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Autobytel® Editors Recommend The Best Cars For College Students

Do you have a child going off to college? Have multiple children attending universities? Fees and tuition are just a part of college costs. The full cost of a college education includes other things like textbooks and school supplies, room and board, other living expenses and transportation. To help with transportation choices, Autobytel Inc. (Nasdaq: ABTL), the company dedicated to helping dealers and car buyers connect online, and its editors have compiled a list of the best cars for college students.

With rising tuition and the cost of dorm living, about 80% of college students commute to their universities. Identifying the best cars for college students who are making a commute for higher education is a task that requires a frugal approach. Finding a fun-to-drive, yet practical and safe set of wheels that can be a daily driver and accommodate both their lifestyle and part-time job, is not an easy task.

Autobytel ® editors offer their choices for vehicles perfect for college students. According to Autobytel editor-in-chief, Michelle Naranjo, “With a few college-bound kids under the roofs of several Autobytel editors, we not only take picking these cars seriously: we take it personally.”

Following are Autobytel editors’ picks for the 10 best cars for college students.

Best New Compact Cars for College Students – 2012 Hyundai Accent

Starting at a class-affirming $12,545, the 2012 Hyundai Accent is a 4-door, compact 4-cylinder that is capable of 40 mpg on the highway.

Best Used Compact Cars for College Students – Honda Fit
The used Honda Fit is an award-winning innovator in the class of compact cars and a favorite among owners for its gas-sipping attitude and generous cargo capacity. In fact, people who own the Honda Fit have rated it as a 2012 Ideal Vehicle in the compact category.

Best New All-Wheel Drive Cars for College Students – 2012 Suzuki SX4
They are affordable, cute with a hatch and AWD. The Suzuki SX4 is a good bet as a good car for college students who need all-wheel drive in the more wet and snowy climates.

Best Used All-Wheel Drive Cars for College Students – Subaru Impreza
The used Imprezas still pack enough bang that we would make it a best used car for a college student.

Best New Crossover SUV for College Students – 2012 Kia Soul
Starting at $13,900, the squared-off Soul is a 4-door hatch/wagon/crossover/microvan that can get up to 35 mpg and hold a passel of friends or a mountain bike with ease. The Kia Soul is a definite winner as a top car for a college student.

Best Used Crossover SUV for College Students – Scion xD
Scion is a brand known for its youthful following, and a brand new Scion xD starts at just $15,345.

Best New SUV for College Students – 2012 Dodge Journey
Though few college students may find themselves in need of the larger interior capacities offered by most SUVs, the Dodge Journey is nevertheless a great pick thanks to its youthful, contemporary styling and friendly price point.

Best Used SUV for College Students – Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
Like our “best new” pick, the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport offers a cutting-edge design aesthetic bound to appeal to the style-conscious college student - plus it’ll be easy on the budget.

Best New Sedan for College Students – 2012 Toyota Prius
The financial investment of the Toyota Prius will be well worth what you (and your college student) wind up saving on fuel costs.

Best Used Sedan for College Students – Kia Optima
The Kia Optima still posts pretty friendly numbers with an EPA estimate of 24mpg in the city and 35mpg on the highway.

For more detail on the best cars for college students and more Autobytel editors’ choices, visit Watch exclusive videos on Autobytel’s YouTube page or join the conversation on the Autobytel Facebook Fan Page.

About Autobytel Inc.

Autobytel Inc., an online leader offering consumer purchase requests and marketing resources to car dealers and manufacturers and providing consumers with the information they need to purchase new and used cars, pioneered the automotive Internet when it launched its flagship website in 1995. Autobytel continues to offer innovative products and services to help consumers buy, and auto dealers and manufacturers sell, more used and new cars. Autobytel has helped tens of millions of automotive consumers research vehicles; connected thousands of dealers nationwide with motivated car buyers; and helped every major automaker market its brand online. Through its flagship website, network of automotive sites and respected online affiliates, Autobytel continues its dedication to innovating the industry's highest quality Internet programs to provide consumers with a comprehensive and positive automotive research and purchasing experience, and auto dealers, dealer groups and auto manufacturers with some of the industry's most productive and cost-effective customer referral and marketing programs.

Investors and other interested parties can receive Autobytel news releases and invitations to special events by accessing our online signup form at

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