10 great cars for grads in Class of 2022

Armed with brand-new diplomas and ready to change the world, many graduating college this semester will find themselves in need of a new vehicle.

To help narrow the big list of more than 300 models available this year, the car-shopping service Autotrader has named what it feels are the 10 best.

Photo: Autotrader / Vehicle Manufacturers

All are fairly inexpensive with starting prices below $30,000. In addition, they all offer terrific fuel economy - every vehicle except one gets at least 40 miles per gallon. They also have good reputations for reliability and solid residual values.

Here they are, unranked in alphabetical order:

2022 Ford Maverick: $19,995
This small pickup has space for four or even five passengers, an open, hose-out bed for gear, and a standard hybrid powertrain that nets an impressive 37 mpg combined. Your only challenge might be finding a dealer with one currently in stock for anywhere near the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP).

2022 Honda Accord Hybrid: $27,720
This suave, fuel-sipping sedan achieves 47 mpg and boasts impressive road manners, lots of standard features, and a solid, upscale feel that belies its sub-$28,000 price tag.

2022 Honda Insight: $25,760
This small sedan exists at the intersection of great fuel economy (its hybrid powertrain delivers as low as 52 mpg combined) and a classy, upscale cabin. The Insight is being dropped after the 2022 model year due to Honda's plans to reintroduce a Civic Hybrid, so it may be a good time to get a great deal on one.

2022 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid: $24,100
Delivering as high as 54 mpg combined, this stylish, full-feature small car will make you a stranger at gas stations. To get the best fuel economy, you'll need to seek out the ultra-frugal Elantra Blue trim level.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid: $23,600
If you're serious about saving cash, this right-priced small hybrid has your number – all of your numbers. It offers as high as 59 mpg combined while touting a price tag of well under $25,000, all with a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

2022 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid: $27,350
If you're looking for a little more space for your friends and their stuff, this stylish, fuel-efficient midsize 4-door has standout looks – and in Blue trim, it's rated as high as 52 mpg. According to the EPA, that means an annual fuel cost of just $1,200, which bests just about any other midsize sedan out there.

2022 Kia Niro: $24,690
Looking more like a small SUV than a hybrid, the Niro is a great choice that delivers fuel economy as high as 50 mpg combined. If your budget allows, there are plug-in hybrid and fully electric versions of the Niro that may also qualify for extra federal, state and local incentives. If you really want to be ahead of the curve, look for the all-new 2023 Kia Niro that should be available soon.

2022 Toyota Camry Hybrid: $27,980
Forget about boring Camry models of yore. The latest version of this midsize sedan wears attention-grabbing styling and features a huge interior with plenty of space, along with a good infotainment system. And the most affordable Camry Hybrid – the LE trim – is rated at a top 52 mpg combined.

2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid: $24,050
A longtime favorite for its impressive reputation for reliability, the Corolla was recast a few years ago with a more expressive personality and better fuel economy. And while it's rated at 52 mpg combined, the Corolla Hybrid's sleek styling gives few hints as to its eco-friendly credentials.

2022 Toyota Prius: $25,075
This trailblazing fuel saver is sure to be the envy of the workplace parking lot, and it may actually be within reach thanks to its reasonable sub-$26,000 price tag. With the Eco trim level, the Prius can achieve as high as 56 mpg combined.

To learn more about the vehicles, including pricing, photos and available inventory, see the Autotrader website.

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content