College girl in her new car.

Top 10 Best Cars for 2015 College Graduates

If you’re a recent college graduate and are looking to buy a new or used car. You may be wondering what are the best cars available on a tight budget.

The good news is, there’s never been a better time to be in the market for a new or used car. Dealer’s lots are full of fun to drive, beautifully designed, fuel-efficient vehicles. All you have to do is find the one that best fits your everyday driving needs.

AutoTrader recently released their top 10 list of the best vehicles for recent college graduates considering to purchase a new or used vehicle.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive vehicle and don’t care about power windows or other convenience items. The base model 2015 Versa Note S starts at only $15,005. Keep in mind, this is the Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). You can most likely buy it even cheaper if you get car dealer’s to compete for your business online. The Versa Note gets 40 mpg with its available CVT and has a very large back seat for such a small car. The rear seats fold down and with the hatchback, there’s plenty of room for all your cargo.

The Mazda3 is the vehicle you want if you’re looking for the most fun for your money. It’s available in either a four-door hatchback or sedan. Entering the marketplace at $17,765, the Mazda3 has two engine sizes available. The 2.0 liter gets 41 miles per gallon on the highway and the sportier 2.5 liter tops out at 39 mpg highway. If you have a little more flexibility in your budget, you may want to look at the additional leather upholstery and Mazda3’s infotainment system. Not only is the 3 is the closest thing you’ll find to a sports car, it’s one of the best cars you’ll find within this price range.

If you have a large budget and would like to treat yourself to a little bit of pampering, but can’t afford a brand new luxury vehicle at the moment, Take a look at the Certified Preowned (CPO) Lexus IS. AutoTrader’s average price for a 2012 CPO Lexus IS 250 is $27,690. The IS sedan is a great entry level luxury vehicle with all the bells and whistles of a brand new one.

Top 10 Best Cars for 2015 College Graduates

RankVehiclePricingMiles Per Gallon
1Buick EncorePriced from $24,99033 Hwy
2Chevrolet TraxStarting at $20,99534 Hwy
3Honda FitPriced from $16,47041 Hwy
4Nissan Versa NoteStarting at $15,00540 Hwy
5Mazda Mazda3Starting at $17,76539 Hwy
6Jeep RenegadeStarting at $18,99031 Hwy
7FIAT 500Base price: $17,82540 Hwy
8CPO Toyota CamryAverage 2013 Price: $19,18835 Hwy
9CPO Ford FusionAverage 2014 Price: $19,71237 Hwy
10CPO Lexus ISAverage 2012 IS 250 Price: $27,69030 Hwy

If you’re a recent college graduate and considering the purchase of a new car, I recommend using a free online referral service such as Ryde Shopper and Motor Trend to guarantee you pay the lowest price. These services will tell you what others are paying for the vehicle you’re considering in your local area and which dealers give the greatest discounts.