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Back to School: Cars and car tech

Off to college, living away from home for the first time, your car serves as a lifeline back to all that is familiar. These cars and tech devices offer safety-oriented, practical features to keep you mobile and in communication.

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Wayne Cunningham

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Antuan Goodwin

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2012 Toyota Prius C
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2012 Toyota Prius C

Notoriously broke college students will have no problem keeping the Prius C running, as its 50-plus mpg fuel economy is only bested by electric cars. And its hatchback design can carry a dorm room's worth of clothes, pictures, books, and personal electronics from home to school and back again.

2012 Subaru Impreza
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2012 Subaru Impreza

The new Impreza, with its downsized engine, does well on fuel economy, but its real value for students in northern states is its standard all-wheel drive. College students can get safely home during a sleety winter break, and have plenty of room to pack essentials and more.

2012 Hyundai Veloster
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2012 Hyundai Veloster

Someone else can be big man on campus, while a student driving the Veloster will be the most stylish. Win friends and influence people with the sportiest-looking car from Hyundai.

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Griffin SmartTalk Solar

Hands-free calling shouldn't be something that you have to think about, which is why the SmartTalk Solar speakerphone by Griffin is so great. It automatically pairs with your phone whenever you enter the vehicle and charges with the power of the sun, so it almost never needs charging.

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Cobra Tag

If you know someone who's always late because they can't find their keys, give the gift of extra time with the Cobra Tag Bluetooth finder. This keyring-size device pairs with a Bluetooth phone and sounds an audible tone when you need to find it -- or if you leave home without it.

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6 of 6 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Magellan Switch series

The Magellan Switch series of watches uses GPS technology and ANT+ wireless connectivity to monitor running, swimming, cycling, and hiking activities. It's a great gift to give to someone who lives (or wants to start) an active lifestyle.

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