What Makes a Great Daily Driver in 2022?

A dependable daily driver is a necessity for car owners looking to conquer their commute in a sensible used car. However, not all cars are created equal, merit is in the eyes of the beholder, and many vehicles are ill-suited to daily driver work. Don’t fret, though. Here’s some of what you should expect in a great daily driver in 2022, like optional all-wheel drive (AWD). 

What makes a great daily driver?

It’s no surprise that potential owners should look for a fuel-efficient, safe, easily insurable, and capable vehicle. First, fuel efficiency is an important factor, given the volatility of prices at the pump. For instance, CNBC says that gas prices increased around 50% from the summer of 2021 to the summer of 2022. Also, a daily driver should be safe; vehicles like the Honda Civic and Mazda3 have Top Safety Pick+ ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The Subaru Forester Wilderness offers AWD and cheap insurance rates, which are attributes of a great daily driver vehicle in 2022.
Subaru Forester Wilderness has daily driver credentials | Bing Guan, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Furthermore, your daily driver should be easily insurable, like the Subaru Forester 2.5L Wilderness, which Insure.com says is one of the cheapest modern vehicles to insure. Of course, insurance rates will depend on factors like age, gender, geographic location, and driving record beyond vehicle choice. 

Finally, choosing an all-wheel drive (AWD) vehicle to suit a snowy and icy climate is prudent, although a front-wheel drive (FWD) option is capable enough for compliant conditions. 

What are some of the best creature comforts in a great daily driver for 2022?

In today’s used car market, plenty of vehicles offer a library of creature comforts for much less than new prices. For instance, a 2019 Toyota Corolla has Apple CarPlay, a feature that would have been an extra in earlier sedans. Furthermore, heated and ventilated seats are a few of the finer comfort commodities you should consider for the commuter you’ll use to trudge through traffic. Of course, if you can do without modern technology like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or multiple-zone climate control, you can save money on older “beater” cars.

Creature comforts like Apple CarPlay help take a daily vehicle up to great daily driver status in 2022.
Apple CarPlay is a comfort that helps a good car be a great daily driver | Will Ireland, Getty Images

Which cars should you consider for a great daily driver in 2022?

The Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda3 have been and continue to be excellent options for low-impact daily drivers. By low-impact, of course, I mean cost-effective, fuel-efficient, and safe. Furthermore, if you want an AWD crossover with a liftback for convenience, the Subaru Crosstrek or Mazda3 hatchback are excellent options. 

The Honda Civic is widely held to be a great daily driver, even among vehicles in 2022.
Honda Civic | Honda

What kind of cars should you avoid as a commuter?

At the end of the day, any sensible car you can buy for a reasonable amount with a clean title and maintenance history could be a great daily driver. However, you should avoid overly expensive, special edition, excessively powerful, sentimental, or classic cars for commuting purposes. For instance, driving a Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat daily might result in expensive tickets, accidents, or annual fuel costs. Of course, driving a classic car can be incredibly rewarding, depending on where you live, but it’s a hassle more often than not. 

Still, some folks say that life is too short to drive something you don’t like. Scroll down to the following article to read more about sensible vehicles and daily drivers!


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