Commutes are getting longer — well over an hour in many U.S. metro areas — and more people are getting on board with ride sharing and carpooling. That’s great for the economy and your pocket book, but not so great if you don’t have the right commuter car. Consider that in 1960, there were almost 74 million cars on the road, but today there are more than 253 million. Even though workplaces are turning virtual, that doesn’t mean people are driving any less.
For Americans who are en route to the office, having the right vehicle to get you there is just as important as other tools to get your job done. For new employees, that might mean providing the basics of knowledge transfer or a simple “welcome to the team” get-together.
However, getting the right employee on board actually starts well before he or she arrives at the office. Commuting can be a huge stressor, and it’s important to combat the stress with every turn (and in the right commuter car).
According to Consumer Reports
Each year, Consumer Reports magazine details the most highly recommended cars for a variety of purposes. Taking into account the recommended cars, gas mileage, fuel capacity/range, and of course price, here are the leading commuter cars for 2014.
Your choices might vary, depending on the length of your commute and/or winter vs. summer driving conditions, but for the most part any of these vehicles will be a smart choice.
For drivers who have a brief commute of 10 minutes or less, you’ll probably be driving mostly in the city, which makes a small car or a hybrid a wise choice. A scooter, motorcycle, or moped might be best for these mini commutes, but if you live in a rainy region or have a lot to carry, take a look at car models that have a diesel engine.
Making the best decision
If you live in a sunny region, take advantage of that vitamin D and consider buying a convertible, with the certain knowledge that not every convertible is a sports car. Winter commuters need all-wheel drive crossover and enough clearance to take on snow.
Your best choices include a Volkswagen Golf TDI, which has great reviews, diesel powertrain, long range, and fantastic fuel efficiency. You’ll get a 2.0 liter turbo diesel engine, 140 hp, and up to 42 mpg … plus, you can go 609 miles before having to gas up.
The Toyota Highlander Hybrid AWD is ideal for winter commutes, with AWD and very high ground clearance. As a gas/electric hybrid, it’s also efficient.
If you prefer a little more luxury, a Tesla Model S might be in your future. It has a price tag of $69,000, but it reeks of luxury, and with a 100-percent electric powertrain, you’ll never have to spring for gas.