Driving a fuel-efficient vehicle will save you money — and in some states, hybrid or electric vehicles can use the HOV express lanes.
Richmond, VA (PRWEB) July 29, 2014
The average American spends 25.4 minutes commuting to work each day, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Weather, traffic and bad drivers can all conspire to make that commute longer, but there's one sure way to make it seem shorter: driving a car you love. Here are the top picks from comparenow.com of the best cars under $10,000 for your daily commute.
Characteristics of the Best Commuter Cars:
- Great gas mileage: Driving a fuel-efficient vehicle will save you money — and in some states, hybrid or electric vehicles can use the HOV express lanes.
- Comfortable interiors: You don't want to arrive at work feeling stiff and achy from your drive. Look for a cushy interior with enough leg- and headroom.
- Connect with your phone: If you're someone who likes to get a jump-start on the day's work, Bluetooth integration with your phone can help you safely make calls while you're driving.
- Reliable: What's worse than commuting during rush hour? Getting stuck on the side of the road during rush hour.
- Fun to drive: The best cars under $10,000 for commuting can be sporty, too.
Here are our favorites:
2005-2006 Volkswagen Jetta TDI
For these two years, the Jetta TDI was manufactured with a fast and efficient 1.9-liter diesel engine — and then VW stopped making the diesel Jetta until 2009. The reported gas mileage for the '05 TDI is 28 city/39 highway, but according to AutoTrader's review, longtime Jetta TDI owners report achieving even higher numbers, up to 50 mpg. Because the Jetta TDI is one of the best cars under $10,000 for fuel efficiency and driving fun, these model years can be hard to find.
2006-2009 Honda Civic
It won't turn heads, but the Civic is still a good-looking sedan with legendary reliability. It gets great gas mileage, too: 25 city/36 highway for the automatic 2008 model. The Si model delivers the best handling, with "nimble handling and a delightfully fizzy engine," according to Edmunds.
2005-2008 Toyota Prius
With gas mileage that approaches 50 mpg, the Prius is hands-down one of the best commuter cars. While a new Prius starts around $25,000, you can find a used model for under $10,000 if you look at model years 2005-08. You may even be able to find one with still-impressive tech options, such as voice-activated climate control or a rear-view camera. There are special considerations for buying a used Prius, however: While the brakes typically last longer than in conventional cars, you may need to replace the battery if the car is more than 5 years old or has more than 100,000 miles.
2008-2010 Hyundai Elantra
The Elantra was named U.S. News' 2010 Best Compact Car for the Money, and today it's one of the best cars under $10,000. While it doesn't have a lot of fancy features, the Elantra covers all the bases for a solid commuter car: good gas mileage (26 city/34 highway), abundant interior space, and high safety scores.
Comparenow.com is a limited liability corporation headquartered in Richmond, VA. Majority owned by the Admiral Group plc, the UK’s second largest auto insurer and a member of the FTSE 100, comparenow.com offers car insurance comparison services for US consumers.