Autotrader editors selected nine great new and certified pre-owned (CPO) vehicles based on affordability, practicality, fuel economy and style – all with an affordable price tag of $25,000 or less.
The nine models that recent college grads should have on their shopping lists are:
- 2017 Chevrolet Cruz
- 2017 Toyota Prius
- 2017 Ford Focus ST
- 2015-16 CPO Acura TLX
- 2017 Honda HR-V
- 2016 CPO Hyundai Tucson
- 2017 Jeep Renegade
- 2014-16 CPO MINI Cooper
- 2017 Subaru Impreza
*Models are unranked, listed in alphabetical order
To make sure the car buying is experience is as satisfying and hassle-free as possible, Autotrader experts also offer a few pieces of advice:
- Consider new and used vehicles: New cars are almost guaranteed to have the latest technological upgrades, as well as extensive warranties and incentives that you generally can't get on the pre-owned market. However, used cars typically cost less and therefore depreciate less over time.
- Know your options when it comes to leasing and buying a vehicle. When you graduate from college, it's hard to say where you're going to be a few years down the road. But if you can count on staying put for at least two years, leasing could be a convenient option. The car is typically new or nearly-new, and if anything goes wrong unexpectedly, the dealership covers the cost.
- Figure out what you can afford. Once you've decided on a few cars worth considering, it's time to find out what will work within your budget. If you're interested in financing or leasing your next car, determine your maximum monthly payment before you get your heart set on anything.