a new semester opens, KBB.com's expert editors hand-picked a selection of new cars they recommend for students that score high marks for being both practical and affordable, while also giving extra credit for style, features and personality. This year's wide-ranging Back-to-School Cars list includes a small SUV, a 50-mpg hybrid and an all-wheel-drive option.
Each of the KBB.com editors' new-car recommendations starts below
"Regardless of a student's interests or style, there is a stellar new-car option for them on our diverse 10 Best Back-to-School Cars list for 2014," said
KBB.com's 10 Best Back-to-School Cars for 2014
2015 Honda Fit
2014 Kia Soul
2014 Nissan Versa Note
2014 Mazda Mazda3
2014 Toyota Prius c
2014 Honda Civic
2014 Chevrolet Sonic
2014 Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
2015 Volkswagen Golf
2014 Subaru Impreza
*The Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price (FPP) is updated weekly to show shoppers what others have been paying for this car recently. FPP data in chart is for base model and was sourced from KBB.com on
To see KBB.com's full coverage of the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars for 2014, including vehicle photography, pricing details and editorial reviews, please visit http://www.kbb.com/car-reviews-and-news/top-10/best-back-to-school-cars-2014/2000010964/.
To discuss this topic, or any other automotive-related information, with a Kelley Blue Book analyst on-camera via the company's on-site studio, please contact a member of the Public Relations team to book an interview.
Car Shopping and Buying Tips for Students and Parents:
To help ensure driving and ownership satisfaction into the coming school year and beyond, follow these guidelines for getting the right car at the right price and check out KBB.com's 10 Tips for First-Time Car Buyers:
Do Your Research: All the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision is available at KBB.com, including both expert and consumer reviews and ratings, Fair Market Rangeincluding Kelley Blue Book® Fair Purchase Price, side-by-side comparisons, safety and reliability ratings and more.
- Know What It Is Going to Cost You: Once you've narrowed it down to a few models that you are interested in, be sure to check out not only what it will cost you up front to buy the car, but also what it will cost you over time to own the vehicle. KBB.com's 5-Year Cost-to-Own information for new cars can help you determine both.
- Drive At Least Two or Three Different Models: It's easy to enjoy a test drive in the vehicle at the top of your list, but without driving one or two others to compare, you might easily miss out on something you'd like even more.
- If Buying New: Always use a vehicle's Fair Purchase Price, not Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, as your basis for comparing vehicles and negotiating with the dealer.
Kelley Blue Book'sFair Purchase Price reflects the prices people are typically paying a dealer for a new car, based on new-car transactions and adjusted regularly as market conditions change. Kelley Blue Book'sFair Purchase Price may be hundreds or even thousands of dollars less than MSRP.
- If Buying Used: Whether buying from a private party or a dealer, it's always a good idea to have any used vehicle checked out by a reputable independent service shop. When purchasing from an individual, check out the private-party value from KBB.com as well as
Kelley Blue Book'sQuick Condition Quiz. These items will help you determine the "actual" condition and value of the vehicle.
- Consider Certified Pre-Owned (CPO): When you buy a CPO vehicle, you get the value of buying a used car with the peace of mind that comes from getting new-car-like features, such as a manufacturer-backed vehicle warranty, full vehicle inspection and more. Learn more about buying CPO, compare all manufacturer CPO programs and even search for CPO vehicle inventory in your local area on kbb.com here: www.kbb.com/certified-pre-owned/
- Shop Online: Use the Internet to find the exact vehicles local dealers in your area currently have on their lots. You can check out inventory in the 'Cars for Sale' section on KBB.com to save time and hassle of driving around from dealership to dealership. This way you can choose wisely which models you want to go test drive.
- Parents: Don't buy a car for your teen without driving it yourself, as your experience can help you identify problems or shortcomings that your teen may not notice. Also, trust your own judgment and don't let your teen talk you into buying a vehicle with which you're not fully comfortable.
- Teens: Do all of your homework before you meet with mom or dad; show them you are responsible and ready for a car, and make it easy for them to say "yes" to your well-researched choice.
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