Base price: $22,515 DiPietro calls this sport version of the Honda ( HMC) Civic "a car that you can buy for an affordable price, but still have some fun with on the backroads." Honda gave the entire Civic lineup an extensive refreshing for 2013 because a 2012 redesign of the model fell flat with consumers and auto reviewers. As a result, this year's Civic Si feature a better-looking exterior, a higher-quality interior and upscale features such as Bluetooth and a rearview camera as standard equipment. The 140-horsepower Si -- which 6.7% of Edmunds readers picked as 2013's best college-grad car -- also comes standard with improved suspension, better steering and additional soundproofing for a smoother, quieter ride.
Base price: $24,250 The sporty Hyundai Genesis Coupe boasts rear-wheel drive, a turbocharged engine and other performance features you'd normally only expect on higher-priced vehicles. "The Genesis Coupe is budget-friendly car that still manages to be sharp looking," DiPietro says. "It's a good choice for recent grads who are looking for a performance coupe." Hyundai has refreshed the model for 2013 with better suspension, improved steering and a standard, 274-horsepower four-cylinder turbocharged engine. The Genesis Coupe, which 6.8% of Edmunds readers picked as 2013's best college-grad car, also comes standard with Hyundai's industry-leading 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. Available options include a 348-horsepower V-6 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission.
Base price: $21,350 This midsized sedan carries a modest price, but offers good looks, posh finishes and an impressive 200-horsepower four-cylinder engine. "The Optima is one of those models where you seem to get a lot more car than you paid for in terms of styling, quality and refined performance," DiPietro says. "It has this upscale vibe about it that belies its price tag."
Base price: $24,200 DiPietro calls the Volkswagen GTI "a well-rounded package of a car. It's got a sporty ride, it's comfortable on the inside and it's got a hatchback style that lets you fit a lot of stuff into it." The GTI also comes standard with lots of upscale amenities, from a 200-horsepower turbocharged engine to 18-inch alloy wheels and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. All told, 12.2% of Edmunds' readers voted the hatchback the best 2013 for recent college grads.
Base price: $24,500 Jointly developed by Toyota ( TM) and Subaru, the FR-S is an affordable rear-wheel-drive sports car added to Scion's lineup for 2013. "The FR-S is a real 'back-to-basics' sports car in the vein of the 1970s Datsun 240Z or the