Up here in the frozen North I have found the answer to be early 90s Saabs. Good winter driving, reasonable mileage, easy to fix, and best of all excellent occupant protection due to the massive frame rails.This is from our experience in 2 major accidents which my kids walked away from (neither their fault)
190s are undriveable here ( personal exp) in winter.
Radios are easy to exchange, tires are a standard size, and used parts abound.
I dont know what climate the car is intended for, Just my 2c.
BTW, the hatchback 2 dr will get an average kid to college with as many possessions as h/she needs, and will also take a roof rack!
92 500e, 85k, silver/gray,all stock.
96 Club Wagon,Hypertech chipped( College Hauler)
97 320 SL 50k
1980 BMW e21 323 Baur conv.
1990 300GE 99k