Popular cars for commuting
Many of us have to commute on busy roads and in all weathers simply to reach our workplaces. Being in the right car can make a huge difference to the experience so what makes a good vehicle for commuting?
Comfort and equipment levels top our list of desirables. We also seek high levels of connectivity so we can stay in touch on the move (and let people know when we are caught in those inevitable queues). For those stacking-up the miles, engine choice is certainly key to keep down costs. A plug-in hybrid or all-electric car can make sense for anyone with a moderate commute; a small petrol, hybrid or cleaner modern diesel can make sense for longer runs. And we shouldn’t be afraid to switch to an automatic gearbox to make life easier.
Here are our top six models to make the weekday commuting ritual that little bit gentler.
The all-new Focus keeps Ford at the top of the game when it comes to driver engagement. With good handling, a better ride quality than many premium models and spot-on driver ergonomics, the Focus is an easy car to cover the distance. Available as a hatch, estate or ruggedised Active version, it has excellent engine choices from the clever one-litre EcoBoost petrol to the refined and extremely frugal 1.5 TDCi diesel.
For anyone seeking advantages of battery power but without the space to charge a car, Toyota has relaunched the Corolla name to package its famous hybrid technology into a neat hatchback. There are two petrol-electric hybrid engine options: the slower 1.8-litre is the more frugal; the 2.0-litre still promises over 50mpg with more spirited performance.
With all the advantages of an electric car yet supplemented by a modest petrol engine, the plug-in hybrid provides maximum flexibility. Promising a range of up to 32 miles on pure electric, the face-lifted Ioniq will cover most commutes on battery power alone while offering a practical extended range.
Peugeot’s new 508 is a handsome thing. Styling includes elegant, smooth surfaces, frameless windows and dramatic lighting. It’s packed with technology and perhaps most importantly, very comfortable seating. Two petrol and three diesel power options are available. Build quality looks good too, making this an distinctive alternative to the big three German brands.
Our cars need to perform other duties when we escape the daily grind and if you need an SUV for family activities the Škoda Karoq offers the practicality with the option of a charismatic and frugal one-litre engine. The Karoq is spacious, refined and well-equipped.
Nissan’s LEAF was one of the first practical all-electric cars and the latest generation claims a very usable range of 168 miles for the 40KWH battery and 239 miles for the 62KWH version. For those with smaller commutes, this means it won’t need charging each night.