More than half of the drivers use their cars for commute-focused drives. Usually, going to the job and back is a daily routine for these people and correspondingly, they need a suitable car. The best commuter car is the one that provides the best mpg (mile per gallon), meaning that it will make cover the longest distance for the least amount of money. Vehicles that are not fuel-efficient are not a great choice, simply due to the fact they will literally make your salary lower! The following cars are the best and the latest models, being 2017/2018 versions.
1. 2017 BMW i3 ($47,500) | 141 mpg
BMW i3 is simply the best car for daily commute thanks to impressive mpg score. It achieves 135 mpg in the city and 141 mpg on a highway. The results are possible only because this is an electric car, but it has a secret addition. The electric motor provides 170HP, and it offers 35 mpg, but optionally, you can get petrol engine (2 cylinders) which will recharge the battery and increase the range up to 135 mpg. The engine can be used only as a generator because it doesn’t have any connections with the wheels.
Recharging the battery will take 4 hours and it is recommended to use 240V power source. The interior is above the range and it is very modern but yet simple. Power is transferred to the rear wheels through one-speed transmission. Despite the fact this car is tall, it provides great maneuverability and it is easy to drive/park. At the end, we must say that it is the best commuter car right now.
2. 2017 Ford Focus ($35,000) | 108 mpg
One of the best cars for commuting has to be Ford Focus. It is compact, available in different versions and generally looks great. You will be able to choose between petrol powered versions (1.0L and 2.0L) which will provide 30 mpg. The 1.0L has 123HP and it is also available in Fiesta, but it offers poor performances, so choosing 2.0L version is a wiser choice. However, we discovered that the electric version is the best for all commuters. It achieves 108 mpg in the city and on the highway. The best part is that you get the same look as petrol version, so it isn’t an ordinary electric car.
There are a few additional advantages. The rearview camera is now available with each version and it is a standard option. One of the biggest issues with the previous version was the My Ford Touch, an infotainment system. It is fully replaced with a much better module. Interesting: For Focus is also available as ST version, with 350HP and all-wheel drive.
3. 2017 Toyota Prius ($30,000) | 60 mpg
Obviously, Toyota Prius has to be on the list. This car has been known as one of the most fuel efficient vehicles of all times and it also was one of the first hybrids on the market. It is one of the compact cars that provides 60 mpg on a highway and 49 mpg in a city. Because it is a hybrid, you won’t have to recharge the battery. If you want a fuel efficient vehicle that is reliable, this may be the best commuter car.
The new version comes with a much better navigation, better dash dials, and smoother ride. You won’t feel when the petrol powered engine stars. The range of the electric engine is 25 miles. Interior is decent, while the exterior is one of the best-looking you can possibly get. New version also comes with the automatic braking in a case of a forward collision.
4. 2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid ($27,500) | 50 mpg
Current Toyota Camry will do 42 mpg on a highway, but a new version will be 20% better, achieving 50 mpg. This car isn’t still available, but soon it will hit the market. Fuel consumption in a city will be around 42 mpg, which is the impressive result as well. The secret is in the powertrain system, which is based on the latest, THS II technology.
Interesting facts about this car include 2.5L engine, which is standard. At Toyota say that it is more fuel efficient option than 1.5L. Another, also interesting advantage is the paddle shift simulating mode. Basically, it will simulate gear shifting when a driver selects Sport mode. When we compare price and fuel efficiency, we truly get one of the best mpg cars that will soon become available.
5. 2017 Honda Accord Hybrid ($36,800) | 49 mpg
Honda Accord Hybrid is the biggest rival of other fuel efficient cars, thanks to fuel consumption of 49 mpg in a city and 47 on a highway. The engine is 2.0L unit producing 181HP. Paired with an electric motor, the total power output is 212HP. The only available transmission is 1 gear version, which made this the best commuter car for longer drives.
Interior is modern and it comes with latest and cool gadgets. Digital dashboard and two touch screens really make the interior look more expensive than it actually is. When it comes to the safety, this model offers Honda Sensing safety gear which is very successful and truly makes the car much safer. For a daily driving, this is definitely a model to consider, unless you prefer another brand.
6. 2017 BMW 3 Series ($50,000) | 49 mpg
BMW 3 Series is probably the best long distance commuter car which also offers practicality and superb handling. It is ideal for commuters, but only if you choose wisely. For example, 330i, X-Driver version will achieve 26 mpg, which isn’t impressive, but 328d (diesel version) achieves impressive 49 mpg on a highway and 35 mpg overall. A hybrid version is available as well and it can reach 14 miles on electric power source only.
The power will range between 180 HP and 250 HP (hybrid, 2.0L version) with the hybrid being the best choice. Transmission can be 6-speed manual, 7 speed sequential or 8 speed automatic. Inside you will get extremely comfortable seats and many gadgets to play with.
7. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu ($30,900) | 49 mpg
This car looks great and it is very affordable. You can choose between 1.5L or 2.0L engines, paired with 6 or 8 speed automatic (1.5L version is available with 6 gear transmission only). But, we prefer the hybrid version. For daily rides, it is truly the best, due to the fact it achieves 49 mpg on a highway and 33 mpg in a city. It has the 1.8L engine and comes with 6 or 9 gear automatic transmission or with CVT.
The interior and the exterior look more expensive than the car actually is. Most of the owners claim that the design is highly elegant and appreciated in the public. Still, we prefer comfort inside, great handling and plenty of space inside and in a boot.
8. 2017 Hyundai Elantra ($22,300) | 49 mpg
Fuel efficient cars don’t have to be expensive, it is the situation with the latest version of Hyundai Elantra. The price starts at $17,500 and for a few thousand more you can get a premium model. The car in question isn’t driver’s car. Ride is optimized for comfort, handling feels electric and the interior is focused on delivering more space to the passengers.
An engine is 2.0L and it will provide 33 mpg mixed or up to 49 mpg on a highway. If you really want this car to be useful for the daily commute, choose Eco Boost version. Yes, it is $3,000 more expensive, but it offers better performances and it is even more economical.
9. 2017 Toyota Yaris iA ($17,100) | 48 mpg
Toyota Yaris iA is actually a Scion iA, which is made by Mazda. Basically, this is a new Mazda 2 with Toyota logo. However, this is a good thing. This is the only way to have new Mazda 2 in the United States and it is generally a great way to save money on petrol while going to work. The engine is 1.5L, with 106HP and 6 gears manual or automatic transmission.
On highways, this car will do 48 mpg, which considered for the price tag is superb. In cities, you can expect 35 mpg, but keep in mind that this is a 4-door sedan! Interior is standard for Mazda models (not Toyota) and it needs time to get used to it.
10. 2017 Ford Fiesta ($21,500) | 45 mpg
We all know that Fiesta for year 2017 is one of the most beautiful hatchbacks on the market. With 1.0L engine (3 cylinders) and 123HP, this car is powerful enough to move the car easily and still save on petrol. It will do 45 mpg on a highway and impressive 32 mpg in cities. The transmission is 6 speeds, manual or automatic and the car uses front wheel drive. Manual, 5-speed gearbox and 6 speed sequential are options as well.
Start-stop system is a standard option and it makes the car more efficient around a city. You can get more powerful version with 197HP or 1.6L with 120HP, but they are less fuel-efficient. The starting price is $14,500, so this is affordable, small and good-looking car perfect for city and city-highway commutes. As such, it is the best commuter car in the class.
11. 2017 Acura ILX ($35,000) | 42 mpg
The most expensive version will cost you the aforementioned amount of money, but you can get similar benefits with the base model, which costs $28,000. We liked this car thanks to the 42 mpg fuel economy and the fact it is a large, affordable 4-door sedan. The engine is 2.4L with 201HP and 8 gear sequential transmission.
Additional features include blind spot monitoring, automatic braking, and lane-keep assistance. There is more than enough room inside and the boot is large, but the ride is stiff and road noise is something you will have to live with.
12. 2017 Nissan Sentra ($22,000) | 42 mpg
For this budget, you will get a big car with decent performances, but with a great fuel economy. Keep in mind that this is a large sedan, so it has more advantages to offer. Rear seats have more space than any other in the class, and the boot is massive. The only engine you can get is 1.8L with 120HP or 180HP. Transmissions available are CVT or 6-speed manual.
The car was recently re-designed, so a new version feels fresh and more modern than its rivals. This made it a perfect choice to buy right now. The fuel consumption is one of the best in the class but also one of the best among current cars. Addition: Nismo and Turbo versions are completely redesigned.
13. 2017 Mini Cooper ($35,500) | 41 mpg
Not only Mini Cooper looks great, it goes perfectly as well. Engines available are 1.5L (134HP) and 2.0L (189HP). Choose the 1.5L version with 3 cylinders and combined fuel economy of 31 mpg. The front wheel drive and 6-speed manual transmission make this car extremely fun to drive. 6 or 8-speed automatic transmissions are an option.
We mentioned that the price is obviously high, but the entry-level version is $20,500 and it also comes with desired 1.5L engine. If you like the car, but you want to go to work in style, 228HP, John Cooper Woks is available, but don’t expect some fuel efficiency.
14. 2017 Ford C-MAX ($30,100) | 37 mpg
Ford C-MAX is another hybrid on our list. It will provide 37 mpg on average, and it can run on pure electricity for 18 miles at the top speed of 40 MPH. We liked the energy-generating braking and plenty of space inside. The engine is 2.0L and with an electric motor it delivers 188HP. Transmission is CVT, making it more suitable for driving around the city. As a family car for the family, this is the best commuter car.
If you still wonder why this car is on the list, lets us explain in simple terms. It comes with extremely large battery, it is better to drive than a Prius and it offers plenty of space inside. Fuel economy is one of the best as well. A plug-in hybrid can be recharged in 6 hours (120V) or in only 2 hours on the 240V power grid.
15. 2017 Kia Forte ($16,600) | 37 mpg
Being one of the most affordable cars on the list, Kia Forte looks like a decent choice. But, you should know that it is also known that it is the most comfortable commuter car in its class and that it comes with great design, features, and reliability. This car also has high rating on the crash test, so we can deduce that it is extremely safe to drive.
For this amount of money, you get plenty of optional extras. For example, the steering wheel is layered with leather, the 7-inch touchscreen dominates the center of the dashboard and the rearview camera is standard. LED lights are present as well. The bottom line is that this car looks great and goes even better. It is affordable as well.
All of these cars are economical and well-made, all what you need if you are planning to drive them day after day for a long period of time. They are truly the best for all of you who go to work by a car.