September is here, and that means students (and parents) everywhere will be looking for that perfect vehicle to take to school. We’ve handpicked the best examples with different desirable attributes, such as fuel economy (Honda Civic), safety (Subaru Impreza), and of course, affordability (Toyota Yaris). Keep reading for more!
The Honda Civic has been one of the best-selling passenger cars in North America since being introduced in the early 1970s. In 2016, the iconic car entered its 10th generation boasting smart new looks, a lighter-weight body comprised of more high strength steel than before, and the introduction of two four-cylinder engines. One is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter, the other a 1.5-liter employing the use of a turbocharger, something Honda has never done before in the U.S. Don’t let the small displacement fool you: it makes a healthy 174 horsepower and 162 lb-ft of torque. When paired with the continuously variable transmission (a six-speed manual is also available), the efficient power train achieves 35 miles per gallon fuel economy.
A sedan was the initial version to launch, followed by coupe and hatchback. For performance enthusiasts, take a look at the high-powered Si and Type R variants, the arrival of the latter on our shores representing another first for the brand.
Last year, Subaru debuted the Subaru Global Vehicle Platform (SGVP) architecture designed to underpin multiple offerings in the Japanese manufacturer’s lineup, starting with the Impreza sedan and hatchback. It allows for 70 percent increased body rigidity that enhances straight-line stability, agility, ride comfort, and significantly reduces noise, vibration, and harshness. The overall length has increased 1.5 inches for increased passenger room and comfort, and ride height 0.4 inches for improved aerodynamics.
As always, Subaru’s proprietary permanent Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive system provides outstanding traction in almost all driving conditions whether dry, wet, or icy. Safety is further bolstered by a lower center of gravity and 40 percent better crash energy absorption of the SGVP, and a revised suspension setup resulting in greater hazard-avoidance maneuverability. As before, optional EyeSight camera driver assist technology bundles adaptive cruise control, automatic braking, lane departure warning, and more.
Students and young people in general are often seen piloting Yarii, and why not? This versatile hatch has up to 15.6 cubic feet of space behind the folding back seats and is sold in both three and four door form. For 2015, Toyota tweaked the exterior and interior styling adding a more aggressive mesh grille, projector headlamps with LED daytime running lights, longer two-piece tail lamps, and chrome inner door handles. In addition, the Yaris now benefits from a 6.1-inch Display Audio System, which is a full color touch-screen-enabled infotainment monitor.
Perhaps the best part about the Yaris is its price tag — 2015 models can be found in the neighborhood of $10,000 and above.