Cars in the City: 5 Top Used Cars for City Living

Here are the best cars for urban commuting

Some cars are better-suited for the traffic slog and tight elbow room of city life. If you’ve ever driven in Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, New York, or Houston, you’re well-aware of the traffic nightmares that unfold on a daily basis as people drive — or try to drive — from their homes to their offices and back again.

We highlighted five rides that can hold up to city driving. We based our list on used cars that are about 3 years old, examining the number of open recalls and reliability ratings for each. We also referenced the CarGurus Used Car Awards and mixed in a little common sense for good measure.

Did your favorite make it to the list? If not, add yours to the comments below.

2014 Subaru Impreza

The 2014 Impreza has just one open recall for a power relay and routinely scores high in reliability rankings. Plus, the all-wheel drive makes it a great choice for moving around those snowy, hilly, northern-tier cities.

In addition to being small and agile, the car placed third in the 2017 CarGurus Best Used Car Awards in the Compact Sedan/Hatchback category.

2015 Kia Soul

Stellar safety ratings and affordable prices catapult the Soul onto this list. There’s a decent amount of interior space for a car with such a small footprint, while the ride is smooth and refined. Plus, it’s easy to park in tight garages and packed city streets.

Amenities including heated front (and rear!) seats, a heated steering wheel, and a panoramic sunroof make the Soul a solid choice for urban dwellers.

There are a couple of recalls on the Soul which should be repaired right away, but once those are done you can drive confidently.

2015 Nissan Leaf

Want comfortable, emission-free urban driving? Look no further than the Leaf. The Leaf has been in existence since the 2011 model year and many 2015 models are set to come off lease this year. The battery packs have proven to be exceptionally reliable and owners can easily make their city commutes with the Leaf’s 80+ mile range.

There’s very little maintenance on electric cars and the used prices of the Leaf have proven to be attractive. Before you buy, make sure the airbag recalls have been addressed.

2014 Lexus CT 200h

Sometimes living in the city demands a little bit of luxury. This little Lexus could be the solution. It’s not a performance machine by any means, but, as a hybrid, is easy on fuel and has a luxurious interior complete with faux leather for those wanting to minimize their impact on the environment.

With no open recalls and strong safety ratings, the CT 200h is a solid choice for urban life.

2015 BMW i3

In city driving, sometimes a tight turning radius is the most important attribute to have, so you can ease right into a parking spot without conducting a 3-point turn in the middle of traffic.

Lucky for you, the i3 has the turning radius of a Radio Flyer. In addition, the electric drive and playful interior make it a perfect urban driving machine.

There are a couple of recalls on the i3, so check your specific car on the NHTSA website and make sure those are addressed before you buy.

What car would you recommend for city dwellers?


Find Certified Pre-Owned Cars and Used Cars in your area at CarGurus.

Used Subaru Impreza
Used Kia Soul
Used Nissan Leaf
Used Lexus CT 200h
Used BMW i3

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