13 Of The Best Commuter Cars for Every Budget

13 Of The Best Commuter Cars for Every Budget


The average Brit spends between 100 and 130 hours per year commuting to work. For those who drive, this can mean the equivalent of over 6 days a year cooped up inside your car, not including any time spent on the weekends! 

This time alone it’s vital that if you have a long-distance commute, you select a car that makes the drive easier and more comfortable instead of harder.  

We’ve compiled a varied list of the best commuter cars available in the UK. Whatever your budget, we’ve got you covered. 

Best Car for Long Commutes - over 100 miles 

The qualities that help make long commutes easy include quietness, refinement and comfort.  A noisy hard-riding car will add to your tiredness remarkably after a long day in the office.  

Mercedes C-Class 

Commonly regarded as a class leader in modern stylish refinement, the C-class is one of the first cars that comes to mind when long-distance driving is required.  

Fitted with all the latest safety and convenience tech, both the interior silence and electronic aids will contribute to a relaxing journey both to and from work. 

Volkswagen Passat

Slightly more modest than a Mercedes, but just as comfortable, the VW Passat is a mainstay of company car fleets, in equal parts due to its reliability and comfort.  

If you’re in need of a commuter car that can do a tip run or transport the dog to the park on the weekend, the Passat Estate is a great option. There is a selection of engines from 2.0 diesel, 2.0 petrol and hybrid options, all with excellent reliability.  

Volvo S60

Volvos are well known for their practicality and safety but are also extremely comfortable and refined. The S60 is the perfect choice for commuting, as it affords a longer wheelbase for motorway stability, as well as great tech and economy stats.  

The S60 is available in a range of economical diesel versions, frugal petrol and also the sporty T5 version, for more power and slightly less comfort! 

Best Cars for a Short Commute

A commute of 10 miles or so sounds like a simple task, but the wrong car can still increase the stress and fatigue of doing so, especially through city or town traffic. 

Ford Focus 1.5 Petrol EcoBoost 

Diesel cars are not best suited to short journeys, mainly because they can cause DPF issues. The petrol 1.5 Ecoboost Ford Focus is a car luxurious enough to be comfortable, but compact and efficient enough to drive shorter distances, through towns and cities.  

Over 50MPG can be achieved by the turbocharged petrol engine, and with petrol prices as high as they are, any extra efficiency can save quite a bit of cash over a year of driving. 

Seat Leon

A similar size to the Focus mentioned above, the Seat Leon is a solid option for city driving and short commutes in the medium-sized car sector. With similar underpinnings as the VW Golf, but usually with more equipment as standard, the Leon is a reliable and comfortable all-rounder.  

Select the petrol engines for short commutes, both the 1.5TSI and 2.0 Turbo engined cars are good options, with the latter having a little more power - useful if you have motorway driving on your commute. 

Most Reliable Cars for Daily Use 

It doesn't matter if your car is very comfortable, economical or fast, if it costs a fortune to maintain and fix, then it’s not worth it. That’s why reliability is so important when choosing a commuter car. 

Toyota Prius

Revolutionary when it was launched, and still the first name in hybrid vehicles. The Prius uses tried and tested petrol-electric drivetrains that offer excellent MPG and reliability as a solid commuter car built for daily use.  

Not only is the hybrid system great for efficiency, but the electric motor and automatic transmission mean it’s very quiet and easy to drive, especially in stop-start traffic. 

Honda Civic - 1.8 Petrol 

Honda has a great reputation for building ultra-reliable petrol-engined cars, the Civic is the perfect mix of comfort, practicality and ease of ownership. With the parts being reasonably priced, and the reliability being top-notch.  

The 1.8 petrol engine is a great choice for both reliability and economy as a commuter car. It won’t beat a Prius but will be much cheaper to buy and less complex to maintain.  

Most Comfortable Commuter Cars 

If comfort is your top priority, these cars are the ones to go for.  

Lexus IS

Famously called the Japanese Mercedes, Lexus’ reputation for high-quality, premium cars is legendary. The IS generation from 2013 offers excellent gadgetry and entertainment options, including adaptive cruise control, heated and cooled seats and more. All these extras add up to an extremely comfortable commute. 

The petrol options come paired with a hybrid system adapted from the Prius. The Toyota build quality is present throughout the whole car, meaning you’re unlikely to be facing constant repair bills. 

BMW 5 Series

Slightly larger than the Lexus IS, the 5 series is an executive saloon (or estate) that will transport you from home to the office in extreme comfort and refinement.  

Whilst the larger size makes the BMW slightly harder to manoeuvre in the city, it will be more stable and refined on the motorway and at high speed, in part due to the 5 Series complex multi-link suspension. 

BMW S Class 

The S Class is the top-of-the-line Mercedes saloon, a direct rival to the BMW 5 and 7 series, it offers whisper-quiet commuting and plush interior comfort. With various driver aids and systems too an S-Class would make the drive to work the best part of your day! 

The range of engine options is not exactly tailored to fuel economy, with Mercedes offering a whopping 6.0 V8 or even larger V12 engine. Both however offer explosive acceleration and performance. 

Cheap Commuter Cars 

Lexus GS300 

Whilst a new Lexus will cost a pretty penny, the older models still offer great comfort and even better value for money. The GS300 is a mid-large size saloon, with 5 seats and a 3.0 V6 engine.  

Older Lexus GS300 models 2005-2010 can be bought for as little as £5,000, making them a great budget commuter car. You’ll struggle to find one with a poor service history too. It seems Lexus buyers tend to keep their cars well looked after. The GS has some modern features such as cooled seats, auto-adjusting steering wheel and keyless entry.  

Ford Fiesta

For a no-nonsense A-B budget commuter car, the Fiesta is a prime choice, having been made for over 30 years, the formula has been perfected to the current cars we have today. Economical, reasonably comfortable and very safe, the Mk8 Fiesta (2017-2023) is a great choice for someone not need a large vehicle.  

Having gained a reputation for unreliability, the 1.0 EcoBoost engines would not be our choice, instead opt for the 1.5 EcoBoost, with its steel timing chain rather than the ‘wet’ belt of the 1.0. 

Mazda 2

An even smaller back-to-basics commuter car is the Mazda 2. These small cars have garnered a great reputation for reliability and longevity, with the 1.3 petrol engine being the best choice.  

They come relatively well equipped with electric windows, air conditioning and alloy wheels, and are exceedingly easy to park and manoeuvre in the city. The 5-door option can accommodate 4 adults for short journeys if needed. 

Keep your commuter car in tip-top condition with Bumper. Split the cost into interest-free monthly payments at 1000s of garages and dealerships. 

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