Commuting to and from work is an unavoidable part of life for most of us. Even with far more accommodating work-from-home schemes during the pandemic, not everything can be done remotely.
With this in mind, here are 10 of the very best commuter cars out there, to qualify four this shortlist they needed to be comfortable, reliable and affordable to run. Not everyone’s needs are the same though, so included are some of the best offerings across a broad range of categories.
Our top 10 best motorway cars for commuting
- Tesla Model 3
- Ford Fiesta
- Audi A6
- Kia Sportage
- Audi Q7
- Skoda Superb Estate
- BMW X3
- Citroen C5 Aircross
- BMW 5 Series
- Toyota Yaris Hybrid
1. Tesla Model 3
- Great interior space
- Excellent range of up to 374 miles
- Advanced driver aids
- Generous 425 litres of boot space
The Tesla Model 3 is quick, refined and packed with tech. Thanks to its electric drivetrain it’s also very quiet while cruising on the motorway. The advanced driver aids help take the stress out of the journey, although it is a bit pricey and overall quality still lags behind German rivals.
You can get your Model 3 with up to 374-miles of range, plenty for most journeys. You can make use of the vast Tesla Supercharger network as well for quick top-ups on the go.
2. Ford Fiesta
- Entertaining to drive
- Quick with the right engine
- Decent infotainment as standard
- Nippy 100bhp petrol offers 53mpg
The Ford Fiesta has long been one of the most enjoyable small cars to drive in its class, it also comes with a good infotainment system and a range of efficient engines. All great traits for a motorway commuter.
It’s not the most spacious in the back and some alternatives have bigger boots, but the Fiesta remains a solid choice, especially if you regularly need to thread your way through tight city streets at the end of your commute.
3. Audi A6
- Spacious interior
- Relaxing driving experience
- Advanced infotainment system
- 217mpg for plug-in hybrid
There aren’t many saloon cars out there that can match the Audi A6 when it comes to its posh interior and understated luxury. It isn’t the sportiest drive in its class, but that hardly matters on long motorway drives, something that eminently suits the refined and comfortable A6.
Diesels offer superb economy, although the 299bhp petrol-powered Plug-in hybrid offers 32 miles of electric range which makes it great for shorter trips.
4. Kia Sportage
- Impressive seven-year warranty
- Well equipped
- Smooth hybrid system
- Spacious for rear seat passengers
The Kia Sportage is one of the best cars in the family SUV class, offering plenty of space, equipment and comfort for longer journeys. The distinctive styling means it’s unlikely to get lost in a supermarket car park as well.
Ok, so the styling won’t be to everyone’s tastes, and some of the controls are a little bit fiddly to operate, but at least the Sportage should be cheap to run. You can have it with a traditional hybrid system or as a plug-in hybrid for added EV range.
5. Audi Q7
- Seats up to seven occupants
- Comfortable and refined
- Lots of standard equipment
- 381bhp PHEV is quick and efficient
If your commute requires you to cart around a lot of people, then the posh Audi Q7 will do it with space to spare. The interior is plush and comfortable with plenty of standard and optional equipment on offer.
It’s not the most dynamic to drive, but that hardly matters for a big SUV. You do get tons of luggage space, especially with the third row of seats folded down, and the infotainment system is one of the best.
6. Skoda Superb Estate
- Enormous passenger and boot space
- Well priced
- Decent standard spec
- Comfortable to drive
In terms of practicality, you can’t go wrong with an estate car, and one of the most spacious and practical models around is the Skoda Superb Estate. It offers class-leading levels of passenger and boot space and can be had with plenty of options.
The diesels offer up to 57mpg, while the Plug-in hybrid is good for 234mpg if you factor in its 42 miles of all-electric range.
7. BMW X3
- Engaging driving experience
- Spacious interior
- Decent 550 litres of boot space
- Up to 314mpg with PHEV model
The BMW X3 is the sporty option in the premium mid-sized SUV class. It doesn’t compromise on practicality or ride quality either, making it ideal for long commutes. The infotainment system is also great.
You’ll want to avoid the more powerful petrol models to help keep fuel bills in check. Some of the standard equipment on the X3 is also a bit mean at this price point, but that said you still get a lot of car for the money.
8. Citroen C5 Aircross
- 580-litres of boot space
- Frugal diesel offers 61mpg
- Funky design
This crossover is stylish and comfortable to drive with a huge boot that offers between 580 and 720 litres of space thanks to adjustable rear seats. Taller adults may feel a bit cramped in the back, but that’s not unusual in this size of car.
Both petrol and diesel engines are frugal, although for longer trips you’ll want the torquier diesel.
9. BMW 5 Series
- Stunning interior
- Enjoyable to drive
- Very spacious with a decent 530-litre boot
- Plug-in hybrid offers up to 201.8mpg
The BMW 5 Series is a superb family car with space and style to spare. The infotainment system is one of the best around and the sharp driving experience gives it a sporty edge over its rivals. The ride can be a bit firm over bumps but it is quiet and refined on the motorway.
The diesels are the economy champs but the thirsty V8 petrol provides sportscar-rivalling pace. The Touring (estate) version offers additional luggage space without compromising on the sharp dynamics.
10. Toyota Yaris Hybrid
- Very efficient hybrid engine
- Low running costs
- Decent standard equipment
- Comfortable on longer trips (just avoid the larger wheels)
You may wonder why a small hatchback would be a good commuter car, but the Toyota Yaris Hybrid offers 69mpg from its efficient petrol-hybrid engine, has lots of standard equipment (including cruise control) and has enough power to keep up with both city and motorway traffic.
It’s not the most spacious in the rear and the ride can get firm on larger wheels, but it’s perfect for two adults and is great fun on a back road too.
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