2011 Kia Soul

If you're thinking about buying a car for your college-bound kid, start thinking Kia. NADA Guides, a publisher of vehicle pricing and information, just named three of Kia Motors' vehicles "Best Car Buys for 2011." Furthermore, Kia Motors was one of only four automakers to have three or more models noted in the report across multiple categories.

The 2011 Sorento crossover SUV and 2011 Sedona minivan earned top scores in the SUV and Van categories. Kia Soul, the urban passenger vehicle, finished in the top three in the Wagons section.

"At Kia, we recognize the growing needs of Gen Y car shoppers who are looking for vehicles that are fun-to-drive, offer outstanding fuel economy and are outfitted with the latest technologies. Our lineup offers several college student-friendly options including the funky Soul urban passenger vehicle and the Forte line which features a sporty 2-door Koup, functional 4-door, and practical 5-door," Michael Sprague, Vice President, Marketing & Communications told AutoTrader.

The 2011 Soul certainly has youth appeal. It was named "Best New Car for Your Teen" by Kiplinger's Personal Finance, "Best Family Cars for 2010" by Edmunds.com and Parents Magazine, "Top Safety Pick" from IIHS and "Best Hatchback of 2010" by Cars.com. The compact crossover has a starting price tag of $13,300. Standard features include air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors and SiriusXM Satellite Radio with three months of complimentary service and MP3 connectivity.

The midsize 2011 Sorento crossover has been Kia Motors' best-selling vehicle for 16 consecutive months. The Sorento received a five-star crash safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is noted for having outstanding fuel economy, low depreciation and competitive pricing.

The 2011 Sorento, described as "a well-equipped, well-appointed crossover, suited perfectly for the fun, dynamic and discerning driver," comes in LX, EX and SX trim levels with a starting MSRP of $22,395.

While probably not a big draw with younger buyers, the 2011 Sedona minivan was given kudos for its long list of standard equipment, low starting price and improved horsepower. Pricing starts at $24,595. A segment leader in value and safety, the Sedona comes with a long list of standard safety features including dual advanced front and front seat-mounted side air bags and full-length side curtain air bags for all three seating rows, active front headrests and a four-channel, four-sensor, Antilock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD).

And if you can hold off 'til the fall, the all-new 2012 Rio sedan and Rio 5-door hatchback will be arriving in dealerships then.

Sprague promises the compact Rio models will offer, "new levels of refinement, including UVO Powered by Microsoft – our new hands-free entertainment and communications system – while also delivering best-in-class horsepower and up to 40 miles per gallon at a starting price under $13,000."

Another plus, the entire Kia lineup will continue to be backed by Kia's impressive 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty.

author photo

Holly Reich writes about cars, travel, lifestyle and more. Her work has been featured in publications that include: Elite Traveler, The New York Daily News, The Washington Post and The Boston Herald. She contributes monthly to Motor Matters syndicate and her blog, "Riffs on Rides," appears on uptownlife.net.

Related Articles & Car Reviews

Find Cars for sale near you:

Research by Vehicle Type

  • Convertible
  • Coupe
  • Hatchback
  • Hybrid
  • Luxury
  • Sedan
  • SUV
  • Truck
  • Van/Minivan
  • Wagon

Shopping Tools

Loading Ajax Content Loading Ajax Content