So you’ve landed your dream job, but it’s quite a hike from your home, especially considering you will be traveling there with the rest of the world in highway traffic. Or maybe you have been commuting by automobile for a while now, but would like to find a way to make your journey more comfortable and secure. According to Marketplace.org, three-quarters of America’s commuter population travel to work alone via car, which means the demand is high for vehicles that can not only withstand a lengthy commute, but make it more tolerable for the individual commuting as well. Below are some important features to consider when you are shopping for an ideal car for your commute:
1) Low gas mileage.
Since you will be filling your gas tank often, you will want to find a car that gives you the most miles for your dollar. Another benefit of cars with good gas mileage is that many of them are less expensive, more compact and better for the environment as well.
2) Automatic transmissions.
Cars with standard features are more ideal for sitting in traffic, since clutches can be difficult to deal with and a lot to focus on when your trip involves a lot stopping and starting. Manual transmissions can enhance the joy of driving for some people, but when you are barely moving there isn’t much of an opportunity to take advantage of this.
3) Clear Visibility.
When you are dealing with merging and changing lanes in congested highways on a daily basis, blind spots can be the enemy. When test driving the car you are purchasing be sure that you feel visually comfortable from all angles, and that there are easily adjustable seats, side view and rearview mirrors.
4) Hands-Free Bluetooth Car Speakerphones.
Being able to catch up with loved ones on your commute will make your journey go by much faster. Many cars today have Bluetooth features built in, or there are kits you can purchase. Many Bluetooth kits also allow for better stereo sound, and other features such as speech-to-text. Having the Bluetooth mounted to the steering wheel makes it even less likely to take away from the quality of your driving.
5) Efficient Cup Holders and Storage.
Spilling your coffee all over your car seats and yourself is never a pleasant way to start the day. Make sure your vehicle’s cup holders are the right size and easy to reach. Also, if you pay tolls and/or parking fees, you will want a compartment that stores loose change in an organized manner, to save you the stress of scrambling to pull together quarters early in the morning.
For recommendations on current car models for commuting, check out the Forbes.com article The Best Cars for Commuters 2015. They recommend cars based on types of commutes (short, long, winter, summer) and some of the models mentioned were Toyota Prius, Subaru Impreza Premium and Lexus RX450h.
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