Those who must make a trek to work each day probably ask themselves what the best commuter cars are. After wrecking my car several months ago, I had to shop for a replacement. I was concerned more about the mileage, reliability, and durability than anything else, but I did not completely ignore aesthetics. My drive is shorter than many would have (usually 15 miles to and from work), which affected my decision.
The new hybrid cars are starting to drop in price, which actually made my decision tougher. The five cars reviewed below have a starting manufacturer’s suggested retail price of less than $30,000 for new models. In fact, the low-end price for many of the good commuter cars is less than $15,000.
Below are five good options.
This car is tops on many lists as not only the best commuter car but also the best overall car. This hybrid has a 1.8-liter engine and reportedly gets 33 miles per gallon in city conditions and 47 mpg on the highway. It offers numerous gadgets that made the technology buffs. Several reviews have made positive comments about the car’s large interior as well as visibility.
Starting MSRP is between $24,000 and $29,000 for a new 2012 model. Used models appear to have retained their value, as it is difficult to find a used 2010 model or above at less than $20,000.
Here is a video review of the 2012 Prius:
The starting MSRP for a Hyundai Accent is quite low, beginning at just $12,500. Hyundai resigned the Accent for 2012, improving the gas mileage from earlier models. Like other models, the front of the Accent offers sufficient room, but the back can feel cramped. Trunk space is adequate, especially for a commuter car.
The Chevrolet Sonic, a replacement for the Aveo, is a bit more expensive than the Hyundai Accent. Highway mileage is nearly 40 mpg, while city mileage ranges between 25 and 29 mpg. It offers plenty of options and features, including stability control, traction control, Bluetooth, smartphone application control, and so forth. Many reviewers have commented that the car feels well-built and is a step up from the Aveo, which had a cheap feel to it.
Another highly regarded commuter car is the Volkswagon Golf. This five-seat model is a bit on the expensive side, with MSRP of up to $34,000. Drivers have reported that they average as much as 42 miles per gallon during commutes and that the car is reliable and refined.
The final car is another one that was fully redesigned for 2012. The Honda Civic gets better mileage than its predecessors, averaging as high as 41 mpg on highways. Many buyers like the interior and exterior of the car, but a few said the seats are uncomfortable and that the handling could improve. Nevertheless, others have praised the car’s mechanics.