Consumers' Favorites: Best Cars for College Students


The well-built and well-equipped Hyundai Elantra ran away with 1st place, with 22 percent of the votes. Honda's incredibly space-efficient and versatile Fit took 2nd with 13 percent. And closely following the Fit at 11 percent was Ford's fun-to-drive Fiesta.

See how the rest of the field did in the full results below and make sure to exercise your right to vote in our next Consumers' Favorites poll.

  1. 2012 Hyundai Elantra

    1. Hyundai Elantra

    What Edmunds.com says:
    Thanks to head-turning styling, a fuel-efficient engine and a long list of standard safety features and upscale options, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra is a top pick for a small sedan.

  2. 2011 Honda Fit

    2. Honda Fit

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Honda Fit is no longer the only choice for a fun-to-drive, well-rounded subcompact, but it remains the hands-down utility champ.

  3. 2012 Ford Fiesta

    3. Ford Fiesta

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2012 Ford Fiesta gives economy car shoppers reason to celebrate with its fun-to-drive personality, nicely trimmed cabin, tight build quality and unexpected features.

  4. 2011 Toyota Yaris

    4. Toyota Yaris

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Toyota Yaris has broad appeal thanks to a wide variety of body styles and a reputation for dependability, but it falls short of being our top economy-car choice.

  5. 2011 Mazda 2

    5. Mazda 2

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Mazda 2 keeps the fun alive as an economical hatchback, but comes up a bit short when compared to the competition.

  6. 2011 Kia Soul

    6. Kia Soul

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Kia Soul brings hipster styling and a fun-to-drive nature to the realm of the practical hatchback.

  7. 2011 Kia Forte

    7. Kia Forte

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Kia Forte may not be top of mind for a lot of consumers, but it should be, as it compares favorably against perennial favorites from Honda, Mazda and Toyota.

  8. 2012 Hyundai Accent

    8. Hyundai Accent

    What Edmunds.com says:
    Larger, sharper and more fuel-efficient, the redesigned 2012 Hyundai Accent deserves buyer consideration as an affordable, stylish new car.

  9. 2012 Nissan Versa

    9. Nissan Versa

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan is all-new for 2012, but the Versa hatchback is not. There are loads of differences, but both body styles provide simple, spacious and inexpensive transportation.

  10. 2011 Scion xD

    10. Scion xD

    What Edmunds.com says:
    A stylized exterior and a wealth of optional accessories will attract buyers to the 2011 Scion xD, but some competing models offer more utility and fun.

  11. 2011 Suzuki SX4

    11. Suzuki SX4

    What Edmunds.com says:
    While the 2011 Suzuki SX4 still remains a good value, a number of newer and more enticing compact sedan and hatchback competitors make it harder to recommend.

  12. 2011 Scion xB

    12. Scion xB

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Scion xB is a capable compact people mover and cargo hauler that packs lots of high-tech audio features. Fuel economy is lackluster, however, and the unconventional styling isn't for everyone.

  13. 2012 Kia Rio

    13. Kia Rio

    What Edmunds.com says:
    Thanks to a redesign for 2012, the Kia Rio finally looks to be like a smart pick for a small car.

  14. 2011 Nissan Cube

    14. Nissan Cube

    What Edmunds.com says:
    The 2011 Nissan Cube is a reasonably versatile and spacious little hatchback, but it's also bizarre, so you'll have to be an adventurous sort to appreciate its virtues.

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