Honda Fit again named top Back To School car offers its list of top 10 Best Back to School cars for 2015

Published: August 1, 2015, 1:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:46 PM

Honda Fit - Honda Fit – $14,575 – One of the newest cars on the list, the third-generation Fit should remain a strong seller thanks to its nimble Honda handling, room for five and exclusive second-row ‘magic seat’ that flips, folds and manipulates itself to custom-fit nearly any kind of cargo. With a revised 'Earth Dreams' 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that now produces 130-horsepower, thanks to direct gasoline injection, the Fit is quite spritely. And the manual transmission is no longer a gear down on many of its competitors thanks to Honda adding a sixth ratio. The entry-level $14,575 DX has power windows and door-locks, and a much-improved four-speaker stereo.

The start of the new school year is about a month away and it’s time for parents to start thinking about reliable transportation, and Kelly Blue Book is helping out again with its list of 10 Best Back to School cars, topped again by the Honda Fit.

Compact MPV – Kia Soul - Kia's multi-award-winning Soul was the only compact MPV to exceed the average score for the segment.

“Every parent believes that a good back-to-school car is practical, functional, safe and affordable, and every student believes it’s far more important to have something fun and stylish,” said Jack R. Nerad, executive editorial director and executive market analyst for Kelley Blue Book’s “The 2015 Honda Fit came to the head of the class once again as our No. 1 Back-to-School Car. The Fit might just be the most versatile vehicle on this list, able to carry as much gear as a small crossover, yet boasting a much smaller footprint and better fuel economy.”

Dodge Ram 3500 - Not all pickups are full-size. For truck fans who prefer something smaller, the resurrection of the all-new Colorado/Canyon twins is welcome news. Available either as a four-door extended cab with a six-foot bed or a proper crew cab with a five-foot bed, these body-on-frame trucks are big where it counts: under the hood. The optional, direct-injected 3.6-litre V-6 engine makes 305 hp and 269 lb-ft of torque (a 200-hp 2.5-litre DOHC four-cylinder is standard). The engines work through an Eaton six-speed manual or Hydra-Matic six-speed automatic transmission.

All the cars on the U.S. based list slot in at a buy-in of about $20,000 and cover a range of bodystyles, including a utility vehicle, pickup and even an entry-level luxury car, with the key element being that all vehicles on the list are viewed as style leaders.

The Fit was not the only Honda product on the list, with the HR-V compact crossover making the list at number four, behind the second-place Kia Soul and the Mazda3.

Scion iM Concept Car

The inclusion of HR-V is notable because the new model doesn’t address the reliability aspect of the list, which is also a reason for the surprise inclusion of the Scion iM (although it’s basically the latest version of the European Corolla hatchback that has been in the market for many years). Other surprises include the Chevrolet Colorado pickup (strictly for its bodystyle, relative size on this list, and fuel economy) and the Mini Cooper hardtop (for its starting price, which is the priciest of the ten).

Mini - At least product engineers had the foresight to replace the CVT transmission in the first-generation Mini with a durable conventional six-speed automatic. Mini is one of those brands that has not really elevated itself out of the basement of the dependability standings. In its quest to revive the Mini marque, BMW may have inadvertently reproduced the English-car ownership experience a little too accurately.

The Subaru Impreza might also be looked at as an anomaly for its pricy buy-in but it adds the reliability of all-wheel drive, which parents would place premium importance on for their children who attend schools in snow-belt areas.

Besides the Fit and Soul, others that made the list and were expected to do so were the Ford Fiesta (the lowest priced of the bunch) and the Nissan Versa Note.

The 10 Best Back-to-School Cars for 2015 are (in order, with Canadian base prices):


  1. 2015 Honda Fit ($14,575)
  2. 2015 Kia Soul ($16,995)
  3. 2015 Mazda3 ($15,995)
  4. 2016 Honda HR-V ($20,690)
  5. 2015 Nissan Versa Note ($14,298)
  6. 2016 Scion iM (est. $19,000)
  7. 2015 Chevrolet Colorado ($21,695)
  8. 2016 Ford Fiesta ($11,213 – 2015MY)
  9. 2015 Subaru Impreza ($19,995)
  10. 2015 Mini Hardtop 2 Door ($20,990)