Busy mom steering wheel notes.

Top 10 Back-to-School Cars for New Car Shoppers

The 2015-2016 school year is quickly approaching. This means a lot of driving, shuttling kids too and from school, and juggling your schedule to coincide with all the after school events. If you’re a parent or young driver you may be considering the purchase of a new car to start off the new school year.

Most students want to drive something sporty and fun during the school year, while most parents want a back to school vehicle that’s safe, practical, functional and most of all, affordable.

Every year KelleyBlueBook.com releases its annual top 10 list of the best back-to-school cars to help new car shoppers with their research. This year the list is focused on the best new cars under or around the $20,000 price point according to Kbb’s average fair profit price. This is the average price of what others are recently paying in your local area for the same vehicle you’re considering. There is a wide variety of vehicles on the list this year, no matter if you’re a kid, student, mom or dad, there’s something on the list for everyone.

For the second consecutive year in a row, the 2015 Honda Fit is the number one back-to-school vehicle on the list. The Honda Fit, one of the smaller vehicles on the list, is equipped with a 1.5 liter four cylinder pumping out a modest 130 horsepower. All the while maintaining an excellent average fuel economy of 33 MPG city and 41 MPG highway. One of the best features of the Fit is its adjustable seats, you can fit and haul as much cargo in it as you can a small SUV or crossover. It’s no wonder why it’s at the top of the list.

If you’re in the market for a new truck for the school year or maybe you just like to help all of your friends when it comes time for them to move, take a look at number seven on the list. The 2015 Chevrolet Colorado has all the amenities of a full size truck but in a smaller package. It comes equipped with a 2.5 Liter, 200 horsepower, four cylinder engine and gets an average fuel economy of 19 city and 26 highway miles per gallon. One of the nicest things about the 2015 Colorado is you can get a brand new one at a fair price of around $20,511.

The 2015 Mazda Mazda3 will fit the bill if sporty is more you style. Mazda has equipped the Mazda3 with a spunky 2.0 Liter four cylinder to crank out 155 horsepower while still maintaining an average fuel economy of 30 MPG city and 41 MPG highway. The tech-savvy Mazda3 is available in two styles, a sedan or hatch, both are equally fun to drive and stylish.

The vehicles listed below are not only practical and fun to drive, they’re also very affordable to own. Check out all the new cars on the Best Back-to-School Vehicles List to help with your new car research and before making your final decision.

Top 10 Best Back-to-School New Cars for Summer 2015

Rank Vehicle Horsepower | Engine City / Highway MPG Average Price
1 2015 Honda Fit 130 HP, i-VTEC, 1.5 Liter, 4 Cylinder 33 / 41 MPG $15,743
2 2015 Kia Soul 130 HP, 4.6 Liter, 4 Cylinder 24 / 30 MPG $15,137
3 2015 Mazda Mazda3 155 HP, SKYACTIV-G, 2.0 Liter, 4 Cylinder 30 / 41 MPG $16,741
4 2016 Honda HR-V 141 HP, i-Vtec, 1.8 Liter 4 Cylinder 28 / 35 MPG $19,575
5 2015 Nissan Versa Note 109 HP, 1.6 Liter, 4 Cylinder 27 / 36 $13,932
6 2016 Scion iM 137 HP, 4 Cylinder 1.8 Liter 28 / 37 MPG N/A
7 2015 Chevrolet Colorado 200 HP, 2.5 Liter, WT, 4 Cylinder 19 / 26 MPG $20,511
8 2016 Ford Fiesta 120 HP, 1.6 Liter, 4 Cylinder 28 / 37 MPG N/A
9 2015 Subaru Impreza 148 HP, 7 Cylinder, 2.0 Liter, PZEV 27 / 36 MPG $18,067
10 2015 Mini Hardtop 2-Door 134 HP, 1.5 Liter, 3 Cylinder, Turbo 29 / 40 MPG $20,487
*The KBB Fair Purchase Price is updated on a weekly schedule to show new car shoppers what others are paying for a car recently. This source is from July 24, 2015, The Fair Purchase Price for the 2016 Ford Fiesta and 2016 Scion iM is not yet available.

Source: Kelley Blue Book

Competition Between Dealers Always Gets You the Best Price

When negotiating the price of a new car or truck, it’s important to know the dealer invoice price and what other people are paying for the same vehicle in your local area. Otherwise, you won’t know what a good price is to pay for the vehicle. I highly recommend using an online referral service such as Ryde Shopper and Motor Trend, their quotes will automatically include any discounts or cash-back incentives currently available.

In addition, the above sites will tell you which dealerships in your local area are currently the most flexible with their new car pricing. These sites provide valuable information for anyone thinking about buying or leasing a new car or truck.