Incoming college freshmen, take note: Your roommates should not be your friends, good shower shoes are indispensable, and leaving campus will become mandatory approximately four days after classes start.
Reliable transportation comes in handy for 2 a.m. burrito dashes, 4 a.m. jam sessions, and 11 a.m. cross-campus runs to class. (Additional note: No matter what time your first class starts, it's still a struggle to make it on time.)
Where you go depends on what your drive. Here's our compendium for college-ready cars, cross-indexed somewhere at the campus library—wherever that may be.
2018 Subaru CrosstrekEnlarge Photo
Likely college: Somewhere in the West, presumably the University of Colorado. Like the Crosstrek, you value kayaking more than entry-level stats, and season passes to the nearest ski resort are likely to short your meal plan next semester.
Safety school: University of Maine with a planned semester exchange to South Florida, because sun.
2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Coupe
2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class CoupeEnlarge Photo
Likely college: Southern Methodist University. Aside from your seats at the basketball games, what you drive is how you establish a pecking order in Dallas. The C300 is the kind of Benz that does just that, with a planned maintenance schedule that you're likely to forget. Along with yesterday's Writing 2010 assignment.
Safety school: Three semesters at the University of Oklahoma before the charms of Norman, Oklahoma and Greek life weigh heavy on your GPA.
2017 Volkswagen Jetta
2017 Volkswagen JettaEnlarge Photo
Likely college: University of California, Santa Barbara. With a rich tradition of creating some of the best teachers in the country, UCSB students know value for money like pencils worn down to the nubs and writing on both sides of the page. The smart money's on the Jetta, in part for its easy-to-sanitize surfaces—teachers and party-goers appreciate those alike.
Safety school: Arizona State or UNLV. The Jetta's air conditioning could keep meat fresh for weeks.