The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

Kelley Blue Book Names Best Cars for Teens, College Students for Back-to-School 2021


IRVINE, Calif., Aug. 2, 2021 -- As the 2021–2022 school year launches nationwide in a much different fashion than last year's at-home pandemic-induced virtual learning, student drivers once again will need the right vehicle to get them to and from school and activities. Whether parents are shopping for their newly minted teen driver or getting ready to send their student off to college, the experts at Kelley Blue Book recently created helpful lists of their top recommendations for new and used vehicles with the Best Cars for Teens and the Best Cars for College Students.

"Parents everywhere are breathing a sigh of relief at the return to some normalcy at the start of this new school year, and those with teens and college students are considering their options to ensure their young driver is behind the wheel of the right vehicle before they head off to campus," said Matt DeLorenzo, senior managing editor for Kelley Blue Book. "Rest assured there are a variety of great cars available at various price points, from affordable brand-new models to used cars for those on a tight budget. Our expert editors sorted through the hundreds of different models out there to come up with lists of the best vehicles for student drivers, keeping things like safety, fuel economy, value and more at the top of their minds."

Along with kicking off back-to-school 2021 in August, Kelley Blue Book and CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) are collaborating once again alongside Cox Communications to help nonprofits make a difference in local communities. From now through August 31, consumers with a vehicle they no longer need can help turn their used vehicle into charitable funds to that will provide technology and devices to Innovation Labs within Boys & Girls Clubs to help kids get on the road to a great future.  In partnership with CARS, on Kelley Blue Book's consumers can choose to donate almost any type of vehicle to Boys & Girls Clubs of America or other nonprofits of their choice, from cars and trucks to boats, RVs and more. In August, Kelley Blue Book will donate $100 to Boys & Girls Clubs of America for every vehicle donated, up to 100 vehicles, to raise an additional $10,000. To donate, visit

Since first teaming up in 2017, together Kelley Blue Book and CARS have raised $3.91 million for 1,100 different nonprofits nationwide. Since 2003, Cox Communications has contributed over $33 million in cash and in-kind support to Boys & Girls Club of America. Innovation Labs are the centerpiece of Boys & Girls Clubs of America's technology program, which provide students access to tools advancing their tech-literacy skills. They also help bridge the gap for kids who have no access to a cell phone, computer or internet connection at home.

Back-to-School 2021: Kelley Blue Book's Best Used Cars for Teens

Best Used Cars for Teens Under $20,000

2017 Toyota RAV4

2018 Mazda CX-5

2017 Honda CR-V

2020 Toyota Corolla

2019 Mazda Mazda3

2017 Honda Accord

2019 Subaru Crosstrek

2019 Toyota Prius

2018 Kia Sportage

2018 Honda Civic

2019 Chevrolet Equinox LT

Best Used Cars for Teens Under $15,000

2018 Kia Soul

2018 Toyota Corolla

2018 Mazda Mazda3

2013 Honda CR-V

2016 Mazda CX-5

2015 Toyota Prius

Best Used Cars for Teens Under $10,000

2014 Honda Accord

2015 Toyota Camry

2014 Mazda Mazda3

2014 Toyota Corolla

2015 Honda Civic

2009 Toyota RAV4

2011 Honda Element

2009 Toyota Avalon

Best Used Cars for Teens Under $5,000

2006 Honda Civic

2007 Toyota Corolla

2005 Toyota Avalon

2005 Honda Pilot

2004 Toyota Prius

2001 Toyota Highlander

Back-to-School 2021: Kelley Blue Book's Best Cars for College Students

Best New Cars and SUVs for College Students

2021 Toyota Corolla

2021 Hyundai Elantra

2021 Honda Civic

2021 Mazda Mazda3

2021 Subaru Crosstrek

2021 Kia Seltos

2021 Hyundai Kona

2021 Honda HR-V

2021 Nissan Sentra

2021 Kia Soul

Best Used Cars and SUVs for College Students Under $20,000

2015 – 2017 Toyota Camry

2015 – 2017 Honda Accord

2017 – 2018 Toyota Corolla

2015 – 2018 Mazda CX-5

2016 – 2017 Toyota Prius

2014 – 2016 Toyota RAV4

2015 – 2016 Honda CR-V

2016 – 2018 Subaru Crosstrek

2016 – 2018 Mazda Mazda3

2017 – 2019 Honda Civic

2017 – 2019 Kia Soul

2015 – 2019 Honda Fit

Best Used Cars and SUVs for College Students Under $15,000

2012 – 2014 Toyota Camry

2007 – 2013 Honda CR-V

2011 – 2014 Honda Accord

2011 – 2014 Toyota Corolla

2013 – 2015 Honda Civic

2009 – 2012 Toyota RAV4

For more information on Kelley Blue Book's 2021 Best Cars for Teens, including pricing details, editorial commentary and more, visit For more information on Kelley Blue Book's 2021 Best Cars for College Students, including pricing details, editorial commentary and more, visit

For more information and news from Kelley Blue Book's, visit, follow us on LinkedIn at, Twitter at (or @kelleybluebook), like our page on Facebook at  and follow us on Instagram at (or @kbb_com).

About Kelley Blue Book ( 
Founded in 1926, Kelley Blue Book, The Trusted Resource®, is the vehicle valuation and information source trusted and relied upon by both consumers and the automotive industry. Each week the company provides market-reflective values on its top-rated website, including its famous Blue Book® Trade-In Values and Kelley Blue Book® Price Advisor tool, which provides a range for what consumers can reasonably expect to pay for a vehicle in their area. Car owners looking to sell immediately can also get a redeemable, transaction-ready offer with Kelley Blue BookSM Instant Cash Offer. The company also provides vehicle pricing and values through various products and services available to car dealers, auto manufacturers, finance and insurance companies, and governmental agencies. Kelley Blue Book is a Cox Automotive brand. 

About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive Inc. makes buying, selling, owning and using vehicles easier for everyone. The global company's more than 27,000 team members and family of brands, including Autotrader®,®, Dealertrack®, Dickinson Fleet Services, Kelley Blue Book®, Manheim®, NextGear Capital®, VinSolutions®, vAuto® and Xtime®, are passionate about helping millions of car shoppers, 40,000 auto dealer clients across five continents and many others throughout the automotive industry thrive for generations to come. Cox Automotive is a subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a privately-owned, Atlanta-based company with annual revenues of nearly $20 billion.

About Boys & Girls Clubs of America
For 160 years, Boys & Girls Clubs of America ( has provided a safe place for kids and teens to learn and grow. Clubs offer caring adult mentors, fun and friendship, and high-impact youth development programs on a daily basis during critical non-school hours. Boys & Girls Clubs programming promotes academic success, good character and leadership, and healthy lifestyles. More than 4,700 Clubs serve over 4.3 million young people through Club membership and community outreach. Clubs are located in cities, towns, public housing and on Native lands throughout the country, and serve military families in BGCA-affiliated Youth Centers on U.S. military installations worldwide. National headquarters are located in Atlanta. Learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of America on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Kelley Blue Book

Related Links