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

2012 Suzuki SX4 SportBack Technology

Price: $19,444

Mileage: 22 m.p.g city/30 highway/26 combined

We are as surprised as you to have a Suzuki on this list, but Consumer Reports likes the SX4 a lot. It gave only two other cars on our list a higher score. We appreciate its affordable price, eight airbags and the fact that it has as much maximum cargo space as a Honda Crosstour. The SX4 comes with a 148-horsepower, 2-liter engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT). "Technology" is the priciest version of the car and includes a navigation system with voice recognition, along with Suzuki's nuLink with real-time weather, movie times and other concierge-type services. Other standard equipment includes a trip computer and remote keyless entry.