Two Terrific Subarus for College Students to Buy Used

A white 2020 Subaru Forester is shown near hikers after leaving a used Subaru dealership near Red Hook.

New York State has one of the highest numbers of schools per capita in the country, with many of them located within a short drive from Red Hook. While many see New York City as the fashion and culture capital of the country, to us, it’s the college capital because of the many high-quality educational institutions in the area—and many are right here in Dutchess County!

We know that if there is one thing a college student needs to make it to class on time and enjoy weekend adventures around this great region, it’s a good car. As a trusted used Subaru dealership near Red Hook, we welcome tons of parents looking for the perfect gift-on-wheels to give a child about to head off to college, as well as for current college students who are ready to make the switch from driving mom or dad’s ride to getting their own.

Since coed life is split between students who stick to local institutions and those who venture into Manhattan, we recommend two very different used Subarus to our college drivers: the Forester and the Impreza. One is great for driving outside the city, and the other is perfect for those who commute from Red Hook to the Big Apple. Let’s take a closer look...

For Local Students: The 2020 Subaru Forester

For students who attend Bard College or nearby institutions that are not in Manhattan, like the State University of New York in New Paltz or Vassar in Poughkeepsie, we love to recommend a used Forester. In these regions away from the big city, the roads can be less tamed during the winter, and an SUV can provide the stability, drive height, and traction that’s required to manage them.

Since most college students won’t have significant passenger needs, we think a five-seater, compact SUV like the Forester is a terrific choice. The 2020 Forester is a great model year to check out; you can find it at an amazing price, and it’s a recent enough model that it will still boast the modern tech features and safety perks that college drivers want and need.

One thing we particularly like about the Forester for drivers around Red Hook and Dutchess County is the high ground clearance. On mornings that the snow plow hasn’t made it down your street yet, you should be able to make it out and get to class in the Forester.

We wouldn’t recommend a model without all-wheel drive to New York drivers, and the Forester has AWD standard across all trims. This is essential for wet roads during New York's fall and winter. Another winter-ready feature is the All-Weather Package, which comes standard on the Premium trim. This will get drivers heated exterior mirrors and a windshield wiper de-icer, both of which can quickly dissipate icy buildup on these important exterior elements. Plus, this package adds heated front seats, which are a necessity on New York winter mornings.

Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Forester gets terrific fuel economy for an SUV. The EPA estimates it at 29 MPG combined, based on its getting 26 MPG in the city and 33 MPG on the highway. So college students can save money on gas, whether they’re staying local or taking advantage of all the beautiful day trips nearby like Woodstock or Cold Spring. Speaking of such trips, the 2020 Forester can tow 1,500 lbs, so adventurous drivers can take a small camper out to their destination. (Models from 2022 and newer can tow 3,000 lbs, instead!)

While college students might not be thinking about it, their parents will like these two features: an illuminated license plate and a rear seat reminder. The first shines an LED light on the license plate, which might encourage young drivers to be a little slower since law enforcement will see those illuminated plates very well. The second reminds drivers to check the rear seat for sleeping occupants or heavy valuables before exiting the vehicle. It’s easy for coeds to get distracted, so we think this is an excellent feature for students.

A white 2021 Subaru Impreza is shown parked in front of a row of shops.

For Commuting Students: The 2021 Subaru Impreza

With Manhattan just a short drive away from Red Hook, and world-renowned institutions like New York University and Columbia right there in the city, it’s no surprise many students commute from Red Hook to NYC.

Attending school in the city requires a very different vehicle than attending it in the countryside or suburbs. For Big Apple drivers, we recommend the 2021 Impreza. It’s going to have a very low price tag that’s suited to a student budget; when it first came out, this model had a starting MSRP of around $20k, so a used model will be even much less.

The Impreza comes in a sedan or hatchback design. We recommend the sedan for drivers who want a cosmopolitan aesthetic that blends in well with the stylish city elements. However, students looking for more trunk space will want the hatchback. Whichever model one chooses, the Impreza has compact dimensions that make it great for squeezing into NYC parking spots.

Drivers will get standard all-wheel drive on the Impreza, so it is ready to tackle wet roads during New York City's autumn and winter. Still, as a small vehicle, it gets terrific fuel economy; the EPA says it can get up to 27 MPG in the city and 34 MPG on the highway. We love these figures for drivers who commute from Red Hook to Manhattan because we know the city’s stop-and-go city traffic is hard on a gas budget, but the Impreza should make driving in the city a little more affordable.

The Impreza has been recognized for its spacious cabin. The sedan gets up to 99.82 cu.ft. of passenger space, and the hatchback gets up to 100.92 cu.ft. of passenger space. So when drivers want to load up the Impreza with classmates for trips outside the city, everyone should be comfortable—and when more cargo space is needed, the standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats come in handy.

With devices in their pockets, college students will love the many available USB ports in the Impreza. So the driver and their friends can all plug in their devices while on the go.

A silver 2021 Subaru Impreza is shown from the side driving on a city street.

College Students, Find Your Next Great Vehicle at Ruge’s Subaru

Are you a college student looking for that great vehicle to make the most of your undergrad life? Or a parent looking to gift your new high school graduate a car for college? We have tons of used Subarus for sale at Ruge’s Subaru, including the Impreza and Forester. We know what the roads are like around Dutchess County and Manhattan, and we think these two vehicles are well-suited for these two environments.

Any member of our team will be glad to speak to you about your needs and help you find a model that will best serve you. Subaru's vehicles are made to last; in fact, the majority sold over the last ten years are still on the road today! That’s why we know that a used Subaru delivers impressive value to our customers, and we love to see college students drive off into their future with a great compact model from us.