The Average Driver

Best commuter car (2023)

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In a world where driving everywhere is an important part of functioning in a society, having a commuter vehicle that can complete that job is absolutely instrumental. There are several things that create the best commuter car experience, ranging from apple CarPlay and android auto to basic “necessities” like cruise control and everyday safety features.

What is the best commuter car?

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Choosing best commuter car will depend on the length of your commute and budget. While not every car provides an S Class experience, they certainly do a good job of trying to match it. The best overall, though, is the 2022 Honda Civic.

2022 Honda Civic

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The 2022 Honda Civic feels like a Honda’s prologue of their sedan segment–mostly because it is. However, this car is a great value (especially used) provide the most modern safety features, as well as some more standardized “luxury” features, like heated front seats in higher trim levels, a full fledged infotainment system and blind spot monitoring.

Further, the Honda Civic is excellent on gas mileage, which is an important part of commuter cars. The Civic gets 33 mpg (miles per gallon) city and 42 highway–fantastic numbers for a rather stripped down vehicle (at least by modern standards).

If you’re looking for something a little more fun to drive, you can opt for the Civic Si and eek out some extra performance (albeit, only a slight power).

All of this combined makes the Civic one of the best commuter cars on the market.

Tyler's take

It's hard to go wrong with owning a Honda. They've managed to maintain a level of class that is pleasing to a normal person and pair that with solid gas mileage and feature set - the perfect storm for an excellent commuter car.

2022 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is the equivalent of the Honda Civic, however the Corolla is more aggressively designed.

This front wheel drive car is notorious for its reliability, especially if you get the six speed manual to avoid future CVT maintenance. However, manual transmissions (generally) get worse fuel economy than their automatic transmission counterparts.

In terms of fuel economy, the standard Corolla gets about 30 city/38 highway. However, if you step up to the hybrid model, that fuel economy figure leaps to 53 city/52 highway.

These are also priced reasonably well, starting at $20k, and can be a great commuter. The infotainment system screen is bigger, which can be of greater value with Android Auto/Apple CarPlay too.

2022 Kia Soul

The Kia Soul has come a long way since its hamster car days. Despite it’s rather boxy design, it still gets decent fuel economy: 29 city/33 highway on the non-sport variants. This commuter also has some fun features, like changeable interior LEDs that can react to the music.

Android Auto? Yup. Apple CarPlay? Yup. The Kia Soul has come a long way since its hamster car days and will make any daily commute a breeze.

2022 Toyota Prius


The antithesis of car lovers: The Toyota Prius. Despite it’s perhaps oversimplified nature, the Prius is VERY friendly on fuel economy. The secret to its success? A hybrid powertrain.

The Toyota Prius has a 1.8 liter 4 cylinder engine and an electric motor that give it a staggering mpg of 55 city/53 highway (this varies by 1-2 points depending on the trim level).

While the previous generation Prius had a rather soft design, the more recent one has replaced the soft edges with a more aggressive, angular design (similar to every other vehicle in Toyota’s lineup).

In terms of safety features, the Toyota Prius has all the modern bells and whistles, including lane assist, front collision sensors and adaptive cruise control. This allows the driver to stay safe while commuting to and from their destinations.

The best electric commuter cars

Electric cars are at the forefront of every automakers mind (and fleet). The demand has proven to be there, with Tesla still dominating the game, though traditional automakers have proven to be a threat. While the gas powered engine isn’t going away anytime soon the electric motor has proven to be very cost efficient compared to gasoline.

2022 Kia EV6

The Kia EV6 is Kia’s flagship electric vehicle. It has state-of-the-art technology, equip with only the most bleeding edge equipment. The entry level models are more sufficient as commuter cars because of they’re less powerful than the GT model, which gives it a slightly longer range.

The downside is the price. The EV6 starts at $46k, almost 2.5x higher than a Corolla. The base models are only equip with rear wheel drive. In terms of “fuel economy”, the range that Kia lists is 232-310 miles on a charge, which isn’t very impressive. But hey, at least you get heated front seats.

2022 Hyundai Ioniq 5

front view of white hyundai car on wet road

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the sister of the Kia EV6, so they share a lot the same features. The interior is clean, with a very strong presence of Apple-like simplicity. The Ioniq 5 has the same “fuel economy” of the EV6, sitting at 300 miles on the larger battery models.

The Ioniq 5 (and EV6, for that matter) is a very forward-thinking vehicle and is a very nice EV package that provides a lot of nice-to-have-features for a commuter. This is standard with AWD, ensuring great stability and traction in any climate.

2022 Ford Mustang Mach-E

car vehicle chrome classic

The Mustang Mach-E feels like the first major competitor to Tesla. While it has suffered from several recalls, production is starting to ramp up again. While it may have a controversial name, it is still a quality vehicle with a range of 310 on the extended battery models.

The more powerful GT model can go 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, though it comes at a steep price of $65k. Like every other EV on this list, it is chocked full of features (Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, adaptive cruise control, a solid infotainment system, etc.), so if you can get past the range (and recalls, and the name having “Mustang”), then this is a solid contender for being a great commuter car.

What makes a vehicle a good commuter car?

cars on asphalt road

Many things add up to make a commuter car just that. This includes a variety of safety features, fuel economy, automatic emergency braking and more. While more expensive, hybrid engined vehicles tend to get greater fuel economy without any sacrifices.

Fuel Economy

Fuel economy is the base of a strong commuter car. If it maintains a great gas mileage, then it will also help you save some money at the pump. In the hierarchy of vehicle types, the most efficient and practical is a hybrid vehicle, followed by an electric vehicle and the gas powered engine.

Adaptive cruise control

Adaptive cruise control is a nice luxury to have when doing long-distance commuting. This technology will adjust your vehicles speed when the speed of traffic changes. Commuters would find this to be a nice feature and it’s becoming more common in your everyday Nissan.

Lane departure warning

Lane departure warning is another feature that is becoming more common on cars. This feature lets the driver know that their car is starting to drift into the other lane, which can be helpful on the highway.

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