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What do Corollas and roaches have in common? A lot of college kids have them, and can't kill them. They have always been well-built cars with a reputation for reliability. However, indestructibility does come at a price: unprecedented dullness. You can try and spice things up with the 2.4-liter XRS model, but that comes at price as well: more money.
The Car Connection rating: 7.8 out of 10
Even your car is trying to tell you to study when you drive a Focus. The older versions of the Focus were great little cars, but the newest generation has seen the car go awry. In trying to make a baby Fusion they ended up with a hideous disappointment that is worse than its predecessors. It almost makes having SYNC not worth it at all. Plus, MyKey means your parents can limit your top speed even if you go to school in another state. Not cool.
The Car Connection rating: 7.2 out of 10
The Civic is the reigning king of college cars. You can find one from almost every generation in your local university's parking garage. The 2010 sticks to the formula with eager engines, plenty of fuel economy, and bulletproof reliability. Plus, opting for the rev-happy Si won't break the bank. In the world of college cars, the Civic is still the one to beat. Can the Cruze handle it?
The Car Connection rating: 8.6 out of 10
A lot of people (the GM girls on my campus included) see the Cruze as a small car that feels like a big car. It styling, ride quality and spacious trunk will certainly drive that point home. Sadly, the Cruze does have some issues. Although it can be equipped with a super-efficient 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, it isn't very exciting to drive. And while the interior is well done, the exterior just isn't quite exciting enough.
The Car Connection rating: 8.2 out of 10
So, the Cruze was able to outdo a good amount of the competition, but it was just a few ticks away from the reigning Civic. Plus, an all-new Civic is coming soon. The Cruze better watch out.