Top 10 Best Automotive Deals for College Graduates in 2007 -- Edmunds.com

Top 10 Best Automotive Deals for College Graduates in 2007


College was draining and expensive. But you've put the books aside and gotten started on making a dent in that student loan, and now you're ready for some light after four years in the tunnel.

The last thing you want is to make your mountain of debt higher by choosing an expensive new car. Don't worry — automakers feel your pain. There are many excellent incentives currently offered that are aimed at softening the blow of a new car purchase for recent college graduates just like you.

Here are 10 worthwhile rides that offer college-graduate incentives, listed in random order. Prices listed are for base models, so factor in some extra coin if you hope to make your purchase more livable. Note that in all these cases, the manufacturers involved offer college graduate incentives for other models in their lineup as well, so your choices exceed those listed on this page.

Also, if you really want to mind your budget, be sure to take a look at each car's True Market Value ® before making a buying decision.

  1. 2007 Suzuki SX4

    1. 2007 Suzuki SX4 — $14,999

    The rundown: This friendly little hatchback earns kudos as the best car that Suzuki has rolled out in recent history. It offers standard all-wheel drive, a spacious cabin and a lengthy standard features list. It's also pretty snazzy-looking.
    College graduate incentive: $1,000
    Incentive requirements: College graduate bonus cash is only available to those who have graduated in the past 24 months, or those who will graduate in the next six months. Proof of graduation is required, so don't try to pull a fast one. Also, your purchase must be financed by American Suzuki Financial Services.
    Incentive ends: 8/31/07

  2. 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution

    2. 2006 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution — $28,679

    The rundown: If you're an enthusiast on a budget, the exhilarating Evo is a ride to consider. Handling is scalpel-sharp, and there's enough turbocharged power to give you a satisfying Red Bull-style smack on the jowls. Ride comfort is on the brusque side in city driving, but this inconvenience is worth it when you get the Evo out on the open road. Keep in mind that the car is on hiatus 'til 2008, so all models on dealer lots are 2006s. For this reason, they may be a bit hard to come by, but if you can find one, it'll be worth all the effort spent.
    College graduate incentive: $500
    Incentive requirements: This bonus cash is available to buyers who've graduated from an accredited college in the past two years. It's also available to those who will graduate in the next 12 months.
    Incentive ends: 7/31/07

  3. 2008 Scion xB

    3. 2008 Scion xB— $15,650

    The rundown: With its Scion line, Toyota set out to design cars that would be relevant and appealing for a young demographic. Mission accomplished, and then some. The dirt-cheap xB wagon offers funky styling and a gargantuan interior, tailor-made for hauling. Best of all, it comes decked out with a stereo designed to breathe life into all your fave tunes.
    College graduate incentive: $400
    Incentive requirements: To qualify, customers must have graduated from an accredited four-year college, university or registered nursing degree program during the last two years. Those who will graduate in the next six months also qualify.
    Incentive ends: 9/4/07

  4. 2007 Kia Rio

    4. 2007 Kia Rio— $10,770

    The rundown: You want affordable? How does a starting price of under $11 large sound? For this low price, the Rio gives you a comfortable ride, stable handling and a lengthy warranty. Step up a level from the stripped-down base model and you get amenities like a CD player, power steering and air-conditioning. All this makes the Rio a bargain not to be missed.
    College graduate incentive: $400
    Incentive requirements: Bonus cash is only available to those who have graduated within 24 months, or those scheduled to graduate within six months from accredited institutions. Proof of graduation is required, and financing must be done via Kia Motors Finance Company.
    Incentive ends: 12/31/07

  5. 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid

    5. 2007 Ford Escape Hybrid— $25,075

    The rundown: If you need an SUV and want to save money on gas, the Escape Hybrid is a worthwhile contender. This Ford gets about 30 mpg in real-world mileage. It also offers an entertaining amount of power and a nicely furnished cabin.
    College graduate incentive: $500
    Incentive requirements: Ford allows all college students to get in on the savings — that means freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors. Both full-time and part-time students are eligible, as are recent college or trade school graduates and current graduate school students.
    Incentive ends: 1/2/08

  6. 2007 Nissan Versa

    6. 2007 Nissan Versa— $12,550

    The rundown: Available as both a sedan and a hatchback, the nimble little Versa charms with its roomy interior and relatively cushy cabin. Step up a trim from the base model to enjoy a six-CD audio system with an MP3 player jack and the supreme convenience of keyless entry.
    College graduate incentive: $500
    Incentive requirements: This incentive is available to students from an accredited U.S. two-year or four-year college or nursing school currently enrolled with at least six credits of instruction. Buyers must finance through Nissan Motors Acceptance Corporation.
    Incentive ends: 10/1/07

  7. 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander

    7. 2007 Mitsubishi Outlander— $21,370

    The rundown: Family vehicles don't get much more pleasant than the Outlander, so if your entourage includes a spouse and a young 'un, this SUV is worth a look. Handling is nimble and highlights include a third-row seat and mucho standard features.
    College graduate incentive: $500
    Incentive requirements: This incentive is available to buyers who've graduated from an accredited college in the past two years, and those scheduled to graduate in the next 12 months.
    Incentive ends: 7/31/07

  8. 2008 Scion tC

    8. 2008 Scion tC— $15,300

    The rundown: In true Scion fashion, this budget sport coupe offers lots of standard features for the money and a scorching sound system. While not exactly bracing, there's ample power underfoot to facilitate carefree city navigation.
    College graduate incentive: $400
    Incentive requirements: Qualified buyers are those who have graduated from an accredited four-year college, university or registered nursing degree program during the last two years, and those scheduled to graduate within the next six months.
    Incentive ends: 9/4/07

  9. 2007 Ford Mustang

    9. 2007 Ford Mustang— $19,250

    The rundown: Offered in both coupe and convertible configurations, the Mustang looks like it means business, with its Steve McQueen-era retro styling. Its sharp handling lives up to the promise. Splurge on the GT trim and revel in an abundance of V8 power.
    College graduate incentive: $500
    Incentive requirements: Freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors are all eligible. The same goes for full-time and part-time students, as well as recent college, recent trade school graduates and current graduate school students.
    Incentive ends: 1/2/08

  10. 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara

    10. 2007 Suzuki Grand Vitara— $19,379

    The rundown: Lots of cabin refinement and superior all-round performance make the Grand Vitara a solid pick in the compact SUV segment. We'd recommend upgrading from the standard V6, though, to get the best engine performance.
    College graduate incentive: $1,000
    Incentive requirements: This incentive is available only to those who have graduated in the past 24 months, or those scheduled to graduate in the next six months. Proof of graduation is required, and your purchase must be financed by American Suzuki Financial Services.
    Incentive ends: 8/31/07

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