back to articles

Publish Date - February 22, 2022

Author: Staci Bailey

Categories:   Tips & Insights For Car Buying    Useful Automotive Information   

11 Must-Have Features to Look for Before Buying a Commuter Car

A commuter car has an important job to do and that’s to get you to your job safely every day. This is the vehicle you’re likely to drive more than any other and it has to be just right. Read on for some important considerations before you buy and features that you should be looking for in your next commuter car.

content article image


A commuter car has an important job to do and that’s to get you to your job safely every day. This is the vehicle you’re likely to drive more than any other and it has to be just right. Read on for some important considerations before you buy and features that you should be looking for in your next commuter car.

1. Reliability

The most important feature of any commuter car is that it must be reliable. This is the vehicle that you depend on to get you to work. It must get you there every day without fail and with no issues. Consider reliability a must have and if the vehicle is not reliable that should be a deal breaker.

If you are buying a brand new vehicle you expect that the car will be reliable and if it isn’t you have a warranty to protect you. To improve the odds that you are buying a reliable used car, look for one that isn’t too old and doesn’t have a lot of miles on it. It’s also a good idea to ask for maintenance records to make sure that the car was well cared for.

2. Affordability

Affordability should be another must have feature. Buying a car beyond your means can have a serious negative impact on your ability to manage your finances and this can put a lot of stress on your shoulders. Before setting out to shop, set a realistic budget that won’t cause you to struggle.

3. Fuel Efficiency

A commuter car is not the kind of vehicle that sits in a garage. It is the car that will be on the road every day putting miles on the odometer and guzzling gasoline. Fuel efficiency is an important feature on a commuter car simply because of how many miles you are likely to put on it. Look for vehicles with great fuel efficiency and save yourself a lot of money every month.

4. Safety Features

Your commuter car will be getting a lot of use and you want to make sure that you are as safe as possible as you drive between home and work. Aside from the basics which all cars have, vehicles now have additional technology to keep people safe and prevent accidents. Features such as collision warning, blind-spot detection, lane departure warning, and a rearview camera can help you avoid collisions.

5. Comfort

Unless you have a ridiculously short commute, you will be spending a lot of time in your commuter car. The vehicle needs to be sufficiently comfortable that it will be a pleasant ride. Try out the seat and check that the headrest and seatbelt don’t interfere with your comfort.

The seat and steering wheel should be adjustable enough that you can set them at the right height and distance for your body. Features such as heated seats and automatic climate control are great to have too. Don’t forget some entertainment. A decent speaker system and a way to play your favorite music can make your drive much more enjoyable.

6. Visibility

If the car has substantial blind spots and areas hidden from view, that’s a sign this is not the right commuter car for you. Visibility is crucial in keeping safe and the car you drive every day needs to offer you a clear line of sight all the way around the vehicle. If a standard shoulder check won’t suffice to let you see what’s around you, it’s time to move on.

7. Handsfree

Having voice activated bluetooth capabilities that link your smartphone to your vehicle can keep you safe while providing entertainment and comfort. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road while you answer calls, listen to texts, and play your favorite music. It’s a clever feature that can make your drive more enjoyable while adding a layer of safety.

8. Comfortable Controls

If the controls for the vehicle are not comfortable and easy to find then you will be distracted by them when you’re out on the road. Pay attention to how the dashboard, steering wheel, and center console are laid out. Consider if you find the controls where you expect them or if things feel out of place.

9. All Wheel Drive

If you live somewhere with cold winters and snow, then all wheel drive is a pretty important feature on your commuter car. Chances are, you will still need to go to work even when it snows. Having all wheel drive capability will help you stay in control of the vehicle, keep you on the road, and decrease the likelihood that you will get stuck in the snow.

10. Automatic Transmission

If you know how to drive a stick shift you know how much fun they can be, but there is a time and place for that kind of drive. Stop and go traffic might not be the best time for a manual transmission. After a long day at work you will probably find your commute more enjoyable with an easy to operate automatic transmission which doesn’t require a whole lot from you.

11. Noise

It’s remarkable how tedious road noise can get over long distances. Automakers invest significant resources on reducing noise and vibration to offer a more enjoyable ride. Make sure that any vehicle you’re considering for your commuter car is quiet enough that it won’t affect your mental well-being with daily use.

A commuter car has an important function and it must be up to the job. When shopping for the right vehicle to take you to work every day, consider your comfort, safety, and preferences. The financial aspect of car ownership is just as important, so be mindful of your budget and how much it will cost you to not only buy, but drive the car too.

Shopping around for the ideal commuter car is important and so is shopping around for the best financing. Get up to four quotes instantly and see how much car you can afford and which features you can splurge on. Find the best commuter car for your budget and maybe you’ll look forward to going to work.