13 Best High School Cars On A Budget


With all the back to school advertisements on mass media and Social Media regarding “Back to School” sales promotions we thought we would write about what’s most important to high school students, their car. If Mom or Dad is buying the vehicle they probably want something safe and practical which may not be in sync with the principal driver of the car. High school cars vary in shape and sizes but most important they reflect the owner’s style or in this case the driver’s style. So how do you find a car that is both safe and looks cool on a budget? Fear not, we have a great list of vehicles that will meet all three requirements.

The following is our list of the top thirteen used vehicles with automatic transmission, 30,000 miles or less and were priced in the North Texas auto markets for under $10,000:

2017 Chevy Spark | 29/38 MPG

The Chevy Spark makes up for a weak acceleration, 0 – 60 mph in 11 seconds from a standstill, with its MPG and an impressive number of features for the base model. Some of these features that are not available in this economy class includes 4-wheel ABS, front and rear headrests, rear door child safety locks, child seat anchors, traction control, front and rear headrests, dusk-sensing headlights, auto delay headlamps, tire pressure monitoring, auxiliary audio input & USB with external media control, AM/FM/ Satellite radio, 4 speaker audio system.

2017 Chevy Sonic | 27/36 MPG

The Chevy Sonic is the second to the smallest car in the Chevrolet family but has technology comforts including a 7-inch touchscreen with the newest version of Chevy’s superb MyLink interface, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. MyLink’s menus are easy to master. If you can live with the feel of the cabin materials then this may be at the top of your list for consideration.

2017 Ford Fiesta SE | 27/35 MPG

The Ford Fiesta SE with a 1.6 Liter engine doesn’t pack much of a punch in the looks or acceleration departments but is probably the “least expensive but it doesn’t feel the least expensive” option for high school cars. Features include usual and also the following; a turbocharged 3 cylinder engine, EcoBoost fuel economy package, a Sync system with voice recognition to interact with your smartphone hands-free, offering access to turn-by-turn driving directions and emergency assistance. The Sync 3 system has sharper graphics and an intuitive arrangement of controls on its 6.5-inch touchscreen.

2017 Ford Focus | 27/35 MPG

Some of the base models of the 2017 Ford Focus had a weak 1.0 Liter engine instead of the 2.0 Liter that is standard with the Titanium package. Make sure the Focus you are considering is the 2.0 Liter, trust us on this because that extra liter will make a difference when you are trying to get onto the highway! We’re not sure what Ford engineers were thinking with just a 1.0 Liter engine and the missing legroom in the rear seat, seriously. The Focus SE has some of the same features as the Fiesta except for the 6.5-inch touchscreen. Most importantly, be sure to test the transmission. Some Focus owners have complained of rough shifting or slipping transmission issues.

2016 Dodge Dart | 25/36 MPG

The Dodge Dart is the smallest vehicle in the Dodge Chrysler Jeep family but not the best bang for your buck. This vehicle’s base model is limited in technology and audio features at the base model. Features include the usual; 4-wheel ABS, front and rear headrests, engine immobilizer, rear door child safety locks, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear headrests, daytime running lights, rear center 3-point belt, tire pressure monitoring, traction control, remote anti-theft alarm, auxiliary audio input & USB with external media control, AM/FM/ Satellite radio, 4 speaker audio system.

2017 Hyundai Accent SE | 29/38 MPG

Hyundai Accent SE is like a smaller version of the Elantra. How much smaller? If rear legroom or acceleration on the highway while your A/C is on MAX is not important, then this is the car for you!

best high school cars hyundai
Hyundai has 2 of the 13 best cars for high school students.

2017 Hyundai Elantra SE | 26/36 MPG

Hyundai Elantra SE is a larger version of the Accent with great standard options on this base model including; 6-speed shiftable automatic transmission, 4-wheel ABS, rear door child safety locks, daytime running lights, dual front side-mounted airbags, front and rear head airbags, Stability Control, front and rear headrests, adaptive headlights, Xenon high intensity discharge headlamps, 4 speaker audio system.

2017 Kia Rio LX | 27/36 MPG

The Kia Rio LX is like a smaller version of the Forte without all the features of the Forte. How much smaller and which import features are left out? If rear legroom or acceleration on the highway while your A/C is on MAX, a telescopic steering wheel, rear camera, are not important, then this is the car for you – sound familiar? Hyundai Accent is its not so distant cousin with similar features.

Kia has 3 of the 13 best cars for high school students.

2018 Kia Forte LX | 25/34 MPG

The Kia Forte LX is both practical because it has a great safety rating in its class and has a sports car’s curves along the front end. Although has a weak 0 to 60 acceleration it does provide great standard features such as greater trunk space, greater headroom for full size 6 foot adults, a higher quality interior, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity, AM/FM Sattelite radio with a 6-speaker audio system that provides a bit more bass than the Hyundai Elantra, its close cousin.

Kia Soul | 25/30 MPG

You may remember the first Kia Soul TV commercial with the cool hamsters, well this vehicle’s base model can also make a cool high school car. This subcompact SUV has 6-speed auto transmission with front-wheel drive and 1.6 Liter engine you would expect the MPGs to be higher, right?

2017 Nissan Versa | 27/36 MPG

The Nissan Versa is the second to the smallest vehicle in the Nissan family. This subcompact car has an impressive MPG, plenty of legroom in the back seat for adults, as well as, a large truck while providing a comfortable ride. However, the interior feels and looks cheap, it’s slow to accelerate, has a noisy engine, and no telescopic steering column.

2017 Mitsubishi Mirage | 33/41 MPG

That is not a typo, the Mitsubishi Mirage has one of the best MPGs in its class and is a great value for the money. Although acceleration is sluggish at best, there is significant road noise, especially on the highway. Features include; Dual Front Side-Mounted Airbags, Front And Rear Head Airbags,
Stability Control, Emergency Braking Assist, Passenger Airbag Occupant Sensing Deactivation, Remote Anti-Theft Alarm System, 2 Front Headrests, Auto Delay Off Headlamps, Traction Control, Turn Signal Mirrors, Front Fog/Driving Lights, Dusk Sensing Headlamps, Xenon High Intensity Discharge Headlamp, USB With External Media Control, USB Connection, 140 Watt 4 Speaker AM/FM Audio System.

2017 Toyota Yaris iA | 30/39 MPG

Toyota Yaris iA Base is designed and produced by Mazda so you will have a unique Toyota if this is your vehicle of choice. In addition to the high-quality interior, some of the features include; advanced driver safety aids, 16-inch alloy wheels, full power accessories (locks, windows and mirrors), keyless ignition and entry, a rearview camera, a low-speed forward collision warning and automatic braking system, cruise control, air conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, the Mazda Connect tech interface in all but name (7-inch display, knob-and-button controller, touchscreen operation when parked), two USB ports, Bluetooth, and a 6-speaker sound system with an auxiliary audio jack, media player interface and HD radio.

Shopping for High School Cars

As you’re shopping for cars for high school students, you may have an unwanted or old vehicle you may want to trade-in for something more dependable. You may be thinking of selling a used car that has been in your family for more than a decade and using the cash for a down payment on a car for your high school student. Be sure to complete the instant cash offer form or give us a call to find out how much your used car is worth. Cash For Cars can provide you a cash offer and deliver your payment and tow away your unwanted vehicle within 24 hours. Don’t delay call us now!

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