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

2012 Nissan Juke S

Price: $20,770

Mileage: 27 mpg city/32 highway/29 combined

Once you get beyond the Juke's rather wacky styling — which we like, by the way — there's much to love about this quirky front-wheel-drive Nissan. Let’s start with its 188-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged engine and continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Despite its size, the Juke doesn’t offer as much cargo capacity as many of our other favorites. But the long list of standard features more than makes up for that, including a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity, iPod integration and tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. If you’re studying where there’s lots of snow, AWD is available.