What Makes a Good Commuter Car?

Andrew Koole
· 3 min read
The needs of commuters differ based on a lot of things. Some will want sufficient space so they can carpool. Others will need a vehicle that gets them through all types of weather. 
But everyone driving to work has to navigate two problems: the drive into work is bad for your health, and it’s expensive
According to data analyzed by
, the average American commuter spends nearly $4,600 a year driving to and from work. On top of that, many studies have shown the damage commuting can do to your physical and mental wellbeing. 
But choosing the right car can help curb these issues. The best commuter cars all have a combination of three things: excellent fuel economy, robust safety features, and a comfortable, well-equipped interior.
A good commuter car should be safe and good on gas.

Commuter cars for solo drivers

Depending on where you live and the route you take to work, you need different things from your car. Drivers living in mild climates will do better with a sedan than with an SUV, while anyone dealing with more extreme winter conditions will want AWD and extra ground clearance.
But no matter what state or region you live in, you want to find a car that can get you to work comfortably and cheaply. For those living without snow,
Car and Driver
suggests the Mazda 3, the top-trim Honda Civic Touring or the hybrid version of the Toyota Corolla.
Anyone needing a vehicle that can help them out of sticky weather situations would do well in a Subaru Outback, a GMC Terrain, or a hybrid Toyota RAV4. 
Or, if you want to spend a little extra on performance and style, the Mini Cooper Countryman and Ford Mustang EcoBoost will make the commute fun without spiking fuel costs.
MORE: 5 Factors That SUV Buyers Need To Consider According to Consumer Reports
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Commuter cars for carpooling

Joining a carpool is one of the most effective ways to lower the cost of commuting, and, if you find the right people, it can also improve the experience. Obviously, you can use any of the vehicles listed above for carpooling, but something more spacious might suit the job better.
The trick is finding something that pairs elbow room with fuel efficiency. That narrows the field down a bit, but the options are out there. 
For a carpool of four, the Subaru Outback will give you enough elbow room, but any more adults than that will require a little more space to be comfortable. The hybrid versions of the Ford Explorer or Chrysler Pacifica will do the trick while keeping the cost of gas low.

Car insurance for commuter cars

MORE: The 5 Most Affordable Plug-In Hybrids
Anyone who’s signed up for
car insurance
before knows that using a car to get to work makes your rates go up. But that doesn’t mean commuters are stuck with expensive coverage. Shopping for quotes with Jerry can save you hundreds every year. 
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Once you download Jerry, just answer a handful of questions that will take you roughly 45 seconds to complete and you’ll immediately get car insurance quotes for coverage similar to your current plan. Jerry customers save an average of $879 a year.

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