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Kelley Blue Book ranked 10 vehicles under 16 grand as good buys for the back-to-school crowd. Check 'em out.

Car-pricing guide Kelley Blue Book has released its 10 Best Back-to-School Cars for Students for 2012.

The group calls them affordable — but define “affordable.” It’s evidently not the same definition KBB used last year, when it included used cars. This time they’re all-new, and all under $16,000.

We’ve argued countless times that new cars aren’t worth the purchase price, most recently by showing how buying last year’s model can mean a year of free gas. But for young drivers eager to celebrate their new independence with many a night on the town? That makes even less sense.

You can look at the official release to see how KBB ranks this year’s list, but we’re ranking them by price…

  1. 2012 Nissan Versa (Fair Purchase Price: $11,133)
  2. 2012 Hyundai Accent (FPP: $12,635)
  3. 2012 Ford Fiesta (FPP: $13,428)
  4. 2012 Kia Soul (FPP: $14,030)
  5. 2012 Toyota Yaris (FPP: $14,229)
  6. 2012 Chevy Sonic (FPP: $14,251)
  7. 2012 Mazda MAZDA3 (FPP: $14,987)
  8. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta (FPP: $15,184)
  9. 2012 FIAT 500 (FPP: $15,332)
  10. 2012 Honda Fit (FPP: $15,522)

Three cars remain on the list from last year’s: the Fiat 500, Honda Fit, and Hyundai Accent.

Stacy Johnson

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