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

2012 Kia Soul +

Price: $18,475

Mileage: 26 mpg city/34 highway/29 combined

Is it a wagon? Is it a hatchback? We don't know and we don't care. Quirky? You bet. Even its mid and top trim levels have odd designations: + and !. But we love the 164-horsepower, 2-liter engine with a six-speed automatic transmission. It seats five, but with the rear seat folded down provides nearly as much cargo space as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class station wagon. The Soul’s packed with goodies like trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, full power accessories and iPod interface. Available options include an eight-speaker Infinity-infused audio system and backup camera.