As parents across Canada nervously send their young adult children off to college, trusted independent automotive professionals may be among their trusted sources of information.
With this in mind, Indie Garage offers a short list compiled form the “best of” lists of several sources, with a healthy does of insights about what might work for students in Canada and be affordably serviced in the automotive aftermarket when necessary.
There are certainly many other great options for young drivers, and those young at heart on a budget, but this list should service as a solid jumping off point as you provide guidance to your customers.
Stylish outside and in and with a good reliability record, it’s also among the most affordable in the category. The Mazda’s interior is one of the nicest in the segment, Also has high tech features and safety options, like blind-spot monitoring that young drivers and their parents will appreciate.
A perennial favourite among the younger drivers, the Honda Civic is available in a variety of configurations that should appeal to virtually any driver. These are regularly at the top of the list for consumers too and are judged to be “bullet-proof” when maintained properly.
Toyota RAV 4
While a little pricier than subcompact cars, for students with a need to transport more of their stuff for distant studies, this is a good option. There are some less expensive small SUV/CUV options, but this Toyota offers ample reliability reputation and the 2015 and newer models boast revisions that improve safety.
The examples from 2012 are the most sought after, offering a solid 160 hp engine, and a good reliability record. They can also be more affordable than some of the Asian and European nameplates of similar vintage.
A favourite of Consumers Reports, saying “the redesigned 2010 model, which offers four-cylinder and V6 engines, is light years better than its predecessor. It still has a roomy rear seat, but the interior is much nicer. The ride is taut, yet supple and controlled. Handling is responsive and secure. But fuel economy still falls short of the best small SUVs. We recommend skipping the base Equinox and jumping right to an LT, which comes with a power driver’s seat. While the four-cylinder engine manages to get the job done, the V6 is more enjoyable.”