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5 Best Back-to-School Cars to Buy in 2013

Third-best back-to-school car: 2014 Chevrolet Sonic
Base price:
$14,170

The Sonic is one of the lowest-priced cars on KBB's top-five list, but Allan says it's still "a surprisingly good, fun little car. It starts at under $15,000, yet it drives really well."

Available from General Motors (GM) as a sedan or hatchback, the Chevy combines an impressive amount of interior space with good road performance.

The base model's manual transmission and 138-horsepower four-cylinder engine get a solid 26 mpg/city and 35 mpg/highway (an optional automatic transmission lowers city-driving efficiency by 1 mpg).

There's also an available 138-horsepower turbocharged engine that boosts fuel economy to 29 mpg/city and 40 mpg/highway with a manual transmission or 27 mpg/city and 37 mpg/highway with an automatic.

Standard electronics include Bluetooth phone connectivity and General Motors' OnStar emergency-contact system. Higher trim lines also offer satellite radio, smart-phone and iPod connectivity and Chevrolet's MyLink touchscreen stereo system.

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