A hatchback is almost a necessity when going to college. Moving in and out of dorms and apartments every year means a lot of hauling, and you'll probably be making a few runs to a big box volume discount store.
The 2019 Corolla hatchback will handle all that with aplomb.
The new Corolla features Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 as standard, even on the lowest trims. That means you get an amazingly comprehensive suite of driver assistance packages in an incredibly affordable car, starting at just $19,990.
I saved this one for last, but don't discredit how much fun driving the new Corolla is. That'll ensure it's engaging enough to keep you entertained, and with an available manual transmission, you can ensure the art of three-pedal driving lives on for another generation.
If you've got access to a Level 2 charger, fuel prices will be lower than other new cars, and when you're a college or high-school kid on a budget, that's important. Plus, like most EVs, the Nissan Leaf is fun to drive.
Subaru's symmetrical all-wheel drive system is on tap, now with "Active Torque Vectoring," a brake-based system that uses light pressure on the inside wheel when turning to help the vehicle rotate around a bend.