Volvo 240Enlarge Photo
So what exactly makes a car a "college car?" First off, it does not necessarily have to be in the hall of fame as a driver's car. In fact, some of these could be the worst driver's cars possible. A college car has to be affordable, because the stereotypical non Ivy League student is supposed to be broke and living off Ramen noodles and free Chipotle burrito coupons. Other than that, it has to be at least one of the following: stylish, dependable, economical, or practical. Here are ten cars, in no particular order, that are a dime a dozen around college campuses, or could be a good choice for someone looking for a beater for school.
10. Jeep Wrangler
Don't ask me how, but the Jeep Wranger only checks off two from the list of college car traits. The older straight-six Wranglers are as bulletproof as Obama's limousines. Also, they have gained a sort of cult status as a stylish car. Next time you see a girl driving one in over sized sunglasses you'll see what I mean. What helps this car make it to the list is the duty it serves mankind. Spiders are to mosquitoes as Wranglers are to frat boys, an effective agent of population control. When I say "frat boy" I mean the stereotypical version that wears polo shirts with their collars popped, white Abercrombie baseball hats on backwards, call everyone "bro", constantly blast Dave Matthews band and drive Jeep Wranglers like they're sports cars. The Wrangler and its notorious ability to not stay on all four wheels have helped prevent an overpopulation of frat boys in society for years, and for that we cannot thank it enough.
9. Honda Accord
Many College cars start out life as Mom or Dad's car before being handed down to the kids when they empty the nest and it gets replaced with Dad's mid-life crisis. The Honda Accord is a perfectly bland example of hand-me-down motoring. Their exceptional reliability means that by the time the keys are paired up with a Buckeyes key chain the engine has only gone through half its life. Plus, the four-cylinder version meant great fuel economy, and the six-cylinder version meant college boy could pretend he was driving a really fast car.
8. Geo Metro
Here is a car that does not satisfy the style requirement in any sense whatsoever. This car will make even George Clooney look like a nerd. However, three things make this car a big winner as a college beater. One, the fuel economy is at levels with some hybrid cars. Some hypermilers have taken these cars to astronomical fuel economy levels with ridiculous aero kits. If your goal is to be greener than everyone else but can't afford a hybrid, the Metro could be an option. Two, the tiny size means you can squeeze into the tiniest of spots on a Friday night when parking around campus is frustratingly sparse. Three, the complete lack of style and dignity this car brings means you probably won't care about all the dents it will receive during its service.
7. Volkswagen Jetta
This is one for the ladies. Not the most reliable, economical, or practical car ever made. For some reason I cannot fathom, college girls that have any concern about style flock to Jettas. It could be in the name, as many appalling cars still were able to sell because of the name slapped on them (four-cylinder Mustangs). Either way, this one is a winner in the style department with the girls, and it is something men will probably never understand.
6. Ford Mustang