Commuter cars offer more than fuel efficiency. Dive into the best commuter cars to see which one is the cream of the crop.
Commuting isn’t always the most enjoyable part of our day, but it can be made a little better with great gas mileage, infotainment features, and a good ride. We’re diving into the highest-rated cars that make the perfect transportation for any commute to work. Let’s see what car makes your commute the most bearable!
Commuter cars were made to meet the needs of a market where driving long distances and keeping costs down are key. Though not capable of moving lots of people like minivans or SUVs, these little commuter cars make up for their lack of space with fuel efficiency and an easy ride.
All the commuter cars in the list below are offered with front wheel drive. Bluetooth is also standard in these vehicles to meet the need to deliver hands-free technology for drivers. Overall, drivers that commute each day for work and school can expect to see fuel-efficient, cargo-smart, and high-value vehicles in the sedan sector as the market shifts towards conscientious vehicles.
Much like the Kia Rio, the Nissan Versa’s most attractive quality is its fuel economy. With 34 mpg combined and a highway range of 421 miles, the Versa is built around fuel efficiency, but also offers a few other characteristics that make it a strong contender.
With 14.9 cu. Ft. Of cargo space, the Versa takes the trophy for the most storage out of our list of commuter cars. Reviewers time and again mention the Versa’s large trunk as a perk that most other sedans don’t have. The best part is that the trunk doesn’t diminish the passenger seating of the backseat either. You truly can have the best of both worlds in the Versa.
Just a hair less expensive than the comparable Chevrolet Spark at $15,495, Nissan priced this vehicle perfectly to make it stand out amongst the crowd of commuter vehicles.
A car that you may not have heard of but should add to your list of commuter cars is the Mitsubishi Mirage. This sedan may not accelerate quickly, but it makes for a great long-distance driver with a combined fuel efficiency of 37 mpg.
Like the Chevy Spark, the Mirage offers several optional features such as heated seats and parking assistance, though it doesn’t have a navigational system included. Cruise control is standard on this vehicle and trim, so it does have a slight advantage over others like the Nissan Versa and Kia Rio.
With its great fuel efficiency comes some lackluster characteristics. The Mirage does lack in interior beauty and gives some feedback noise while driving on the highway at top speeds. Thankfully the Mirage was prepped with one of the better stereo systems and phone plug-in systems to help you overcome the slight noise you may hear while driving at highway speeds. For a $16,990, you may expect a little more from the interior design, but 41 mpg on the highway may be worth it.
The Chevrolet Spark has been the talk of sedans since it rolled off the assembly line. Chevy gave this model a lot with inexpensive price tag of $15,917, making it one of the least expensive cars in the sedan class with a handful of features that its counterparts don’t have. Technologies that are expected of today’s vehicles are included as options for higher-level trims including heated seats and parking assistance.
Unlike its counterparts in this list, the Spark features a navigation system that is standard across all trims. What the Spark offers in extra features, it lacks in more practical categories. The Spark only seats 4 passengers instead of 5 and offers the least amount of cargo space compared to the other vehicles listed here at just 11.1 cu. Ft. To make up for its tiny interior, the rear seats do fold over to allow for more storage space.
Though this vehicle is smaller than others, it makes it easy to park in tight spaces and offers great fuel efficiency. Like most other fuel-efficient vehicles, the Spark is a little slow to accelerate, but you’re not auditioning for Fast and Furious on your way into work anyways (unless you’re very late…).
The Kia Rio offers much more than a vehicle to get you where you need to go. It does have more cargo space than some of the other vehicles listed such as the Chevy Spark, but it doesn’t offer much in the way of technology or extra features besides satellite radio which comes standard on all models.
With folding rear seats, you may be able to crank out a few more cubic feet of storage. Even with passengers and cargo in tow, you’ll find that 13.9 cu. ft. is more than other sedans in the same category offer. A range of 440 miles on the highway and a fuel capacity at 11.9 gallons allows the Rio to get you to your next destination without stopping every hour, too.
Driving the Rio is generally fun. The Rio is a sportier version of a commuter car and handles well on road, much like the Kia Soul. Though a little bare in flash and tech, the Rio is well-built at a great price of $16,315+.
Hyundai’s Accent is another great commuter car for reasons slightly different than its competitors. The Accent is one of the only cars on this list that doesn’t seem to have an issue with road noise as it travels at highway speeds. With a quiet cabin and roomy passenger seats, the Accent is the perfect sedan for the family who needs a little extra elbow room.
Like other sedans, the Accent does lack in some respects. With very little to say about the onboard technology, this car was made for fuel efficiency and cargo capacity. The space inside for storing groceries, gear, and kids is roughly 13 cu. Ft., right alongside the Kia Rio, which should give you plenty of wiggle room.
If you’re interested in Hyundai’s safety technology, you’ll only be able to get those features with the highest trim level which starts around $20,000, but for those who just want a daily driver that does the job efficiently and quietly, you can get the base model starting at $15,915.
When it comes down to the very best commuter car, these 5 vehicles make the choice difficult. There are so many reasons to love each of these vehicles, but it truly comes down to what your lifestyle is like.
For families that commute into town for work or school, the Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio make excellent choices as they offer the most cargo space and best ride. The Nissan Versa is a great choice for adventurers who need a bigger trunk for gear and less space for passengers. For a few more features try the Mitsubishi Mirage or the Chevrolet Spark.
No matter what commuter car you choose, you’ll find that each one has great gas mileage and range to get you where you need to go.
What car from this list would you buy for your commute? Is gas mileage the only thing you consider when buying a car for work or adventuring? Let us know in the comments below!