When you’re a student, all you really need from a car is something to get you from point A to point B. Naturally, it has to be affordable to not break the bank, and it wouldn’t go amiss if the car you’re considering also turns out to be quite safe. With that in mind, here are the 5 best cars for any student, regardless if you’re buying new or used.
5. Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta is probably one of the most popular cars ever made, and for a very good reason. It’s incredibly compact, fuel-efficient, and let’s not forget affordable, even when purchasing new. It comes with a wide variety of petrol and diesel engines depending on the generation, but most are well above 1.6 liters and four-cylinders. They’re extremely reliable and inexpensive to fix if things do happen to break. It doesn’t look too bad either. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost would be our engine of choice. If you’re looking at older, used cars, keep an eye out for the Ford Ka. It’s no longer in production, but as it’s smaller than the Fiesta, it’s even more compact and easy to run.
4. Volkswagen Polo
The Polo is the eternal Fiesta arch nemesis. Although it might be slightly more popular than the Fiesta in a lot of markets, the fact that it holds its value better means you’re less likely to find one for cheaper. That being said, there’s nothing in it between the Fiesta and the Polo. It comes with similar engines to the Fiesta, and is just as frugal. If you’re buying a brand-new one, take a good look at the 94 horsepower 1.0-liter TSI.
3. Toyota Yaris
If you want a car which requires practically no maintenance and will virtually never leave you stranded, look no further than Toyota’s Yaris. The Yaris, along with the Corolla, have a stellar reliability reputation. It might not be as stylish as the Polo, but it’s most certainly the one to go for when it comes to trouble free motoring. It usually commands a premium over the other two if buying new, but it’s worth it in the long run. If you’re looking at something smaller and even less expensive, go for the Aygo. It’s quite a lot smaller but as a student, you rarely need a lot of space. Go for the 1.0-liter if you want the last word in efficiency or the 1.5-liter if you want a bit more poke.
2. Vauxhall/Opel Corsa
The Corsa isn’t as popular as it once was, and that’s partially down to its age. The current generation is five years old. That being said, that’s also the reason why you can find one for so cheap, especially if buying used. Engines range from 1.0 to 1.6-liter, but the 1.4 Turbo is a great mix of efficiency and power. Again, if you’re looking for something smaller you might find the Vauxhall Adam more suitable.
1. Honda Fit/Jazz
Did we save the best for last? Depends on how you look at it. The Fit (also known as Jazz) is arguably the most old-fashioned hatchback on this list, but if practicality, reliability, and ease of ownership are your rules of measurement, you might like it a lot. It’s a direct rival to the Yaris and it’s similar in more ways than one. The engine range is similar, it drives similarly enough, and it boasts the same type of indestructible quality. The Yaris is unquestionably more stylish though, which is something to consider, especially as a young student. It’s also worth noting that the Fit and the Polo are the only cars on this list which can be specified with a dual-clutch transmission (DCT) rather than a manual, a CVT, or a plain torque converter automatic. The 1.2-liter i-VTEC is a real gem of a motor.