3. Acura Integra
Vintage: Early 1990s to 2001
Price Range: $1,000 to $6,000
Acura’s entry-level coupe essentially boils down to a sleeker incarnation of the Honda Civic. Endowed with a slightly gutsier engine than its Honda-badged counterpart, the Integra feels a bit more grown-up while retaining the spritely personality so essential to cars in the sport compact market. It’s easy to find an Integra with a sunroof or even leather seats, making it one of the best-optioned used cars at its price point. Look for one built in or after 1998 for the sleekest styling, or prior to 1994 for the cheapest cost of entry.
Parents will like: Reputation of brand, they can always drive it to work if their own car is laid up for repairs.
Students will like: Styling, fun-factor behind the wheel.
Downsides: Even the four-door version is on the small side.