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Media Room Home >News Releases > Nadaguides Names Top Back To School Vehicles
08/25/2011

NADAguides Names Top Back-to-School Vehicles

When it comes to purchasing that first car, parents and kids have something different in mind.  Just in time for back-to-school, the analysts at NADAguides – the leading online provider of new and used vehicle pricing and information – has combed through thousands of data points to find the vehicles that best satisfy the needs for both parents and kids.  Results show the vehicles that fit all necessary criteria points include models from Chevrolet, Ford, Kia, Nissan, and Toyota.

NADAguides analysts compiled the following criteria to rate vehicles suitable for first-time drivers:  price (MSRP under $17,500), miles per gallon (25 or more combined MPG), safety ratings from both the NHTSA (four star or above) and IIHS (Top Safety Pick), and NADAguides' Total Cost of Ownership* over a five year period (rating of average or higher).  *NADAguides total cost of ownership takes into account depreciation, fees and taxes, financing, fuel, insurance, maintenance, opportunity cost, and repairs.  NADAguides provides a total cost of ownership rating of excellent, good, average, below average or poor.

The vehicles spotlighted as the Top New Back-to-School Cars for 2011 are the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LS, 2011 Ford Fiesta S Sedan and the 2011 Nissan Cube 1.8 S. Each of these new vehicles offers outstanding safety equipment and features, the latest in driver comfort and communications technology, versatility and excellent gas mileage, all for a reasonable price.

Several used vehicles also achieved a high rating within the selected criteria according to NADAguides analysts.  The three Top Used Back-to-School Cars for 2011 include the 2010 Kia Soul, 2010 Nissan Cube 1.8 S and the 2010 Toyota Corolla LE.  All are the previous year's models, but earned a place on this year's NADAguides Top Back-To-School list. 

Key Quotes
  • Troy Snyder, director of product development, NADAguides: "This time of year parents and teenagers alike are anxiously researching the best vehicles for getting to and from school safely and economically.   There is an overwhelming amount of information online and we know spare time is a luxury for parents who need to find a suitable vehicle that fits the wants and needs of the family.  Our analyst have reviewed hundreds of thousands of data points to help narrow down the research process and provide parents with a range of vehicles that will make both parents and students happy and safe, all while not hitting the wallet too hard." 

New Cars
  • 2011 Chevrolet Cruze LS – The all-new 2011 Chevrolet Cruze is an excellent pick starting with an MSRP of only $16,525 and offering 31 MPG combined.  The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze total cost of ownership over a five year period averages $35,076, or roughly $7,015.20 per year, and with one of the lowest maintenance costs per year on the market, roughly $396.00, this is a great vehicle option for a working student.  With a five star safety rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze would make any parent feel at ease watching their child pull out of the driveway in this vehicle.
  • 2011 Ford Fiesta Sedan S – The 2011 Ford Fiesta is extremely practical for a first-time driver with a starting MSRP of $14,520 and averaging 32 MPG combined.  The 2011 Ford Fiesta is comfortable, loaded with technology, and received a rating of "good" from NADAguides regarding total cost of ownership over a five year period – averaging $31,872 over five years, or roughly $6,374.40 per year.  With a four star rating from NHTSA and selected as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS the Ford Fiesta is a great vehicle for any new driver.
  • 2011 Nissan Cube 1.8 S – The 2011 Nissan Cube starts at $17,100 MSRP and offers a combined MPG of 29.  The 2011 Nissan Cube offers ample cargo space for those students with extracurricular activities and is excellent for carpool.  It received a rating of "good" from NADAguides regarding total cost of ownership over a five year period – averaging $34,959 over five years, or roughly $6,991.80 per year.  With a four star rollover rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS the 2011 Nissan Cube has a lot to offer first time drivers.
Used Cars
  • 2010 Kia Soul 5   – The 2010 Kia Soul has a starting MSRP of $14,974 and offers 28 MPG combined.  Based on NADAguides total cost of ownership over a five year period, the 2010 Kia Soul averages $33,794 over five years, or roughly $6,749.80 per year, and with one of the lowest average insurance costs per year, just over $880.00, the 2010 Kia Soul 5 offers additional value.  The 2010 Kia Soul received a five star rating from NHTSA and is a Top Safety Pick from the IIHS.  Offering lots of options and a cool vibe, lots of new drivers will flock to the 2010 Kia Soul.
  • 2010 Nissan Cube 1.8 S – Not only did the 2011 Nissan Cube make the cut, but the 2010 model year Nissan Cube did as well.  The 2010 Nissan Cube has a starting MSRP of $16,500 and offers 29 MPG combined.  The 2010 Nissan Cube received a rating of "good" from NADAguides regarding total cost of ownership over a five year period – averaging $34,372 over five years, or roughly $6,874.40 per year.  With a four star rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS the 2010 Nissan Cube offers the same great value that the newer 2011 model offers to drivers.
  • 2010 Toyota Corolla LE – The 2010 Toyota Corolla is priced at $17,400 MSRP and offers 30 MPG combined.  Based on NADAguides total cost of ownership over a five year period the 2010 Toyota Corolla LE averages in cost $35,212 over five years, or $7,042.40 per year, and with extremely low average annual maintenance costs, just over $390.00 per year, the 2010 Toyota Corolla LE is a great option for new drivers.  The 2010 Toyota Corolla received a four star rating from the NHTSA and is a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS.  With safety, value and great MPG the 2010 Toyota Corolla is a great option for new drivers.  


About NADAguides
  • NADAguides (www.nadaguides.com) is the largest publisher of vehicle pricing and information for new and used cars, classic cars, motorcycles, boats, RVs, and manufactured homes. NADAguides offers in-depth shopping and research tools in addition to the most market-reflective pricing available. The company also produces software, mobile applications, raw data, web services, web-syndicated products and print guidebooks.