May 22, 2014 11:30 AM | By Evan Griffey of MSN Autos
Starter cars for graduates for less than $15,000

Mini Cooper S

Budget cars for less than $15,000 (© Hyundai)
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For the more irreverent grad, the Mini Cooper S fronts a decidedly Euro flare and a ton of driving fun. The most important number to consider is 2007 — that's the year the S went from a supercharged 1.6-liter 168-horsepower engine to a turbocharged 1.6-liter 172-horsepower unit. Although power output is nearly the same, the personality of the two engines can be felt during a test drive. The Mini's ride quality and amenities have improved over time. This generation made features like push-button start with keyless access an option.

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