AAA Announces Best Cars for the Commute

The average driver spends about 41 minutes a day travelling 22.5 miles round trip between home and work.

Make the trip in the right car, and it can be a refreshing and fun 22 minutes of solitude. Commute in the wrong car, and you can get stuck in an expensive and uncomfortable trap every day of the week.

The American Automobile Association has evaluated hundreds of cars and compiled a list of the best for the daily commute. It evaluated the vehicles based on safety, practicality, fuel efficiency, affordability, and comfort.

There are some obvious choices on the list, along with a few curious ones that have me wondering what AAA is thinking.

First on the list is the Honda Insight. AAA says it is less costly and more fun to drive than some of its hybrid competitors. Apparently, AAA thinks feeling every pothole and highway expansion joint is “fun.”

Ford Fusion: Spot on, good choice. With the four-cylinder, it’s inexpensive, comfortable, and handles well.

2010 Volkswagen Jetta TDI

2010 VW Jetta TDI

Volkswagen Jetta TDI: I might have even put this one in first place. AAA says it “is every bit as economical as the most miserly hybrids.” Yeah. Plus, it’s a heck of a lot more fun to drive.

Hyundai Elantra: AAA liked the 100,000-mile warranty, but I think there are much more comfortable little commuters out there. Honda Fit, perhaps?

Subaru Legacy/Outback: Four-cylinder engines are available, along with the security of AWD. Can’t really go wrong.

Honda Civic: Duh.

Chevy Malibu: AAA liked the Malibu for carpooling commuters since the rear seat is roomy. A fine choice indeed.

2010 Mazda3

2010 Mazda3

Honda Accord: A solid and economical car that can move the family, too. Stay with the 4-pot versions, though, or the “economy” goes out the window.

Mazda3: In the “fun to drive” category, the Mazda3 is neck and neck with the Jetta TDI.

If you have a little more money to spend, the auto club would like to point you toward the BMW 3 Series, MINI Cooper, Buick Enclave, Mercedes-Benz GL diesel, Volkswagen GTI, and Chevy Corvette.

Really? A Corvette as a daily commuter? Anything else seem questionable about this list to you? Feel free to let us know what your daily commuter is! Mine is an ’07 Suzuki SX4.


Find Used Cars in Your Area at CarGurus

Used Honda Insight
Used Ford Fusion
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Used Hyundai Elantra
Used Subaru Outback
Used Honda Civic
Used Chevy Malibu
Used Honda Accord
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