The 10 best cars for commuting: city slickers

Commuting can be a stressful experience. Even if you don’t have take your place on a crowded train or bus each morning, choosing the wrong car can often lead to a gridlocked journey to forget. Great commuter cars have compact dimensions, light controls and great visibility to help you navigate tight city streets.

Every commute is different so we’ve gathered together a selection of 10 vehicles which should offer something for everyone. Whether you’re after the ultimate in minute motoring or a larger, more spacious offering, take a look at our picks. Put any of these cars in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save.

Renault Twingo

The new Renault Twingo has been designed from the ground up to be as manoeuvrable as possible and, by placing the engine at the rear to give the front wheels more space to turn, it can spin round in just 8.6 meters. This configuration reduces the boot space to a modest 188 litres but the interior volume is still enough to seat four.

A selection of engines with stop-start systems are available on range topping models which cut the Renault’s CO2 emissions to below the magic 100g/km. Free road tax is a bonus and helps to compensate for the £9,495 Twingo costing slightly more than its competitors.

Put the Renault Twingo in our car configurator to see what deals are available.

BMW i3

If an electric vehicle is more your thing then the BMW i3 could be right up your street. Eye-catching looks mean the i3 stands out from the crowd and its advanced carbon fibre chassis and instant torque delivery offer a dynamic and involving drive.

As a city runaround, the i3 a pricey option at over £30,000, especially because the 80-to-100-mile range won’t be enough for every commuter. Considering many cities offer free parking and charging for electric vehicles, the i3’s time may be on its way sooner than you think.

Renault Zoe

Another electric vehicle, the Renault Zoe could be seen as the BMW’s closest competitor. Comparable range, less divisive styling and the Zoe’s much cheaper £13,000 base price when purchased with the Government’s Plug-In Car grant means this compact five-seater stacks up well against its german rival.

A battery rental charge of £70 per month takes a bite out of the Zoe’s otherwise impressive affordability and a range of between 60-90 miles may concern some buyers but it’s difficult to match the refinement offered by this surprisingly spacious supermini.

Spec up a Renault Zoe in our car configurator to see how much you could save.

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 has become the go-to supermini for the fashion conscious and suitably trendy consumer. Its beauty, however, is more than just skin-deep with this retro-styled runabout.

Fiat’s 0.9-litre Twinair engine has given some substance to the 500’s style and this frugal but fun offering has made it a great commuter car. Road tax is free with this configuration and after a brisk sprint from 0-62mph in 10 seconds, the latest 500 should return an impressive 74.3mpg. A downside to this cheeky Italian car is a small boot of only 180 litres.

Find out what discounts are offered by choosing your perfect Fiat 500 in our car configurator.

Volvo V40

If you need to carry more than just a briefcase, the Volvo V40 D4 could be ideal. Its award winning engine has been commended for its low CO2 emissions (as little as 85g/km with a manual gearbox) and very effective stop-start technology making this larger car feel very at home in busy city streets.

The V40 received a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP and comes with a raft of revolutionary features such as pedestrian airbags and automatic braking up to 31mph. In this company, the Volvo is likely to be the most comfortable on motorways so, if you have a longer commute, this could be your best choice.

See the savings available by speccing up a Volvo V40 in our car configurator.

Smart fortwo

At the opposite end of the spectrum to the Volvo lies the Smart fortwo. Its diminutive wheelbase grants it a turning circle of just 6.95m but refreshed bodywork cloaks an interior big enough for two to sit comfortably.

Some may feel unprotected against heavy traffic in this characterful box-on-wheels but an array of five airbags and a strong body Smart calls a ‘safety-cell’ ensures good occupant protection even in 50mph collisions. With your choice of manual or dual-clutch automatic gearboxes and a selection of engines all of which qualify for free road tax, the Smart makes a great inner-city commuter vehicle.

Find out how much you could save by selecting your ideal Smart fortwo in our car configurator.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta has been with us since 1976 but the latest incarnation jumps ahead of many rivals with its 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. This lightweight, compact and award-winning unit returns up to 65.7mpg whilst emitting just 99g/km of CO2. It’s also peppy enough to make the most of great steering feedback and very agreeable handling.

The build quality and reliability we’ve come to expect from Ford are all present and correct, and the Fiesta is also one of the most fun to drive cars on this list.

Choose your favourite Ford Fiesta in our car configurator to see what reductions are available.

Skoda Citigo

Near identical looks and comparable equipment levels and performance make choosing between the Volkswagen Up, SEAT Mii and this, the Skoda Citigo, could be quite tricky. As a cheap and cheerful commuter vehicle, however, it makes sense to go for the least expensive option.

For a supermini, the Skoda is great fun to drive and it needs to be because the equipment levels are far from class-leading. The Citigo costs as little as £8,275 so it’s hard to argue with the safe and simple Skoda. If you opt for the GreenTech engine you can expect to see fuel economy of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of just 95g/km.

Discover the savings available by choosing your perfect Skoda Citigo in our car configurator.

Toyota Yaris Hybrid

Hybrid technology has come a long way since the first Honda Insight hybrid of 1999 and now vastly more efficient tech can be squeezed into a compact commute-friendly car such as the Toyota Yaris. Not only is it the cheapest hybrid on sale in the UK but is free to tax thanks to silent, emissions-busting electric drive modes.

Reliability is predictably excellent and value for money is high on the Toyota’s agenda, too. Even entry level cars are treated to levels of equipment other cars in its class can’t match.

Spec up a Toyota Yaris in our car configurator to find out what discounts are offered.

Dacia Sandero

If back-to basics motoring is more your thing, then you would be hard pressed to beat the Dacia Sandero. Currently the cheapest new car on sale in the UK, where the Dacia skimps on equipment it makes up for it with a surprising amount of interior volume and a 320-litre boot.

If you’re not swayed by big brand names and aim to spend as little as possible on a new car, then the £5,995 Dacia makes a lot of financial and practical sense for the commuter. The only let-down, in fact, is its forgettable looks.

Spec up a Dacia Sandero in our car configurator to see what deals are offered.

What next?

Put any of the cars featured on this list in our car configurator to see how much carwow could help you save. For more options, head over to our deals page or, if you’re still struggling to pick your next car, check out our car chooser.

Renault Twingo

Small city car's clever design makes it nimble and spacious
£10,000 - £15,520
Read review Compare offers

BMW i3

A small, upmarket electric car with an optional range-extending engine
£34,075 - £42,130
Read review Compare offers

Fiat 500

Italian supermini with retro appeal
£11,690 - £15,670
Read review Compare offers
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