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The 7 Best Plug-In Cars for Students Going Back To College

A vast majority of commuter students often reside far away from their campus. This often results in long, tiring, and demanding daily commutes using public transport.

As such, more often than not, some college students find themselves needing a personal car to commute from campus to their internships, off-campus jobs, or even volunteer activities.

However, considering the multiple options available, as well as the diversity in facilities, it is necessary to choose the best cars for students. Unlike before, numerous unique factors determine the choice of a vehicle a college student prefers.

In particular, the distinctively environmental conscious college students are now contemplating more on the environment in their everyday choices. Such is their commitment to the cause that they will seldom go for a vehicle that emits greenhouses gases and pollution into the surroundings.

If you are looking at the best cars for students that afford the needed convenience as well as efficiency (whether for environmental or budgetary reasons), then a plug-in vehicle is your best option.

In this post, you will find a list of seven top plug-in cars for college students (arranged in no particular order) that can suitably accommodate your commuting needs. Let’s check them out.

  1. Kia Niro Plug-In Hybrid

Electric cars and plug-in hybrids cars alike are significantly more efficient compared to first-generation hybrid and petrol-only cars. According to an article on the efficiency of the modern plug-in cars, as published on a popular university assignments online writing platform, this makes them the ideal fit for college students.

One such vehicle is the Kia Niro, which, according to many experts, might be the ideal car for college students. Besides having a decent electric range to commute within and off-campus, its petrol engine delivers 46 mpg.

The Kia Niro is a spacious five-seater. Also, it comes with a simple touch-screen interface that comprises Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

  1. Toyota Prius Plug-in

For many students driving around their campus, only a minimal few will likely surpass the 25-mile electric range confines of the Toyota Prius Plug-in. Nonetheless, the Prius has a petrol engine that can travel the distance for longer trips and attain over 50 mpg.

It also boasts a relatively large centre touch screen, and the latest model is a five-seater, whereas the older Prius Plug-in was only a four-seater. This Toyota model also offers ample space to fill up a dorm room with stuff you would otherwise carry from home during back to school days.

  1. Tesla Model S (Used)

While the Tesla S Model might be a rather pricey luxury car, it offers some remarkable perks for students – for those who can afford it. Nonetheless, since the company has been producing them for years now (since 2012), you can get a used one for a fraction of its initial price.

The Model S boasts top safety ratings in addition to featuring a massive hatchback and spacious front trunk for adequate luggage carrying space. Besides, it comprises modern technology including live Google Maps and a top-grade centre control touchscreen for easy navigation.

  1. Chevrolet Volt

Popularly known as the Chevy Volt, an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV), this car is also frequently the most affordable choice after offers and rebates.

The Volt features a petrol engine that can achieve 42mpg during your home to school drives or for an off-campus adventure with colleagues. It also offers spacious storage space under its large hatchback, which you can fully utilise by folding down its back seats.

  1. Fiat 500e

Besides convenience, efficiency, and affordability, some of us also want an appealing car. After all, what student wouldn’t want to look good? Fortunately, Fiat understands this, and with its 500e electric car model, offers students a stylish vehicle.

The Fiat 500e is among the coolest and cheapest electric vehicles on the market.

  1. Chevrolet Bolt EV

Chevrolet appears again, this time with the Bolt EV model. This is an ideal model for the students looking for pure electric car options.

The Chevy Bolt EV is a compact vehicle comprising a tall hatchback build for ample cargo space inside. What’s more, like the Volt, the Chevy EV features a modern touchscreen that offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay to ensure you have your native apps on hand.

  1. Nissan Leaf

If you’re looking for the best cars for college students, then the Nissan Leaf is a decent pick. It is an excellent option for students who want an affordable and spacious electric vehicle to commute in and out of campus conveniently.

The Nissan Leaf features decent space, albeit it’s a fairly small hatchback. For the timid or relatively newer drivers, it comes with the exclusive Pro-Pilot Assist, a trademark Nissan Leaf driving technology.


College is an exciting phase in any student’s life and what better way to make it easier than by having a convenient, flexible, and fun personal means of transport. These seven car models represent some of the most reliable, all-round practical, and affordable options for any college student.

They are among the best cars for college students and combine the best pure electric and best hybrid cars (used or new) to suit your preference and budget for a flexible and enjoyable drive back and forth to campus.

Author’s Bio

Susan Wallace is a Professor at Nottingham Trent University. She is also a renowned author of several popular books including Managing Behavior in the Lifelong Learning Sector. She previously worked as an advisor in the local authority for post-16 education.