With its jack o' lantern visage and sharp handling, a used 2010 Mazda 3 hatchback is a hoot. Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne offers his impressions on the best back-to-college cars.
Compact hatchbacks like this 2010 VW Golf will fit all your stuff with the back seats down. Or your three pals with seats up.
A nimble, used Ford Focus hatchback will keep you out of trouble (no texting!) while offering 30 mpg and plenty of utility.
A used, 2010 Fit offers palatial interior room and a sippy 31 mpg.
A new car will depreciate 60 percent after four years. So get a bargain 2012 hatchback like this Ford Focus.
A used 2007 Toyota Prius will get a student a budget-friendly 46 mpg, offer hatchback utility and run like, well, a Toyota.
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