10 Best Back-to-School Cars 2013

As summer ends and another semester opens, it's time to consider your mpg as well as your gpa. To help with the task, we've assembled 10 back-to-school cars that earn high grades in style, safety, fuel economy, versatility and, of course, value: Each of our recommendations starts below $20,000 -- with a couple at less than $15,000.

Kia Sportage
Your hard-earned $20,000 buys a lot of car these days. Case in point, the stylish 2013 Kia Sportage offers up real SUV versatility, a bounty of standard features and a lengthy warranty at a very student-friendly price. That it's recognized as a 2013 IIHS Top Safety Pick doesn't hurt, either.

more information2014 Chevrolet Sonic
Available as a sedan or hatchback, the Chevrolet Sonic is a surprisingly exciting subcompact whose price starts a hair under $15,000. We also appreciate that the Sonic brings sensibility with its style, boasting 10 airbags for the safety-minded and impressive fuel economy that reaches 40 mpg.

2014 Nissan Versa Note
While most low-cost cars are content to let value trump appearance, the new-for 2014 Nissan Versa Note stresses good looks as a key portion of its value story. Yes, it starts under $15,000 and returns up to 40 mpg, but the five-door hatchback Note is also attractive, and for that reason plus its new-tech offerings inside, we call it our number one back-to-school car for 2013.

More information
Kelley Blue Book

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