The 10 Best Commuter Cars (2024)

in Best for Demographic
cars driving in a city

Source: Pixabay

According to the Census Bureau, the average American commuter spends about 52 minutes a day round trip to work and back. That might not sound like all that much, but it amounts to about nine days a year spent in your car.

If, like many people in America, you have to drive an hour each way to and from work, you’ll ultimately spend over three weeks of your life behind the wheel. Do you really want to spend that much time sitting in a car that isn’t right for you?

However long your commute is, you definitely need a reliable car with good gas mileage, and you deserve a car with comfort and style. What that means to you might be completely different from what it means to your coworkers or neighbors, and there isn’t one perfect car for everyone. So for everyone who hits the road day in and day out, we’ve compiled a list of the best commuter cars of 2024, and hopefully one of these is right for your commute.

2021 Toyota Prius - $24,525 - $32,650

There are countless reasons why over 2 million of these cars have been bought since 2005. It sips fuel to the tune of 52 mpg combined, so you won’t have to spend so much of your time and money pumping gas.

The Prius has been widely touted for its reliability, and you can certainly expect to reach up to 200,000 miles on the odometer if you maintain it well. All 2021 Toyota Priuses come standard with adaptive cruise control, a lane departure warning system, automatic emergency braking, rear cross traffic alert, and a blindspot monitor so you can feel safe every day on your commute.

Toyota even added CarPlay, Android Auto, and Alexa compatibility to all trim levels. Higher trims even offer synthetic leather upholstery, heated seats and steering wheel, automatic parallel parking, wireless charging, and a heads-up display just to name a few. A 2021 Toyota Prius will keep your expenses low without sacrificing the creature comforts you want and do so for years to come, making it one of the best commuter cars in 2023.


You won’t realize how outdated other car searching apps are until you try the CoPilot car shopping app. CoPilot does the hard work for you by searching all of the listings in your area and intelligently creating a personalized list of the best buys in the area that match what you’re looking for.

2021 Honda Accord - $24,970 - $36,900

The 2021 Honda Accord continues a long line of excellence as a commuter car. It boasts an impressive 33 mpg and a standard 1.5L 4-dylinder turbocharged engine.

All 2021 Accords come with the safety features you would expect, including adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and frontal collision mitigation. For your convenience, it also comes with an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.

Available upgrades include a blindspot monitor with rear cross traffic alerts, parking sensors, paddle shifters, leather upholstery, wireless charging, a sunroof, heated power-adjustable seats, remote ignition, and many more.

You can even upgrade to a 2.0L engine with 252 horsepower if you’re looking for more performance on your commute. J.D. Power lists it as one of the most reliable sedans this year.  This is a car you won’t mind driving to work for the next ten years or more.

2021 Hyundai Kona - $20,500 - $28,150

In the hotly contested subcompact SUV market, the Hyundai Kona stands out as one of the more comfortable and stylish options. It offers 27 mpg combined from its zippy 2.0L engine and has a surprising amount of space in such a small package.

Its base trim offers forward collision and lane departure mitigation for your safety and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration for your convenience. If you want to upgrade your commute, higher trims offer blind spot and rear cross traffic alerts, heated leather seats, keyless ignition, a sunroof, wireless charging, adaptive cruise control, and rear parking sensors, just to name a few.

You can even upgrade to a more powerful turbocharged 1.6L engine. J.D. Power gives it a great reliability score, so you can feel confident this car won’t break down on you on the way to an important meeting.


We looked into price, reliability, features, and more to create this list of the best used SUVs under $10k on the market today. Take a look - some of the best used SUVs have gone mostly overlooked or forgotten. 

2021 Chevrolet Malibu - $23,065 - $34,295

If you are looking for a reliable car to get you to work every day, look no further than the 2021 Chevy Malibu. According to J.D. Power and Associates, it is the most reliable sedan of the 2021 model year.

The basic 1.5L engine isn’t the most powerful, but it does offer a combined gas mileage of 32 mpg. The bigger 2.0L engine offers better acceleration and still maintains a combined EPA rating of 26 mpg. As expected, the spacious interior includes CarPlay and Android Auto standard on its 8-inch touchscreen, and even comes with keyless entry and ignition.

However, many safety features, such as blindspot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, lane departure warning, frontal collision mitigation, and parking sensors are offered as an additional package. While you might be used to driving without those enhancements, they could really improve your driving experience and make your daily commute much safer. They take the Malibu from a good reliable car, to one of the best commuter cars available.

2021 Buick Encore -  $23,200 - $26,215

If you’re looking for a commuter car with a little more space than your standard sedan, the Buick Encore is a good upgrade that you can comfortable and reliably drive to work and on the weekends.

For a subcompact SUV, the 1.4L engine gets a pretty good 26 mpg estimate. The car comes fairly well equipped with a built in 4G LTE hotspot standard, as well as keyless entry and ignition, Android Auto and CarPlay, and an 8 inch touchscreen infotainment system.

Available upgrades include all-wheel drive, a sunroof, and safety features like blindspot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, forward collision alert, lane departure warning, and parking sensors. Much like the other GM vehicle on this list, the biggest selling point on the Buick Encore is its best-in-class reliability. A Buick Encore should serve your needs well for years to come.

2021 Toyota Camry - $24,970 - $35,545

What’s not to love about the Toyota Camry? On the outside, it is stylish without being overstated. Inside, it is comfortable and well equipped. And under the hood, it offers great mileage without skimping on performance on its standard engine or its hybrid options.

The 4-cylinder gas engine gets up to 33 mpg combined, while the Hybrid can offer 52 mpg with only a small premium in price. All Camrys come with a generous safety suite, complete with forward collision mitigation, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and Toyota’s road sign recognition to tell let you know the speed limit in case you missed it yourself.

The basic LE trim comes with Android Auto, CarPlay, Alexa compatibility, and even a power adjustable driver’s seat. You can upgrade to a higher trim to get features such as leather upholstery, keyless entry and ignition, wireless charging, a 360-degree camera system, a panoramic sunroof, and even a sportier V6 engine with a sports-tuned suspension and transmission. The Toyota Camry isn’t just one of the best commuter cars on the market; with how many options are available, the Camry is several of the best commuter cars.

2021 Hyundai Elantra - $19,650 - $25,450

If you aren’t already wowed by the price of the Hyundai Elantra with all of its standard and optional features, you might at least be impressed by its estimated 37 mpg combined rating.

The Elantra comes standard with forward collision mitigation, rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, blindspot monitoring, and driver attention warning. While less important, it also conveniently features wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and an 8-inch touchscreen.

Upgrades available on higher trims include keyless entry and ignition, adaptive cruise control, heated seats, a sunroof, Hyundai Digital Key, leather seats, and lane keeping assistance. In addition to the standard 2.0L four-cylinder engine, there are 3 other options, with one hybrid engine, and two turbocharged engines with either 201 hp or 276 hp.

On top of the great features and great price, the Hyundai Elantra is also one of the most reliable compact cars on the market.


Buying a used or CPO luxury car is one of the smartest buys you can make - you can get a lot of car for not much money. You can pick up a three-year-old luxury car for about half of what you’d pay new. Check out this list of the best used luxury cars on the market to find the best deals. 

2021 Honda Civic - $21,250 - $28,300

Don’t let the name deceive you: the Honda Civic may be here to get the job done, but it’s going to have fun doing it. The Civic is lauded for Honda’s signature reliability, but also for its enjoyable performance.

The standard 2.0L engine gives you a snappy response and gets an estimated 33 mpg, while the turbocharged 1.5L engine available on higher trims offers even stronger performance and an even better 36 mpg fuel estimate. Standard features include adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, and forward collision mitigation, but the cabin is not so generously equipped, offering only a 5-inch infotainment screen with Honda’s standard user interface.

If you’re willing to swing a little bigger, higher trims are available with CarPlay and Android Auto, remote ignition, a sunroof, power-adjustable heated leather seats, a blindspot camera, shift paddles, and many other creature comforts. It offers good reliability and impressive resale value, and it might just be the right car for you.

2021 Honda Odyssey - $32,090 - $47,820

Not everyone’s commute is the same. If your commute happens to include a few stops at schools for your kids and their friends, then you might want to consider a minivan. The Honda Odyssey is a safe, reliable vehicle with plenty of convenience features you never even knew you needed.

The 6-cylinder engine is strong enough to haul yourself and 7 children or adults but does have to sacrifice fuel economy, offering only 22 mpg combined. While not great, that is still better performance than other 8-seat vehicles such as a Chevy Suburban or Ford Expedition.

The Odyssey does come with Honda’s standard safety suite of frontal collision mitigation, lane departure warning, and adaptive cruise control. All trims also feature power-adjustable front seats, automatic climate control, and a rear seat reminder to make sure you don’t leave anyone behind when you park the car.

Higher trims also offer blind spot monitoring, rear cross=traffic alert, CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, remote ignition, powered sliding doors, heated seats, a sunroof, leather seating, and all the USB ports your family could need.

The Elite trim even comes with a built-in intercom system and vacuum cleaner. It might not be the most typical commuter car, but a Honda Odyssey is the perfect car for you and your kids’ commutes.

2021 Nissan Leaf - $31,620 - $43,920

Don’t let Elon Musk hear this, but it is possible to buy a quality electric vehicle without paying the premium price for a Tesla. In fact, you’ve been able to for about a decade now, since the Nissan Leaf came to the American market.

The base Leaf comes with a 150-mile range, while the Leaf Plus offers 226 miles on one charge. As long as your round trip to and from work is within that range, or your workplace has an electric car charging station, you might want to consider buying an EV like the Nissan Leaf.

It comes with Nissan’s Safety Shield 360, which includes front and rear collision mitigation with automatic braking, lane keeping assistance, and blindspot monitoring. It also features CarPlay and Android Auto, keyless entry, keyless ignition, and automatic climate control.

With higher trims, you can get adaptive cruise control, surround view cameras, a power adjustable driver’s seat, leather upholstery, and even an upgraded audio system. While J.D. Power and Associates have not reviewed the 2021 model year, previous iterations of this generation of Nissan Leaf have proven themselves to be reliable vehicles.

An EV might not work for everyone, but if you want to ditch gasoline completely and are able to do so, then the Nissan Lead is one of the best commuter cars you can buy.

Get a curated list of the best used cars near you

Ready to buy a car for your commute? The CoPilot car shopping app is the easiest way to buy a car. Tell us what you’re looking for and we’ll search the inventories of every dealership in your area to make you a personalized list of the best car listings in your area.

Only looking for newer models? CoPilot Compare is the search engine for nearly-new cars. Only see cars 5 years or newer with low mileage - CoPilot Compare is the best way to find off-lease, early trade-in, and CPO cars.

The best part? CoPilot is built using the same technology that dealerships use to buy and sell their inventories, so we have more info on each vehicle than competitors. CoPilot doesn’t work with dealerships, so there are no sponsored posts or other shady practices - just the most info on the best cars. Check out our About Us page to see how CoPilot works.