Most of the best-selling cars in Europe are among the best reasonably priced commuter cars. For instance, Fiat is one of the leading carmakers in Europe and has produced several commuter and family models over the years. However, before popping into your town’s Fiat dealership, here is a comprehensive checklist before selecting a commuter car. It is nearly impossible to narrow down on just one model and label it ‘the best commuter car’. Reasons being, every commute is different, and drivers have different preferences as well. There are some features, however, that must be present in every commuter car.

Good fuel economy

Fuel consumption is one of the primary concerns for every commuting driver. A commuter car should average at least 25 MPG in a mixed city and highway mileage. This is where hybrid models and eco-boost engines come into their own. By using small-capacity engines supplemented with electric power, hybrid vehicles can have astonishing fuel economy in the high 40s, 50s and even 60s.

Comfortable ride

Commute drives are sometimes dreary, monotonous rides on the same daily route. Especially on long or bumpy commutes, the least you can ask for is a comfortable ride. The surprising thing is that it doesn’t take much to make a car comfortable. All you need are comfortable seats, soft suspension and tires with a bit of give to absorb small bumps. Ride comfort goes further than just being cosy- the driving needs to be next to effortless. You don’t want to drive a frustrating car every day. Look for additional driving aids in a commuter car, such as parking sensors, cruise control, sat nav and the like.

Practical

A commuter car needs to be practically suitable for the commuter route, driver’s style and driving requirements. How practical a car can be is dependent on the car’s purpose and the driver’s needs. For a daily commute, the car needs to have an adequately sized boot, accommodation for extra passengers, driver-friendly and tuned to tackle the commute’s terrain and route. A vehicle cannot solely be a commuter car; it has to be versatile and useful in other driving situations as well.

Cheap to run and maintain

What this means is that it doesn’t have to be a necessarily cheap vehicle, but it does not have to cost a fortune to keep it on the road — starting from repairs and service to insurance and road tax. A commuter car is an everyday driver’s vehicle. The insurance company will factor this in when calculating the premiums; daily use will also take a toll on the car’s wear. So, go for a car in low insurance brackets and readily available, cheap replacement parts.

Safe

Safety is often an understated feature when it comes to cars. If you are going to spend some time on the road every day, safety should be a significant concern. Despite competent driving skills, many road accidents are unavoidable. A commuter car should have an excellent safety rating to protect its occupants and other road users in case of a crash.

In conclusion, the best commuter car may mean different things to different drivers. Since commuting accounts to most of the mileage in most cars, it is important to check every box in the above checklist to ensure that you get the most out of your commuter car.


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