Moving into a dorm or apartment is a lot more than just renting a U-Haul. From critical necessities and prohibited items, you also need to save money, stay organized, and have Tetris-like packing skills. Before you meet your RA and hit up convocation, we offer up our picks for the top vehicles to help you ace moving day.
The first logical pick for any moving day is, of course, a truck. With up to an eight-foot bed able to hold a dorm full of cargo, the 2016 Ford F-150 may be the only moving vehicle you need. The 2016 model introduced a turbo four-cylinder, but there’s also optional V8 horsepower and torque. If you need a trailer, the F-150 can tow up to 9,000 lbs. It’s not just a hauling brute though. This truck gets solid MPG and hauls adults in comfort with the crew cab. It’s like the star football player majoring in electrical engineering. While it can haul that giant oak dresser with ease, getting it to the 29th floor is on you.
The Chevrolet Equinox is one of the perennial best-selling SUVs for its ability to do everything well. It’s that annoying kid that throws the curve without even studying. In this case, that’s a good thing. The 2015 Equinox can get up to 32 MPG highway, so a move out of state won’t hurt so bad (instead, the out of state tuition will). The 2.4-liter four-cylinder has proved reliable for years now, and JD Power gave it five stars in overall quality. Multiple reviews commend the highway ride, so weekend trips home to do laundry are less tiring. It can even tow a small trailer, weighing a max of 1,500 lbs.
The Honda CR-V gets moving day done with outsize cargo space in an easy-to-drive, car-like ride. It should be car-like, as even the all-wheel-drive CR-V shares its chassis with the accomplished and award winning Civic. That means solid driving dynamics, President’s List reliability, and fuel efficiency. The CR-V offers a bit of extra credit, in the form of all-wheel-drive. It can also tow a small trailer, achieve up to 31 MPG, comfortably and safely seats five, and has an impressive 8.8/10 score from U.S. News. Sure, that’s only an “A” if you round up, but it’s also their #1 pick for “Best Compact SUV for the Money.”
The 2015 Kia Soul is like picking the funky and fun art school, and then majoring in biology. Oddball styling stands out in any parking lot, but it’s laid over a solidly comfortable and practical economy car. There’s more choices than electives here, with either a 1.6-liter or 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder connected to a six-speed manual or auto. Power drives only the front wheels, but the Soul achieves 31 MPG highway. Larger and taller occupants will appreciate the passenger space, with seating for four real sized adults. And with 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space in the hatch, it’ll easily haul all your beanbag chair-quality seating to your dorm.
Minivans aren’t the sexy choice, but they are the educated choice. And like an education, minivans can be cool too. The 2016 Chrysler Town & Country becomes cool once you see the cavernous interior and the cargo possibilities. Chrysler has an edge on the competition with Stow-N-Go seating, which easily drops the rear seats into floor storage spaces. This creates a completely flat floor and 144 cubic feet of room, roughly equivalent to 16 combined dorm rooms. The standard features list is as long as this van, and includes leather seating. The 3.6-liter V6 has 283 horsepower, so you and six friends can embarrass that guy next to you at the stop light in the Veloster. Still think it’s nerdy? Just stuff it full of kegs, and watch how many friends you make.
Check out the rest of the used vehicles that rock moving day to find the perfect one that fits your life. Finally, when you graduate, check out our list of top vehicles for graduates to help you on your next journey.