Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

The Best Used Cars to Buy for Short Commutes

Used Car for Short Commutes

If you’re lucky enough to have a short commute to work, then you need to consider different factors when buying a used car than someone with a lengthier drive (or more time stuck in traffic). Chances are good that while fuel economy matters, it’s not that important. You’re probably more concerned with size, handling and the like. We’ve assembled a list of the top five cars for short commutes below.

  • Toyota Prius: The undisputed champ of the hybrid category, the Toyota Prius manages to combine good looks with outstanding fuel economy and decent handling. You’ll get 51 mpg in town, which means you might only have to fill the tank once every couple of weeks. The 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and electric motor also produce a respectable 134 hp, so it’s quicker than you might assume. Of course, it’s small, so getting in and out of city traffic is no big deal.

  • Honda Insight: The Insight has actually been on the market longer than the Prius, but it hasn’t gained quite the same widespread adoption by drivers. It offers 48 mpg in the city and 58 mpg on the road, and it’s pretty nimble as well. The small size also makes it a great choice for tight urban roadways and parking spaces.

  • Buick Encore: The Encore is a super-compact SUV that measures even smaller than the Ford Escape. It’s actually only a few inches longer than the Versa Note, and manages to deliver 23/25 mpg. There’s a decent amount of cargo space so urban road warriors can carry their luggage or gear with ease, too. The high seating position also means that you get a commanding view of your surroundings.

  • Scion iQ: Looking for something small, compact and yet very drivable? The Scion iQ might be the answer. It shares the boxy style of other Scion models, combined with Toyota’s legendary reliability. It also delivers an average 36 mpg and can take very tight turns, making it one of the best-suited cars to be your in-town runabout.

  • Smart Fortwo: Yes, the Fortwo has been around for a while and it’s racked up both praise and criticism. It still makes a decent car for anyone with a short commute, particularly if you don’t need to carry any passengers. It offers 33/41 mpg, and it’s one of the nimblest little cars on this list, making turns and parking in urban environments a cinch.

Whether you need an SUV or an ultra-compact model, there’s a used car out there perfect for your needs.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How Long Does a Throttle Return Spring Last?
Not all vehicles on the road feature an electronic throttle control (ETC), which is also called drive-by-wire. For vehicles that don't offer this system, they have a throttle cable instead that...
Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Flexible Clutch Hose
Common signs include difficulty shifting, low clutch fluid, and feeling no resistance at the clutch pedal.
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...


Related questions

Q: Changed alternator now car seems to be in creeper mode.

Hi there. If the engine is not accelerating after replacing the alternator, then check the alternator and see if its charging the battery. Look at the cables and make sure that they are hooked up correctly. If the alternator is...

Q: Spike in costs around 120,000 miles?

Hi there. Your question of what to expect in service costs is difficult to answer. There are variables involved, whether the vehicle was driven hard by the previous owner(s), or whether the vehicle has had maintenance performed at the recommended...

Q: Price estimate - KBB vs. Edmond

When getting price estimates from these sites, know that they will vary widely depending on the criteria you put in and if you are looking for a trade-in value or a retail value. After looking into both of these sites,...