We get along fine with the staff at Kelley Blue Book, and I’ll even cop to using there pricing models on a regular basis over the past 20 years or so. They’re bona-fide industry insiders, and when they publish a list it generally has good information on it. Their latest effort, which shows the top five used and top five new cars for back to school, has us scratching our heads, wonder just what the KBB staff learned to cook in their organic chem classes.
We’ll buy into the top five new cars, although we’d probably substitute the Hyundai Elantra for the Fiat 500 on the list. The used cars, though, leave us seriously puzzled. A Ford F-150 for back to school? Where parking space is at a premium and fuel economy is key? A Kia Sedona minivan? Unless you outfit it with a condom dispenser and vinyl wrap all the seats, let me be the first to say “Bad idea, and don’t ever light up the interior with a black light.”
The top two choices are even odder: the much-unloved Chevy HHR and the Suzuki SX4. The Chevy may look cool from the outside (or not, depending upon your perspective), but the inside is cramped, dated and cheap. The Suzuki is a decent choice (and I’ll admit to being a fan of the SX4), but there’s probably about a dozen Suzuki dealers in the whole country. Where will you take it for repairs? Where will you get parts?
Below are KBB’s top five new cars for back-to-school, followed by their pick for used cars. Our suggestions for the used column would include any used Honda or Mazda, as well as Volkswagen TDIs. Feel free to let us know what your top picks would be, and we’ll bet they won’t include an F-150 or a minivan for college living.
KBB’s Top Five New Cars For Back-To-School
1 2012 Hyundai Accent
2 2011 Honda Fit
3 2012 Ford Focus
4 2011 Fiat 500
5 2011 Chevy Cruze
KBB’s Top Five Used Cars For Back-To-School
1 2007 Suzuki SX4
2 2008 Chevrolet HHR
3 2007 Kia Sedona
4 2007 Ford F-150
5 2007 Nissan Sentra
Source: Kelley Blue Book