Back to news

Which cars are ideal for short, medium and long commutes?

Commutes in the UK are ever-increasing, therefore it is essential the ideal car is chosen however long your commute is.

Cars have been selected for a short, medium and long commute, taking into account running costs, comfort of the driver and entertainment.

Short commute 1–10 miles

Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium

The Hyundai i10 1.2 Premium won What Car? City Car of the Year. The i10 is an ideal citycar. It is compact therefore making parking easier, and it drives well on motorways and city roads.

Since the 2015 facelift the build quality has been improved as has driving comfort. Sound is not a problem if a commute involves motorway driving, as wind and road noise is kept to a minimum.

The 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine reaches 0–60mph in just 12.3 seconds and gives 87bhp.

It has low running costs, the 1.2 engine gives 58mpg and emits 114g/km making road tax an affordable £30 and insurance a category four.

Entertainment is provided by the CD player and Bluetooth audio system as well as a phone connection so those important calls aren’t missed while on the commute.


  • Engine: 1.2-litre 87bhp
  • CO2: 114g/km
  • MPG: 58
  • Road tax: £30

Renault Zoe

Renault Zoe

Electric cars offer excellent benefits for a short commute, the Renault Zoe is ideal if the journey is short and involves city roads. The Zoe offers a range of 130 miles and with many city centres and places of work offering charging points it is a perfect alternative to traditional fuel options.

There is no sound from the engine and the seats and suspension are comfortable. If a commute did rely on short spells on the motorway then 0–60mph can be achieved in 13.5 seconds.


  • Engine: 1cc
  • Fuel: Electric
  • CO2: 0
  • MPG: 0
  • Road tax: Free

Additional short commute recommendations: Vauxhall Corsa 1.3 CDTi, Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi and Renault Twingo

Medium commute 10–30 miles

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion

Volkswagen Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion

The seventh generation Volkswagen Golf combines style, quality, performance and refinement that the model has become synonymous with. The BlueMotion model adds fuel efficiency to the mix.

A medium commute requires a vehicle with increased miles per gallon and the Golf 1.6 TDI BlueMotion diesel does not disappoint, with 88.3 mpg and emissions of just 85g/km. These figures mean that road tax is free making it cost efficient too. Fuel wastage is minimised with the addition of start-stop technology.

The entertainment on offer from the Golf is an MP3 player, CD player, iPod connections, USB, aux-in and a five-inch touch screen, so plenty to choose from whatever your generation.

For motorway driving the road and wind noise is kept to a minimum and the inclusion of lane departure warning systems add more selling points.


  • Engine: 1.6-litre 109bhp
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • CO2: 85g/km
  • MPG: 88.3
  • Road tax: Free

Additional medium commute recommendations: Ford Fiesta ST, ŠKODA Fabia and SEAT Leon Ecomotive

Long commute 30+ miles

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Sri

Vauxhall Insignia 2.0 CDTi ecoFLEX Sri

The Vauxhall Insignia is an impressive looking car, if style is an important factor it features a sloping roofline giving a look more akin to a coupé. Additionally it offers a smooth comfortable journey ideal for longer commuting distances, thanks to the adjusted suspension.

The 2.0-litre engine offers plenty of power for motorway driving and gives a combined mpg of 62.8 and emissions of 118g/km, displaying excellent fuel figures for the size of the car.

Entertainment is plenty, with a central console to access the CD player, MP3 player, DMB digital radio and USB connectivity.


  • Engine: 2.0-litre 170bhp
  • Fuel: Diesel
  • CO2: 118g/km
  • MPG: 62.8
  • Road tax: Free

Additional medium commute recommendations: Ford Mondeo, Volkswagen Passat and Peugeot 308

Contact a member of the ACVM team for any other recommendations on cars suitable for a commute.

Return to news