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

These vehicles earn top grades for safety, fuel economy and versatility

Price: $20,345

Mileage: 28 mpg highway/40 highway/33 combined

This is the i Touring with SKYACTIV-G technology. All you need to know about it is that it means superior fuel economy — the best in this group. The price also reflects the extra cost of the six-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission that works well with Mazda’s 2-liter, 155-horsepower engine. We sacrificed some cargo space — now on a par with the Honda Civic Si — but saved hundreds in choosing the sedan over the hatchback. Of course, we love the fuel economy, but we also like that, included in this very affordable price, are a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls.