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Top 10 Affordable Cars for 2023 Graduates

Published on May 16, 2023 by Talia Mushinsky

As you step over the threshold from the safe corridors of academia into the exciting uncertainty of the "real" world, you might be contemplating your first grown-up purchase - a new set of wheels. This thrilling rite of passage is often daunting by the amount of choices out there. But don’t worry because at Kunes Auto Group, we make it easy.


Being freshly out of school probably means you have a tight budget. Your mission is to track down a car that is both dependable and won't break the bank. Here's our list of top contenders that are perfect for recent graduates:

  • Toyota Corolla

  • Honda Civic

  • Mazda3

  • Hyundai Elantra

  • Kia Forte

  • Nissan Sentra

  • Subaru Impreza

  • Honda Accord

  • Toyota Camry

  • Mazda6


What makes these cars the cream of the crop? They're reputed for their durability, long-term reliability, and most importantly, they're reasonably priced - a dream come true for recent graduates.


Let's take a closer look at what makes each of these cars a standout choice:

Toyota Corolla

A global favorite, the Toyota Corolla is renowned for its dependability, excellent fuel economy, and affordability. It's the perfect companion for fresh graduates seeking a reliable, budget-friendly ride.


Honda Civic

The Honda Civic is a popular pick among young drivers. Its reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability are on par with the Corolla. Plus, it offers a slightly sportier drive for those who like the sporty look with a bit of thrill.



For graduates seeking a fun-to-drive yet dependable vehicle, the Mazda3 is a fantastic choice. It promises an engaging driving experience without compromising on reliability or affordability.


Hyundai Elantra

If you appreciate modern aesthetics, the Hyundai Elantra, with its stylish design, is a reliable and affordable option.


Kia Forte

The Kia Forte mirrors the Hyundai Elantra in terms of reliability, fuel efficiency, and affordability. It also sports a contemporary design for those with an eye for style.


Nissan Sentra

Need more room? The Nissan Sentra is a reliable choice offering more interior space compared to other cars in the same league.


Subaru Impreza

If you're living in a region with tricky weather conditions, consider the Subaru Impreza. Its all-wheel-drive feature makes it a reliable, all-weather vehicle.


Honda Accord

For those requiring more room, the Honda Accord offers ample interior space without compromising on reliability.


Toyota Camry

The Toyota Camry is a step above in terms of reliability, fuel efficiency, and spaciousness. It also offers a more sophisticated interior.



The Mazda6 is perfect for graduates wanting a reliable, roomy car that also offers an exhilarating driving experience.


** Keep in mind, while these vehicles are fantastic options, your choice should ultimately be influenced by your budget, needs, and preferences. **


Here are some savvy tips to help you make an informed decision:

  1. Research thoroughly. Use online reviews, car magazines, and ask people you trust. For more information on how to buy a car, check out our guide here.

  2. Get pre-approved for a loan. This will give you a clear picture of your budget and streamline the buying process.

  3. Don’t shy away from negotiating. The sticker price isn’t set in stone.

  4. Consider buying used. Used cars can be a great way to save money. Just ensure the car is inspected by a trustworthy mechanic before you buy it. At Kunes, we have a wide selection of affordable used vehicles that are covered under our No Fear Warranty. You can view our inventory of No Fear vehicles here.


Embarking on the car-buying journey can seem daunting, but equipped with these tips, you're well on your way to finding the perfect ride that suits your needs and budget.


As you begin this exciting chapter of your life, remember that while having a car is great, taking care of it is equally important. Routine maintenance can go a long way in ensuring your car's longevity.


Here are a few tips for new car owners:

  • Regular servicing: Stick to the manufacturer's suggested maintenance schedule. This will keep your car running efficiently and help avoid costly repairs in the future.

  • Safe driving: This goes without saying, but always practice safe driving habits. Not only will it keep you and others safe, but it can also help maintain your car's health and potentially save you money on insurance.

  • Insurance: Make sure you have appropriate car insurance. It's not just legally required, but it's also important for your financial protection in case of an accident or theft.

  • Emergency kit: Keep an emergency kit in your car. It should include things like a first-aid kit, jumper cables, a flashlight, and other essentials. You never know when these items might come in handy!

Buying a car is a big step and a significant financial decision. But with a little bit of planning and research, you can find a car that fits your needs and budget perfectly. Remember, the goal is to find a reliable car that gets you where you need to go without causing you financial stress.


Welcome to this exciting phase of life and enjoy the journey, both metaphorically and literally! Happy driving, graduates!

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