Traffic is a universal awful. Anyone who has to commute to and within a major city knows just how much time and patience every rush hour consumes. And with the addition of continuous large-scale construction, these delays only escalate. Let’s look at a specific case study: Construction on Boston’s I-90 Prudential Tunnel has reduced lanes and caused congestion in both directions as MassDOT improves it. Knowing Boston construction timelines, or really planned construction anywhere, this will take a while. So if you’re driving through a massive construction project, or simply commuting through rush hour, you might want to consider the cars listed below. They have a comfort level and entertainment packages that can fend off the frustration of sitting in traffic. Most of these entertainment options are, of course, only for passengers. We don’t want any drivers taking advantage of the DVD system or WiFi. That could be dangerous or, even worse, cause even more traffic behind you.
10. The Audi A3 may be a lot of things, but one of the most important is comfortable. For a small car, the A3 packs a big punch in the comfort and technology category. For $29,900, buyers get an IIHS Top Safety Pick+ (when equipped with front crash-prevention technology) with standard leather seats. Add to that the available MMI Navigation, Audi connect and adaptive cruise control, and you’ll be so comfortable sitting in a traffic jam that you may just start pondering the meaning of traffic jams. Not only does Audi want hipsters to buy the A3, it also wants to use the A3 to create hipsters.
9. The BMW X3 is a high-end luxury crossover at a low(ish)-end price. At just around the $40,000 mark, the X3 can offer comfort approaching luxury levels for a price that approaches reasonable. BMW’s seats have some of the best comfort features you can find in a car. Made to prevent fatigue on long drives, the seats come with a headrest that automatically adjusts to the seat’s position to ensure the driver and passengers never feel the pain of extended sitting. Of course BMW also has some hefty offerings in the entertainment realm. The X3 comes packed with a 12 speaker satellite-radio-ready audio system and its iDrive multifunction information display, which will surely bring some solace to everyone waiting for that idiot to merge.
8. What’s not to love about the Tesla Model S? It’s sleek, modern, comfortable and quick, oh so quick. Thanks to its 416-hp electric drivetrain pumping out 443 pound-feet of torque, the Model S can bolt to 60 in a blistering 4.6 seconds. That’ll help you once you’re out of traffic, but what makes the Model S so great at a standstill? Well, it has a lot of toys, all of which can be controlled from the 17-inch touchscreen display in the center console. Once traffic grinds to a halt, it’s a pretty fair bet you’ll have so much fun adjusting your car that you won’t notice it start moving again. Once the horns behind you start blaring, that’s when your 4.6-second 0-60 comes in handy. Just be careful not to run out of juice—while the Model S’s batteries carry an impressive 300-mile range, electric vehicle charging stations are, unfortunately, still few and far between.
7. Next year will mark the last year of the Dodge Grand Caravan‘s production, as Chrysler switches Dodge’s focus toward the sporty side of the multi-brand company’s varied lineup. Despite that, the Grand Caravan continues to be one of the more comfortable vehicles on the road. It has 7-passenger seating, so you’ll have plenty of room for you and your kids to get comfortable while you’re in the middle of the freeway. A rear-seat DVD player and TVs turn your immobile seats into a movie theater surrounded by cars. Chrysler also offers its Uconnect entertainment system. The system combines entertainment, communication, navigation and climate controls along with a connected WiFi hub. The console is of course touchscreen-operated, but still retains a classic 2-knob system for the radio. Uconnect also presents real-time traffic information to give you an idea just how long you’re going to be absolutely miserable.
6. If you’re the kind of person who likes a little extra room while waiting for that guy in front of you to finally merge, consider the Chevrolet Silverado 1500. Big and bold, the Silverado is much more than just a pickup truck. Thanks to the new luxury pickup truck market, almost all pickup trucks have gone from being brutal workhorses to comfortable cars with the ability to do work, the Silverado included. Available with leather seats, Chevrolet MyLink 8-inch Touch Navigation and SiriusXM radio, the Silverado will keep you entertained during your commute. However, where the Silverado really shines is in its massive size. Measuring just under 20 feet, the Silverado will be sure to scare commuters in smaller cars, affording it the luxury of space on the road. Add to that the space inside the massive cabin (which is quieter than many luxury-car cabins) and you’ll feel like you’re in your living room instead of a construction zone.
5. The Mazda3 is an extremely competent choice, and although it is among the smaller cars on this list, you won’t hate being in it for long durations. The back seats may seem a bit small for any passengers you may have with you, but the front row is plenty spacious and comfortable. A power sunroof can be a beautiful thing (as long as you’re not stuck in a tunnel for hours) and can help you enjoy the weather while you’re outside. The Mazda Connect infotainment system is probably the best you can find in small cars. Its tablet-like touchscreen display offers everything you’ve come to expect from a fully equipped infotainment system, including mobile WiFi access. The Mazda3 also has an i-ELOOP regenerative braking system, which transfers the kinetic energy of braking to the electrical components of the car. This is great for traffic, because you’ll do plenty of braking, so your infotainment system will have plenty of power without hurting your gas level too much.
4. Let’s not dance around the main issue here: The Hyundai Genesis is a straight-up bargain. Thanks to Hyundai’s desire to bolster its foothold in the U.S. market, the Genesis offers many of the same gizmos and gadgets as its European, Japanese and American competitors for significantly less. Our test model was just about fully loaded and stickered at $52,450—that’s about where cars like the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus GS start. For that price you’ll get a heads-up display, Hyundai’s advanced steering system, lane-keeping assist, parking assistance and a slew of other cool features. Add to that the Genesis’s ultra-premium leather and even we wouldn’t mind sitting around in Boston traffic. If you want ultimate luxury and don’t want to fret about your wallet while waiting to get into the city, look no further than the Genesis.
3. The odds are poor that you’d actually be stuck in traffic with a Rolls-Royce Ghost, because chances are you’d have a police escort. But being stuck in a Ghost would be a dream for your typical daily commuter, even without a chauffeur. We recommend that you actually drive this exquisite beast, powered by a 6.6-liter V12 engine that produces a beautiful 563 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. Leather and wood cover every inch of the interior, and of course premium leather covers the seats. The Ghost comes with satellite HD radio, a 14-speaker 600-watt audio system and a hands-free communication system. Space and comfort are absolutely abundant in the Ghost. It’s a vehicle designed to be comfortable without price in mind, so it’ll cost you a cool $250,000+, but it’s pretty well worth it.
2. The Chrysler 300, Chrysler’s attempt at a luxury sedan, is an absolute beast when it comes to room, comfort and technology. The 300 offers some of the best features for the price that you can find anywhere. With the most expensive trim coming in at just around $50,000, the 300 offers so many features you won’t mind spending the extra couple hours sitting in the car. Premium leather seats cradle front and rear passengers with multi-level heating, and the driver has the benefit of a heated steering wheel. It really feels nice. Cooled and heated cupholders will ensure that your ice won’t melt quickly and your coffee will stay warmer longer. Of course, the 300 includes Chrysler’s Uconnect system, so any of your entertainment needs can definitely be taken care of, be it via CD, MP3, USB or WiFi.
1. The Land Rover Range Rover is a giant in the auto world. Long a symbol of British engineering and design, the Range Rover is famous for its irreproducible combination of luxury and off-road prowess—this is what makes the Range Rover our top pick for people stuck in traffic jams. With the Range Rover, traffic is no longer a sad fact of your commute, it is a choice you can make. Want to sit in traffic? Great, you’ll enjoy the Range Rover’s numerous amenities, like adjustable interior mood lighting, 8-inch touchscreen navigation, Bluetooth audio streaming and Meridian Surround Sound. Don’t want to sit in traffic? No problem. With the ability to ford over 35 inches of water and climb a 34.7-degree slope, the Range Rover will take you home over even the roughest of terrain—no more waiting for those pesky 2-wheel-drive cars to get out of your way.
What vehicle would you pick to endure a traffic jam?
-jharrington and zwaller
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Used Audi A3
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Used Mazda Mazda3
Used Hyundai Genesis
Used Rolls-Royce Ghost
Used Chrysler 300
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