7 cool, yet sensible, new rides to take to college

2012 Honda Civic Si Sedan

Price: $23,345

Mileage: 22 mpg city/31 highway/25 combined

The Civic Si scored better than all the rest of our favorites in government crash tests. Although it comes as a coupe and sedan, we prefer the Civic Si sedan because it outperformed the coupe in those tests. It’s also the most powerful car on our list, with a 201-horsepower, 2.4-liter engine. But you have to enjoy working your way through the gears because a six-speed manual is the only transmission available. Cargo space is downright stingy, but we think the safety and fun-to-drive quotient are worth the tradeoff. Among the standard features are trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod integration.