To survive your daily commute, you need the right car. Explore affordable, reliable, eco-friendly options in our latest blog, ‘Best Commuter Car for Long Commutes’. We detail pros, cons, safety features, and ways to truly try before you buy.
In 2022, the world exhaled a collective sigh, dusted off the pandemic blues, and began adjusting the rear-view mirrors for the return to office life. Companies like Disney, Meta, and Starbucks swapped their remote work sign boards for 'Welcome Back' banners, abruptly ending the post-COVID work-from-home comfort for millions. Long gone are the days of rolling out of bed 2 minutes before your first Zoom meeting – say hello to alarm clocks and traffic jams as we navigate this ‘old’ new normal. Suddenly, your workday isn’t just about tasks and deadlines, but also about the crucial 58-minute round-trip commute again.
When you spend so much time on the road, you need a trusted steed. Maybe your old car has been giving you trouble, or maybe its gas consumption is digging a hole in your wallet. Could it be that you're exhausted from long, stressful commutes and craving features like lane departure warning or adaptive cruise control? When you’re shopping for a new car, ask yourself these three questions:
Is it reliable?
Is it affordable?
And in the spirit of going green (and saving some green!), should I go with hybrid or electric?
Looking for the best car for long commutes? Here’s the verdict.
Price: From $44,940
Lightning-fast charging capabilities
A luxurious touch and advanced functionalities
Awarded the prestigious title of "2023 SUV of the Year"
Occasionally, the ride quality may feel a tad jittery
The interior leans towards a screen-focused layout
Higher price tag, but you get what you pay for!
The Hyundai Ioniq 5 SE is a perfect companion for long commutes. With approximately 240-300 miles of electric range, it provides more than enough juice for your drive into the city. And whenever you need a charge, it comes equipped with nifty rapid charging capability, making it one of the fastest charging EVs on the market today.
The Ioniq 5 SE feels like a lavish penthouse suite, as it is definitely one of the most comfortable vehicles on this list. Spacious interior. Generous legroom. Innovative storage solutions. It all adds up to an enjoyable ride – think of it like driving the most comfortable pillow you’ve ever owned, but with 4-wheels and more tech. The Ioniq 5 SE also has a sleek dashboard monitor where your safety features reside. Advanced safety features like adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance, and forward collision-avoidance assist will give you the peace of mind during those lengthy drives.
Price: From $40,240
Exceptional range that goes the extra mile
Sleek design with a minimalist touch
Ample storage space for a luxurious sedan
Experience the convenience of autopilot technology
Lightning-fast 250kW supercharging capability
Lack of support for Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
Certain components may feel excessively engineered
Reliance on touch screen interface at the expense of physical buttons
The Tesla Model 3 is the creme de la creme of electric cars. And it's obvious why. It has a massive 272-mile range on the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range model and a 325+ mile range for the Tesla Model 3 Long Range All-Wheel Drive. Whether your daily commute takes you from San Jose to San Francisco or any other destination, rest assured your car won't suddenly transform into a lifeless brick.
If you're worried about where to charge, you can find a Tesla Supercharger conveniently located along any major highway. Moreover, the Model 3 offers Autopilot, lane centering and a regenerative braking feature, making your commute a lot safer and those pesky bumper-to-bumper traffic jams less stressful.
Price: From $38,000
Super Cruise hands-free highway driving assist
Smooth, natural brakes
One-pedal driving button
Shifter is difficult to use
USB media port is inconveniently placed
What makes the Chevrolet EUV Premier superior to the other cars in this list? With over 250 miles in electric range, you'd be hard-pressed to find yourself charging for daily commutes. But what's really cool about the EUV Premier is their Super Cruise – General Motors's advanced driver-assistance system that allows hands-free driving on highways. Let me tell ya, a big difference-maker for long daily drives.
We all know how risky it can be to start fumbling for a song while we're driving, but the EUV Premier's stellar infotainment system comes equipped with Amazon Alexa voice control. Just say, "Alexa, play the latest Taylor Swift song," and let your commute karaoke begin. But the perks don't end there. The Premier also boasts an advanced sound-damping system, creating a cocoon of tranquility in your car. All this adds to a safer and more enjoyable commute.
Price: From $27,450
Great fuel economy
Good safety features
Limited cargo space
Restricted headroom for back seat passengers
Obstructed gauge cluster
Noisy gas engine
Committing to an electric vehicle is like adopting your first pet: the prior research is daunting, the idea of it is brain-wracking, and finally deciding can leave you with more questions than answers. If you’re looking for a fuel efficient and affordable vehicle but are not ready to commit to an electric car, the Toyota Prius might be an option for you. With a hybrid engine, it’s a fuel efficient monster. What's more, it has an EPA-estimated electric-only range of approximately 25-30 miles and an EPA-estimated fuel economy (in hybrid mode) of about 54-55 MPG when combining gasoline and electric operation.
Choosing a hybrid car like a Prius comes with some perks. It has two handy modes: Eco and EV. The Eco mode tweaks the car's power and air conditioning to conserve gas mileage. The EV mode, on the other hand, is perfect for city driving with lots of stop-and-go traffic (like you'd find in San Francisco or Los Angeles) because it uses features like regenerative braking to improve efficiency. The Toyota Prius is the closest thing to being an electric car, without BEING an electric car.
Price: From $28,040
Low starting price
Ample safety technology
Bizarre interior ergonomics
Uncommon fast-charging port
Poor range, slow charging
Affordable and practical, the Nissan Leaf outshines the competition as the cheapest electric car on the market. With a 149-226 mile range, it easily caters to medium to long commutes. Plus, its compact size makes it easier to squeeze into tight parking spots and weave through crowded cities.
Safety isn't just a checkbox for the Leaf, it's a top-billed feature. Offering a veritable suite of safety mechanisms including blind-spot monitoring, lane-keep assist, and reverse automatic braking, the Leaf acts like an extra pair of eyes – ones that never blink! For those who splurge on higher trims, the ProPilot Assist doesn't just aid - it essentially drives for you on highways. It's like having a chauffeur, minus the tuxedo and white gloves.
Price: From $30,000
Affordable EV with decent range
Dual-level (L1 and L2) charge cord and free installation of Level 2 charger
Button for one-pedal driving
No Super Cruise like the Bolt EUV
Slow charging speed
On the affordability scale, the Chevy Bolt EV LT will keep your wallet happy. With over 250 miles of range, it has a sleek and spacious interior that makes long commutes feel like a breeze. Despite being a compact car, there is ample legroom for the driver and passengers, so it feels more like riding in a car rather than being transported in a cardboard box with wheels.
Accidents happen, have happened, and continue to happen. Knock on wood. However, when it comes to the Bolt EV LT, safety is a top priority. With advanced driver-assistance systems, such as forward collision alert, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert, the Bolt EV LT is one of the safest commuter cars on the market. With 5-star safety ratings all around, the Bolt EV LT starts at an affordable price of $30,000. With that price, you can either get roughly 17,752 Taco Bell soft tacos (before tax) OR a reliable, cheap beast of a vehicle that can bring you from point A to point B safely and smoothly - your choice!
Finding a cheap, reliable car is like finding a needle in a haystack. With a sea of cars emerging from woodwork, showcasing new features and drastically different price points, not to mention the tongue-twisting names (we're looking at you, "Land Rover Range Rover Evoque 2.0 TD4 E-Capability 4x4 HSE Dynamic"), it's no wonder why decision fatigue is a thing. And if you’re still undecided, consider leasing your next vehicle. Leasing allows you to test out the best commuter cars without long-term commitment. As Bloomberg notes, almost 80% of electric vehicles are leased, not owned. This option gives you the thrill of driving a new car every few years, without the worry of ending up with an outdated model.
“Whether your commute is long or short, there’s a clean vehicle that works for you. If you have Level 2 charging at home or at work, pretty much any EV will work for you as long as your drive doesn’t exceed its standard range. If you don’t have access to Level 2 charging, pick an EV like the Hyundai Ioniq 5 that can DC fast charge in under 20 minutes.” - Andrew Krulewitz, CEO of Zevvy
Whatever journey you're planning and the road you choose, Zevvy offers a revolutionary approach to financing that can yield substantial savings over traditional leases. Benefit from a low upfront cost (around a third or less), shorter minimum lease term (just six months versus the standard 24-36 months), and unlimited mileage. The best part about this approach is that you can renew, return or buy your car at the end of the lease.
As you dream of the perfect commuter car tonight, browse Zevvy's inventory here and make that dream come true!