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

2012 Subaru Impreza 2.0i Premium Hatchback

Price: $21,045

Mileage: 27 mpg city/36 highway/30 combined

Although others on our list have all-wheel drive as an option, the Impreza is the only one with it as standard equipment. It also stands out because Consumer Reports scored the Impreza highest of all our picks. We think it’s a brilliant alternative to larger crossovers and SUVs. It comes with a 148-horsepower, 2-liter engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). In addition to a split rear seat back that folds, creating about the same maximum cargo space as the Kia Soul, standard features include a trip computer, Bluetooth connectivity and iPod integration.