College graduation tends to mark the beginning of adulthood, a period where students are finally able to move beyond the boundaries of an educational institution and truly enter the real-world for the first time. Traditionally, this milestone has been associated with full-time employment, moving out of the parent’s home, and the purchase of a new vehicle.
But with student debt crippling today’s recent graduates, most of these financial freedoms seem out of reach. When you have $60,000 in loans with a fixed interest rate of 5.05%, affording rent for an apartment and making a $300 car payment can seem like a daunting task – even if you work 40 hours per week.
However, that’s not to say that there aren’t new cars that are in the price range of millennials. It just means that the average 22-year-old won’t be driving a BMW, Mercedes, or Tesla in his or her immediate post-grad life.
Since most recent grads will probably be living, or at least working, in an urban environment right out of school, they’ll need a car that is small enough to maneuver tight turns and parallel park with ease, yet large enough to be the primary weekend getaway vehicle.
Meet the Honda Fit.
With its split-folding rear and front passenger seat, this subcompact boasts an impressive 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space and can comfortably seat four adults. Plus, the base model comes equipped with a five-inch display screen, rear-view camera, Bluetooth, and a USB charger – meaning it has all the basic tech that millennials crave.
And, the best part? The 2019 Fit, which is equipped with a 130-horsepower four-cylinder engine that gets an EPA estimated 40 mpg highway, starts at $16,190.
If there’s one thing that college grads on a fixed income love, it’s fuel efficiency. Gone are the days when large SUVs and pickup trucks were the vehicles of choice for working young professionals. Now, it’s all about saving the environment, one ride at a time.
That’s exactly why the Prius is the perfect car for the eco-conscious young adult. Its 1.8 L four-cylinder gas engine – which is supplemented by two electric motors – is rated at 121-hp, giving it plenty of power.
And with a starting price of $23,770 for a car that can get 58 mpg highway, this hybrid can get you where you need to go without having to spend a ton of dough.
It may not have the quick acceleration of a sports car, or the roominess of a sedan, but the Chevy Spark is an inexpensive subcompact that comes standard with the type of creature comforts that are typically reserved for more luxurious vehicles.
For one, its interior features a touchscreen infotainment system compatible with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, so on-the-go grads won’t have to worry about staring at their phone screen while driving. And the ability to upgrade to onboard Wi-Fi through General Motors’ patented On-Star system means that tech-savvy passengers can be entertained on long road-trips.
Even though it’s somewhat noisy when driving at high speeds, and lacks adequate cargo space (27.2 cubic feet with the second row of seats folded down), owners love the Spark, giving it 4.9 out 5 stars on Edmunds.com.
And with a sticker price of only $13,220, can you blame them?
If you recently purchased a vehicle – for either yourself or the millennial in your life – and need it inspected, contact Andy’s Auto Service at 412-478-9304 to schedule an appointment.