• By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 1 of 10
    The 10 Best Commuter Cars
    Statisticians point out that Americans are enduring longer commutes every year. On average, it takes us more than 25 minutes – each way – to get to work every day.

    And since the bulk of American commuters drive into work today – whether alone or in a carpool – that's a lot of time to be cooped up inside of a car. More than 200 hours a year, on average. That's the cumulative equivalent of around 8.3 days sitting inside of a car commuting to or from the office every year.

    Now that we've scared you with those facts, isn't it time to consider a new car for commuting? Keeping several key points in mind, we canvassed the entire industry to pick out 10 new cars that we think make great commuter cars. Presented in the following slides - in no particular order - are 10 vehicles we think meet all of the following criteria:

    Value. Sure, you could opt for a cheap beater, but is that really a great way to spend 8-plus days of the year? You wouldn't choose to stay in a roach motel for 8 nights, would you? With that in mind, we looked at relatively inexpensive new cars – those under $30,000.

    Fuel efficiency. Who wants to spend $100 in gas every week just getting to work? All of these cars are among the most fuel thrifty in their respective segments.

    Comfort. If you're going to spend an hour a day behind the wheel of something, it ought to be comfortable. That means its interior needs to be well-designed, roomy and nicely appointed.

    Fun. Everyone has a different definition of fun, so we looked at cars that will maximize smiles as much as possible. For some drivers, fun is passing gas stations and watching an mpg figure climb. For others, it's about steering precision and chassis balance. 

    Some photos by Mark Elias and Andrew Ganz.

  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 2 of 10
    10. Mazda Mazda3
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 3 of 10
    9. Hyundai Veloster
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 4 of 10
    8. Toyota Prius
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 5 of 10
    6. Chevrolet Cruze Turbo Diesel
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 6 of 10
    5. Subaru Impreza
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 7 of 10
    4. Fiat 500
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 8 of 10
    3. Volkswagen Passat TDI
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 9 of 10
    2. Chevrolet Spark
  • By Andrew Ganz
    Slide 10 of 10
    1. Nissan Leaf