Top Cars:  College Cars

7 Affordable Cool Cars for Students

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $25,400
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $26,025
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $25,650
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $17,450
RELATED READING
See all Ford Fiesta articles
RESEARCH BY MAKE
Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs
Acura cars, trucks and SUVs Alfa Romeo cars, trucks and SUVs AMC cars, trucks and SUVs Aston Martin cars, trucks and SUVs Audi cars, trucks and SUVs Bentley cars, trucks and SUVs BMW cars, trucks and SUVs Bugatti cars, trucks and SUVs Buick cars, trucks and SUVs Cadillac cars, trucks and SUVs Chevrolet cars, trucks and SUVs Chrysler cars, trucks and SUVs Daewoo cars, trucks and SUVs Datsun cars, trucks and SUVs DeLorean cars, trucks and SUVs Dodge cars, trucks and SUVs Eagle cars, trucks and SUVs Ferrari cars, trucks and SUVs FIAT cars, trucks and SUVs Fisker cars, trucks and SUVs Ford cars, trucks and SUVs Freightliner cars, trucks and SUVs Genesis cars, trucks and SUVs Geo cars, trucks and SUVs GMC cars, trucks and SUVs Honda cars, trucks and SUVs HUMMER cars, trucks and SUVs Hyundai cars, trucks and SUVs INFINITI cars, trucks and SUVs Isuzu cars, trucks and SUVs Jaguar cars, trucks and SUVs Jeep cars, trucks and SUVs Kia cars, trucks and SUVs Lamborghini cars, trucks and SUVs Land Rover cars, trucks and SUVs Lexus cars, trucks and SUVs Lincoln cars, trucks and SUVs Lotus cars, trucks and SUVs Maserati cars, trucks and SUVs Maybach cars, trucks and SUVs Mazda cars, trucks and SUVs McLaren cars, trucks and SUVs Mercedes-Benz cars, trucks and SUVs Mercury cars, trucks and SUVs MINI cars, trucks and SUVs Mitsubishi cars, trucks and SUVs Nissan cars, trucks and SUVs Oldsmobile cars, trucks and SUVs Plymouth cars, trucks and SUVs Pontiac cars, trucks and SUVs Porsche cars, trucks and SUVs RAM cars, trucks and SUVs Rolls-Royce cars, trucks and SUVs Saab cars, trucks and SUVs Saturn cars, trucks and SUVs Scion cars, trucks and SUVs smart cars, trucks and SUVs SRT cars, trucks and SUVs Subaru cars, trucks and SUVs Suzuki cars, trucks and SUVs Tesla cars, trucks and SUVs Toyota cars, trucks and SUVs Volkswagen cars, trucks and SUVs Volvo cars, trucks and SUVs Yugo cars, trucks and SUVs
RESEARCH BY STYLE
AWD/4WD
Commercial
Convertible
Coupe
Hatchback
Hybrid/Electric
Luxury
Sedan
SUV/Crossover
Truck
Van/Minivan
Wagon
ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Doug DeMuro February 2017

If you're a young driver, your desire for a new vehicle probably revolves around two things: affordability and coolness. But you probably already know you can't just buy the cheapest cool car you can find, especially if you're a student -- as you'll also want to make sure your car is relatively practical, so you can carry around your friends or your gear, and also reliable, so you can make it to your classes or any job you might have. With that in mind, here are seven affordable, cool cars for students -- with just a hint of practicality and reliability, too.

FIAT 500 Abarth

FIAT 500 Abarth

The FIAT 500 Abarth is one of the most exciting hatchbacks on the market, thanks to its impressive performance and excellent engine note. Ignore the cheeky styling it shares with other FIAT 500 models: The 500 Abarth means business, with a sports-car growl and a 0-to-60 time of under 7 seconds. It also offers surprisingly sharp handling thanks to its diminutive size. And while it's not the most practical model on this list, it's one of the most affordable: Prices start from $22,500, and it touts 28 miles per gallon in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Find a FIAT 500 for sale

Ford Fiesta ST

Ford Fiesta ST

The Ford Fiesta ST is an excellent choice for anyone who wants a cool car at a reasonable price. One reason is its highly reasonable starting MSRP of just $22,100, which makes it cheaper than the majority of models on the list. And while people who aren't "in the know" might mistake the Fiesta ST for "just another hatchback," that's kind of the point: It offers practical utility while still boasting a 197-horsepower turbocharged 4-cylinder that sends it from zero to 60 in around 6.5 seconds -- making it both usable and surprisingly exciting.

Find a Ford Fiesta for sale

Honda Civic Si

Honda Civic Si

Although the Honda Civic Si won't have the all-out performance of the ultra-sporty Civic Type-R, the quick Si will offer some major excitement -- and some traditional Honda reliability. While the latest Si isn't quite out yet, it should go on sale in the next few months -- and we're expecting it to offer a muscular 4-cylinder engine, likely turbocharged and undoubtedly attached to a slick-shifting 6-speed manual transmission. It'll also boast 4-door practicality and -- if previous models are any indication -- quick acceleration and excellent handling. While it's hard to say what the upcoming Civic Si will cost, the outgoing model's base price of around $25,000 with shipping is a pretty good indication of the new model's MSRP.

Find a Honda Civic for sale

Hyundai Veloster

Hyundai Veloster

While many of the models on our list are cooler versions of normal vehicles, the Veloster is a cool car all on its own. That's mostly because it combines coupe styling with hatchback practicality while tossing in an extra door -- just one single extra door, on the passenger side -- for good measure. Its base price of just $19,000 with shipping is appealing, but even more enticing is the sporty Veloster Turbo's powertrain: a 201-hp turbocharged 4-cylinder linked up to an available dual-clutch automatic. Regardless of which Veloster you choose, you'll get a 10-year powertrain warranty, which makes it an especially alluring choice.

Find a Hyundai Veloster for sale

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler

SUVs are hot right now -- and even though the Jeep Wrangler has been available for ages, it seems more popular than ever before. Featuring a starting price of just $25,000 with shipping, the Wrangler is affordable -- if you aren't looking for all the latest amenities, which can quickly add to that figure. More importantly, however, the Wrangler will dramatically hold its value -- much better than virtually any other vehicle on the market. That means you'll be able to get a lot of money back out of it when it's time to trade up for something more practical. And while the Wrangler's performance absolutely isn't all that impressive, there's no question it's a fun vehicle, thanks to a brilliant combination of off-road capabilities and convertible excitement.

Find a Jeep Wrangler for sale

Mazda MX-5 Miata

Mazda MX-5 Miata

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a tremendously enjoyable convertible, touting rear-wheel drive, two seats and one of the best driving experiences you could possibly get without paying a fortune for a luxury performance car like a Porsche 911, a Chevy Corvette or a Ferrari. Although the MX-5 Miata is hardly practical, we'd hesitate to call it impractical -- as it touts a trunk, reasonable storage space, and lots of modern features and equipment. It also boasts reasonable pricing that starts from just $25,900, along with surprisingly affordable fuel costs (gas mileage is 26 mpg city and 35 mpg highway, which is highly impressive for a sports car). Don't let its small sizing or its not-very-powerful engine fool you: The Miata is very fun and certainly "cool."

Find a Mazda MX-5 Miata for sale

Subaru BRZ

Subaru BRZ

The Subaru BRZ may seem like the kind of high-performance sports car your parents would never give you the "OK" to purchase -- but it's more sensible than you might expect at first glance. It has rear seats and a surprisingly sizable trunk, for instance -- and while the back seats aren't huge, they're perfect for additional storage. It's also not wildly fast, with only 200 hp, but rather just a joy to drive -- great for learning car control and driving technique. More importantly, perhaps, is the BRZ's affordability: Despite its sleek styling, it starts at just $26,500, and it touts the legendary durability you'd expect it to have, considering it was designed by Subaru and Toyota.

Find a Subaru BRZ for sale

RELATED INVENTORY
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $25,400
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $26,025
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta ST Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $25,650
Saving this vehicle to yourMy Autotrader account
Are you sure you want to delete?
New 2017 Ford Fiesta SE Hatchback
New 2017 Ford Fiesta
MSRP $17,450
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
7 Affordable Cool Cars for Students - Autotrader