The 5 Best New Cars for College Grads

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You’ve read the books, taken the tests, and written the essays. And it’s paid off—you’re a college grad! So what’s next? A new job, for sure. But what about a new affordable car? At McCarthy Auto Group, our car dealers near KC are here to help pair you with the best vehicle based on your just-graduated budget. Take a look at these five amazing new cars that won’t break the bank, and be sure to visit a McCarthy dealership around Kansas City when you’re ready to take a test drive.

2017 Toyota Corolla

Your next chapter in adulthood has begun, so why not start with a stylish sedan like the 2017 Toyota Corolla?

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If you’re new to Kansas City (or any city, for that matter), finding your way around might be challenging. Not with the Corolla as your guide. Its 7-inch screen pairs with the remarkable Entun™ infotainment system and Connected Navigation technology, which offers step-by-step directions to anywhere you want to go. And if your safety is a concern, feel secure knowing that Toyota has fitted the Corolla with Toyota Safety Sense P (TSS-), a safety suite that features Pre-Collision and Pedestrian Detection, Lane Departure Alert, Steering Assist, and more.

The sporty cabin of the 2017 Corolla is a great fit for any twenty-something looking for adventure. Paddle shifters put you in control while the Sport Mode amps up the power under your heel. The futuristic digital cluster even tells you if you’re going along efficiently—you can achieve an estimated 36 mpg on the highway—or driving like Speed Racer.

2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Small cars aren’t supposed to pack such a value-oriented wallop, right? Chevy thinks otherwise.

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As one of Chevrolet’s smallest models, the all-new 2017 Spark is also one of its finest. It offers an EPA-estimated 38 MPG on the highway, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, full smartphone connectivity, and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Its 1.4L turbo adds some pep to this miniature powerhouse, producing an efficient 138 horsepower at any given moment.

"But what about room?" Fear not, for the Chevy Spark’s configurable cargo area, opens up a maximum of 47.7 cubic feet with the rear 60/40-split seats folded down. That's enough space to haul around a snowboard, golf bags, landscaping material, and more.

Plus, its starting MSRP is comparable to some used cars, so you won’t have to spend your grocery money on instant noodles anymore. 

2017 Hyundai Tucson

Some think that crossovers have oversaturated the road—what are we saying? SUVs are amazing. What other vehicle can offer a balance of fuel efficiency, power, and versatility? With an affordable starting price, the 2017 Hyundai Tucson is right at the top of the list.

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The ’17 Tucson comes with a brilliant combination of exterior style and usefulness. On the outside, you’ll find bright LED lights that both please the retinas and improve nighttime visibility, as well as available HID lamps with Dynamic Bending Light technology that will curve along with the road to keep you safer than ever before. Solar glass reduces glare, heated side mirrors allow you to scan your blind spots in the dead of winter, and a hands-free Smart Liftgate offers convenience even with your hands full [whatever].

Inside, things are just as impressive. The second row offers more legroom than most rival SUVs, as does the cargo bay with the split rear seats pushed down (61.9 cubic feet). The Bluetooth hands-free system is a swish of fresh air thanks to responsive voice-recognition software, and the upgraded 8-inch touchscreen with navigation won’t force you to ask for directions from that creepy gas station attendant.

2017 Nissan Frontier

Just because you’ve left campus doesn’t mean you won’t need to haul around a box spring and mattress ever again. The 2017 Nissan Frontier could be your lengthy superhero ever after you’ve earned your degree.

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As a midsize truck, the new Frontier offers loads of full-size potential. Its 4.0L V6 packs a punch (281 lb-ft torque and 261 horsepower) as does the standard trim’s subdued 4-cylinder (172 lb-ft torque and 152 horsepower). Towing capacity on the Frontier S model comes in at over 3700 pounds—enough to haul a trailer on a cross-country move—and you can even get an upgraded Bed Tent accessory to make your travels a bit like Kerouac’s.

What most college grads like best about the Frontier is that it has the lowest starting MSRP in its class. And if you buy a certified pre-owned model just a few years older, it gets even more affordable.

New Buick Cascada Convertible

College stress may have left you with a thinner head of hair, but with the top down on this beautiful Buick convertible, you won’t mind looking a bit like Mr. Clean (even in your twenties). And make no bones about it: the new Buick Cascada is right for just about any wind-loving driver.

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Inside this four-seater—which is available in the Cascada, Premium, and Sport Touring trims—are features like 8-way power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather trims, 4G Wi-Fi, and Buick’s premier IntelliLink infotainment system, which is set up on an impressive 7-inch touchscreen.

Buick’s soft-top system allows drivers to activate the convertible top while driving up to 31 MPH. Plus, it opens/closes in under 20 seconds, meaning that Kansas City weather had better be on its game if it wants to ruin your day. On sunny days, just pop the rear-seat air deflector screen into place, and you'll never experience hurricane-like winds in the front of the cabin.

If you’ve spent your college years in Ubers and buses, have no fear when you get behind the leather steering wheel of a 2016 or 2017 Buick Cascada. The NHTSA gave this convertible a 5-star overall rating thanks to electronic safety belt presenters, a rearview camera, automated pop-up bars, Forward Collision Alert, Lane Departure Warning, and OnStar® with Automatic Crash Response.

Got a Degree? Come to McCarthy!

You’ve swung that tassel over, now swing into a nearby McCarthy dealership in KC for a great deal on your first post-graduation vehicle! Whether you’re interested in a compact car, spacious SUV, or versatile pickup, our Kansas City car dealerships have it all. Check out our current inventory of new cars for sale, as well as our used cars, specials and incentives, and other auto services.

ConGRADulations on your achievement!


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Categories: New Inventory
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