Best commuter cars

Beat the traffic blues with the best commuter cars

Murray Scullion
Mar 31, 2019

The average commute time in the UK is around 40 minutes a day, or around 200 minutes a week. It adds up to 174 hours a year in your car - just for getting to work and back. So it pays to pick a car that's fit for purpose.

Comfort is important, for a start. Then you'll want some reasonable entertainment: how does one even commute these days without listening to a podcast, or having your latest text messages read out to you? In addition to that, it needs to be affordable and economical. You don't want to spend a large chunk of your wages on travelling to earn your wages.

Last but not least, the best commuter cars won't embarrass you with bizarre styling in the office car park.The cars on this list comprise of different price brackets, sizes, and makes, but still share these essential ingredients.


Best commuter cars 2019


Nissan Leaf

Best commuter car for inner-city commutes

Our pick Nissan Leaf Tekna
Latest Nissan Leaf deals from £12,500
Finance from £190 per month

The Nissan Leaf is an electric car that will go around 200-miles between charges. Because of the way electric cars work, they actually do more miles between battery refills when in built-up areas. So you might get more if your commute is stop-start in a busy city. Plus, for those London-soya-latte-types, it’s also congestion-charge exempt.

Using one on your commute will also save you a truck-load of cash if you can charge it at your workplace.

It’s pretty normal to drive too, although it’s much quieter than petrol or diesel-powered cars. There’s only a small whirr from the electric motor.
Nissan Leaf buying guide


Ford Fiesta

Best commuter car for compact excellence

Our pick Ford Fiesta Titanium Ecoboost
Latest Ford Fiesta deals from £6,995
Finance from £119 per month

The Ford Fiesta is the most obvious answer to most car-related questions, so of course it features on a list of the best commuter cars.

There’s a huge selection of variants to pick from, but we’d recommend one of the 1.0-litre Ecoboost engines. These motors are small and economical, but also powerful.

It’s a comfortable car too, and new models have a much improved entertainment system that will keep you, well, entertained.
Ford Fiesta buying guide 


BMW 5 Series

Best commuter car for luxury

Our pick BMW 520d
Latest BMW 5 Series deals from £17,450
Finance from £234 per month

Cutting edge technology helps set the 5 Series apart from its competitors, but its sharp design might just make your colleagues more than a bit envious in the company car park.

There’s plenty of room inside too, just in case some colleagues fancy sharing a ride to a conference or to the pub for a ‘meeting’.

If you commute regularly via a motorway it’s pretty hard to look past the 520d model. Despite it being an entry-level engine, it still packs 187bhp, and will achieve around 60mpg in the real world.
BMW 5 Series buying guide


Hyundai Ioniq

Best commuter car for plug-in power

Our pick Hyundai Ioniq PHEV 
Latest Hyundai Ioniq deals from £13,699
Finance from £198 per month

Hyundai's excellent Ioniq is in some ways better than the more familiar Toyota Prius Plug-In, thanks to its larger boot, lower price and smoother gearbox. It’s not the most exciting car in the world, but thanks to plug-in power, returns similar fuel economy to a diesel on longer trips and can run purely on electric power for journeys under 20 miles - as long as you've remembered to charge the battery.

Inside are all the features you;d expect on a current model, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.


Vauxhall Astra

Best commuter car for value

Our pick Vauxhall Astra 1.6 CDTi SRi
Latest Vauxhall Astra deals from £4,995
Finance from £92 per month

The Astra is one of the best-all-round family hatchbacks on sale today. It’s a jack-of-all-trades and does virtually everything well.

It’s also one of the best cars in its class for running costs, with efficient turbo engines. Inside there’s a large touchscreen that will gives you access to whatever your phone has to offer.

Vauxhall offers seven trim levels so there’s enough choice for everyone. We recommend stumping up the extra cash for SRi models as they come with a Driver Assistance Pack that includes forward collision alert (which warns you if you’re about to hit the car in front and brakes if you don’t respond), traffic-sign recognition, lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assistance.
Vauxhall Astra buying guide


Renault Scenic

Best commuter car for the school run

Our pick Renault Scenic Hybrid Assist
Latest Renault Scenic deals from £7,700
Finance from £114 per month

If you were brought up on idyllic American films about family life, you’ll have grown up thinking that one parent works as a lawyer, the other mostly concerns themselves with charity work, and a nanny ferries the kids around and does the cooking.

The crushing reality is that at times you’ll have to drop the kids off yourself, probably en route to work. The Regular Scenic has space for five adults, so two to three kids in the back should be easy enough.

The Scenic has an unusual diesel-hybrid option, which is the one we’d go for. The diesel engine suits the Scenic’s character and is smooth, while also offering an official fuel rating of over 80mpg. Take that with a pinch of salt, but the Scenic remains a comfortable, large, and economical commuter car that also works on the school run.
Renault Scenic buying guide


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