10 back to school cars under $20,000

For the third year in a row the Honda Fit was been named the top back-to-school car by Kelley Blue Book editors.
For the third year in a row the Honda Fit was been named the top back-to-school car by Kelley Blue Book editors. –American Honda Motor Co., Inc. via AP

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Summer is drawing to a close and for parents that means thinking about getting the kids back to school and the best set of wheels to do the job.

Kelley Blue Book just released its picks for the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars of 2016. All vehicles start below $20,000, according to Kelley Blue Book’s Fair Purchase Price.

Jack Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com, said the automotive research firm considered a wide array of factors when making its back-to-school selections.

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“Safety is the paramount decision when it comes to back-to-school cars,’’ said Nerad in a statement. “[And] practicality and affordability are also high on the list of desirable characteristics, at least according to parents.’’

KBB.com editors also considered style and appearance so kids don’t mind being dropped off and picked up at school in the vehicle.

“The kids involved also prefer to have a car they’re happy to be seen in, which suggests that style is part of the equation too,’’ said Nerad. “Our 2016 list of the 10 Best Back-to-School Cars addresses all of these wants with an array of cool cars that has something for just about any returning student.’’

Topping the list was the 2016 Honda Fit, which has a KBB.com Fair Purchase Price of $15,776. This is the third year in a row the Honda Fit has been named the top back-to-school car by Kelley Blue Book editors.

KBB.com editors also included the Kia Soul ($15,701), Honda Civic ($17,837), Honda HR-V ($19,221), Mazda Mazda3 ($17,448), Nissan Versa Note ($13,691), Subaru Impreza ($17,837), Mazda CX-3 ($19,902), Ford Fiesta ($13,889) and the Chevrolet Spark ($12,544). All vehicles listed are 2016 model years.

For consumers who are still shopping for a back-to-school vehicle, KBB.com recommends doing plenty of research, setting a budget and taking at least two or three models for a test drive.

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