If you have to make the daily commute to work or school, chances are that you spend a significant percentage of your time behind the wheel each day. The ideal car for commuting will be both comfortable and economical, to make this part of your routine as efficient and entertaining as possible. With that in mind, you’ll want to review your options carefully to find a car that meets the following criteria:
If you’re logging a major percentage of your workday hours behind the wheel, it’s important to choose a car with comfortable seats. This means something different to everyone. Some prefer to have extra bolstering on the side or cushioning for the back, while others feel more comfortable with a soft, cushy ride. As you compare models, try them on for size and give the power controls a whirl to adjust them according to your height and preferred driving position. Adjustable pedals can also help you get the perfect fit. Heated seats are another feature that can make the interior more comfortable, and if you carpool with fellow employees you’ll want to be sure that there’s plenty of room in the backseat. Although reading car reviews on Motoring or other sites can be useful, it’s still important to take the car for a test drive to find out if it’s a comfortable fit for your commute.
With high prices at the pump, a car’s fuel economy is also an important issue to consider. This is particularly true if you have a long distance to cover each day. Be sure to compare fuel economy along with other features to calculate the true cost of ownership.
A Smooth Ride
A car that rattles at high speeds or allows you to feel every bump in the road can be distracting at best, and infuriating at worst. Pay attention to the amount of noise coming from both the engine and exterior of the vehicle as you take it for a spin. A good commuter car will provide a nice balance between sharp handling and a soft, smooth ride.
User-Friendly Entertainment System
Whether you travel alone or with a larger group, a working stereo system is a must-have for commuting. Look for cars with features like an in-dash CD changer or satellite radio. It’s ideal to have stereo controls located on the steering wheel, so that you can adjust the station or volume as needed without removing your eyes from the road. Other features to look for include iPod connectivity, Bluetooth, and a Sat-Nav system. If you plan to chat on the road, look for a car with a hands-free voice-activated phone system, along with power points conveniently located on the dashboard or centre console.
Look for a car with an easy to access cup holder for your morning coffee, along with plenty of storage space for your briefcase. Compact cars are easiest to manoeuvre in heavy traffic and fit into tight parking spaces, but you don’t want to feel cramped on the inside either.
Overall, the best commuter car will combine value for money, fuel efficiency, and convenience. It should be comfortable to sit in for an extended period of time and loaded up with all the amenities you need for a pleasant, safe journey each day.