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A report by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that the average one-way commute in the United States increased to a new high of nearly 28 minutes in 2019. If you’re one of those folks with a daily commute of over 20 minutes, you likely understand the importance of choosing the best commuter car for your daily commute. And if you’re new to the everyday slog? You’re going to want to keep these five essential tips in mind when car shopping for the best commuter car for your daily trek to the office.

1. The best commuter cars and SUVs are affordable cars

A Black Toyota Camry driving down a city street, the Toyota Camry is one of the best commuter cars
Toyota Camry | Toyota

Buying a new commuter car shouldn’t break the bank. In fact, many of the best commuter cars are new cars under $30,000. Take, for example, the 2022 Toyota Camry. Pitched by Toyota as the “cure for the common commute,” the 2022 Toyota Camry starts at $25,295. While higher trim levels are more expensive, the Toyota Camry remains one of the most affordable new cars on the road today. Not to mention, it’s also a fuel-efficient, reliable, and safe new car. 

2. Reliability matters if you’re shopping for the best commuter car

Price isn’t the only thing you should consider when shopping for the best commuter car for your daily commute to the office. You should also consider how reliable a new car is. Fortunately, finding out such information is relatively easy. Consumer Reports is a treasure trove for car reliability ratings. J.D. Power’s annual dependability study also highlights the most reliable new cars on the market. U.S. News & World Report regularly publishes new car reliability ratings too.  

3. The benefits of choosing one of the most fuel-efficient cars

A blue Toyota Prius driving
Toyota Prius | Toyota

Whether you find yourself commuting 20 miles or 50 miles per day, chances are you don’t want to spend a significant amount of time or money at the local gas pump. Fortunately, you don’t have to. In fact, some of the most fuel-efficient cars are also the best commuter cars. The 2021 Toyota Prius, for example, is among U.S. News & World Report’s picks for the best commuter cars. It also delivers an EPA-estimated 54 mpg in the city and 50 mpg on the highway. 

4. The best car safety features for your daily commute

Safety features are also important when shopping for the best commuter car for your daily trip to and from the office. Fortunately, new cars these days come stocked with safety features. The best safety features you should look out for include driver-assist safety features like forward collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera, State Farm reports. Safety features like adaptive cruise control can also be beneficial during the daily commute. 

5. The best car interiors for commuting are comfortable and full of features


Midsized SUVs With the Roomiest and Most Comfortable Interiors According to Consumer Reports

Say your commute is 30 minutes long. That means you’ll be spending at least an hour behind the wheel of your car every day. There’s no denying that’s a significant amount of time. That makes it all the most important to choose a vehicle with one of the best car interiors for commuting. That means choosing a new car with features like power seats, heated and cooled front seats, and automatic climate control, CarMax reports. Also, take into consideration what types of interior features you’ll enjoy. Would a premium sound system make your commute better? Or a full leather interior?

The best commuter cars deliver in these categories

If you’re shopping for the best commuter car, it should deliver in each of these categories. Not only should it be an affordable new car, but it should also be one of the most reliable new cars on the road today. It should be among the safest new cars too. And when it comes to its interior? Make sure it’s both comfortable and well-stocked with features.