Summer is winding down, and that means one thing: School is right around the corner. As students and their parents around the country start the back-to-school shopping process, they're likely on the lookout for clothes, gadgets and supplies that will help them throughout the academic year. However, now is also a great time to shop for cars, which is why Kelley Blue Book created a list of the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2013.
Any cars considered for inclusion on the list were evaluated based on fuel economy, safety features, style, versatility and the overall value. Each of the models retail for a price under $20,000 - making them great options for students and families on a budget.
"Parents and students alike will be surprised at the variety of amenity-laden, affordable new cars available on our 10 Best Back-to-School Cars list for 2013," said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director for the Kelley Blue Book website.
Topping the list of the Best Back-to-School Cars is the 2014 Nissan Versa Note. With mileage of up to 35 miles to the gallon - the best of any non-hybrid model - this car brought the safety and style that many drivers are looking for. It also boasts an affordable price tag and easy vehicle maintenance that shouldn't break the bank in the long run.
"We chose the all-new Nissan Versa Note as our No. 1 Back-to-School car this year because it not only checks the requisite boxes of low price and high fuel economy, but the Note also stresses good looks as a key portion of its value story," Nerad said. "It's an attractive five-door hatchback, featuring plenty of new-tech offerings inside."
Other vehicles recognized include the 2013 Ford Focus, the 2013 Honda Civic, the 2013 Toyota Prius and the 2013 Subaru Impreza, which all landed in the top 10.
Other tips for success
No matter what type of car a family is looking for, they can take advantage of a few helpful tips to find the best fit for them. Doing research before shopping is key, as would-be drivers need to know how much they can spend both on the sticker price and future costs. You should test drive multiple models to compare vehicles, and allow everyone, whether teens or parents, to get a feel for a future car before purchase.