I’m a prospective student for next year, so I can’t entirely speak on this the way a current student could, but I have had family who have gone to Rhodes, and I’ve visited myself.
From what I can tell, not all freshman need cars. The freshman car ratio was described to me as a 50-50 split, but also that a lot of freshman year is spent getting acquainted with the school and everything offered in the nearby vicinity. If you don’t have a car, you probably have a friend who can take you where you need to go. Plus, a lot of the social scene seems to be on-campus.
However, from driving around the nearby area, it doesn’t seem like it’s very easy to get from Point A to Point B without a car, both for distance and safety reasons, and there isn’t great public transport in Memphis. Whether it’s to go to an off-campus hangout or to get to volunteering/an internship, it’s way easier with a car. My cousin brought her car sophomore year, specifically for the volunteering reason.