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A car for the graduate

A working Alfa Romeo Spider might be hard to come by these days, so take a look at our suggestions for a new, practical car to get that new graduate on the road to success.

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Wayne Cunningham

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Antuan Goodwin

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1 of 8 Josh Miller/CNET

Fiat 500e

This stylish little car will make any graduate happy, especially when it comes time to figure out the monthly budget. The standard 500 and Abarth versions are also great candidates, but the 500e boasts everything that’s great about the little Italian (parkable, fun to drive, not a Mini) with the addition of an electric powertrain.

Read more about the Fiat 500e.

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Scion FR-S

Probably the best bang for the buck for the grad who loves to carve corners without breaking the bank, the FR-S and its sibling, the Subaru BRZ, look good and exude youth.

Read more about the Scion FR-S.

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Ford Mustang Convertible

The new Mustang Convertible's open top will let your favorite graduate know that the sky is the limit when it comes to her future. This powerful, fun-to-drive convertible is affordable, great looking, and very customizable.

Read more about the Ford Mustang.

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Kia Soul

Tragically hip, but awesomely packaged with good tech, the Soul is an awesome value for the money. Its funky looks hide excellent interior practicality, letting your graduate haul all his worldly possessions.

Read more about the Kia Soul.

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Mazda3

Mazda knocked it out of the park for the new Mazda3's design, just as your graduate's future will take off. Not only does this car look good, but its tech and drivetrain are very future-forward.

Read more about the Mazda3.

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Audi A3

The new A3 is as ready for the future as your graduate. It comes with a 4G LTE data connection, Nvidia graphics, Google data, and Quattro all-wheel drive. It's  a sharp little sedan for an upscale lifestyle.

Read more about the Audi A3.

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Ford Fiesta ST

A regular Fiesta is a very good buy, but the sharp performing ST variant of Ford’s smallest, most affordable model is one of the best driver’s cars we’ve ever tested. Anyone would be thrilled to find this in the driveway as a graduation present.

Read more about the Ford Focus ST.

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Chevrolet Sonic RS

This budget-priced Chevy hatch encourages young drivers to put their phones away by offering good dashboard integration for smartphone-powered music and navigation. CD player? What’s that?

Read more about the Chevrolet Sonic RS.

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