Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A family is shown sitting in the rear cargo space of a grey 2021 Chevy Equinox.

7 Pre-Owned Chevy Vehicles Perfect for Commuters

Having a fuel-efficient vehicle makes a big difference in your budget. Whether you drive a lot during your workday or have a long commute, saving money on fuel is a must. Chevy offers a number of options that are fuel-efficient, and we made a list that includes a variety of body styles to suit different tastes. There are also a number of options for pricing, interior space, and features to match with the type of vehicle you may prefer. As an added bonus, all of these vehicles can be purchased at a Certified Pre-Owned Chevy dealer, so you can save on the purchase price as well as save at the pump.

1. Chevy Bolt EV

For the best possible fuel efficiency, the Chevy Bolt EV doesn’t use any fuel at all. Simply plug in the Bolt EV to charge the battery and hit the open road. The Bolt EV is perfect for city driving since the regenerative braking helps recharge the battery in start and stop traffic. Bolt EV models from 2017 through 2019 have a driving range of 238 miles on a single charge, while models starting with the 2020 model year raised the range to 259 miles.

If you already know EV lingo, you may be pleased to learn that the Bolt EV offers DC Fast Charging as well as Level 1 and 2 charging, which offers you options for where you can plug in while you’re on the go. From a three-pronged household outlet to a rapid charge station, the Bolt EV can fuel up almost anywhere. What’s even better, the Bolt EV has good cargo capacity with a 17 cubic foot trunk, and even early models come standard with a large 10.2-inch touchscreen, OnStar, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and numerous safety features.

2. Chevy Colorado

It may come as a surprise to see a truck on a list of fuel-efficient vehicles, but the midsize Chevy Colorado makes a great daily driver if you happen to be a truck lover. The Colorado came onto the market for 2004 as both rear-wheel and four-wheel drive, just as it still does today, and has several cab and bed configurations. In 2015, Chevy revamped the Colorado for its second–and current–generation, though if you buy the Colorado as a Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) model, you will only be able to go back to 2017.

Going back to that year, the Colorado’s standard engine was the 2.4-liter inline-four, which got fuel efficiency as good as 26 MPG highway, while the 3.6-liter V6 could get 25 MPG highway. Chevy also added a diesel engine to the lineup in 2016, which gets up to 30 MPG highway. Even if you have to use the Colorado as your family vehicle, buying the Extended Cab version will give your kids enough space in the rear seat, and you can expect a CPO Colorado to have features like OnStar, WiFi, and Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.

An orange 2020 Chevy Spark is shown leaving a certified pre-owned Chevy dealer.

3. Chevy Spark

If you’re willing to drive a small hatchback, the Chevy Spark has a ton of personality. It comes in several bright colors for those who enjoy being a little flashy, and it gets fantastic fuel efficiency of up to 38 MPG highway. While it is no longer available as a CPO model, there was even an all-electric Spark EV sold from 2014 to 2016. It only had a driving range of 82 miles, but the option is there for those who want it. Even six years ago came loaded with tech like WiFi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto, and could even come with driver-assist systems in upper trims. The Spark only seats four, and it won’t win any races, but as a commuter car, it will help you save a lot on gas.

4. Chevy Trax

When you absolutely have to own an SUV, but you can’t handle the cost of fuel, the Chevy Trax is a good middle ground. Chevy has produced the Trax since 2013, but it wasn’t sold in the US until 2015. A refresh in 2017 updated the design for a more modern aesthetic, and Chevy added LED daytime running lights, driver-assist safety features, and a new infotainment system. Like the other Chevy models listed here, the Trax includes Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and OnStar capability going back to its 2017 refresh and even before. Fuel efficiency is good for the subcompact SUV at up to 33 MPG highway with front-wheel drive, though efficiency drops slightly with the optional all-wheel drive. Seating for five is cozy, but the Trax certainly has enough room for kids in the back and more cargo space than you will find in a sedan.

5. Chevy Malibu

Rather than go budget, you could drive a four-door sedan and have a roomy car that offers a more upscale interior. The Chevy Malibu has a long history that dates all the way back to 1964, but the modern Malibu is sleek and feature-laden to offer a few creature comforts for those long days on the road. In 2016, the Malibu received a complete redesign for its ninth generation, and these are the models you will find at a CPO dealership. Features like Teen Driver, automatic parking assist, and forward collision alert are all part of available amenities found in that model year, and between 2016 and 2018, you could find a Malibu hybrid. With the hybrid, you can get amazing fuel efficiency of up to 46 MPG highway, or you can go with the traditional four-cylinder options and get as good as 36 MPG highway.

A red 2019 Chevy Cruze is shown driving on an empty highway.

6. Chevy Cruze

Even though the Chevy Cruze is no longer in production, it’s a fun compact sporty car that can still be found as a CPO model. You can look for model years between 2017 and 2019, all of which have the same inclusive tech features found in other Chevy vehicles, like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and WiFi. With the new design in 2016, the Cruze got better fuel efficiency that could go as high as 40 MPG highway with its standard gasoline engine or 48 MPG highway with the available diesel engine.

While the Cruze may not be as posh as the Malibu, it has a sportier attitude and driving dynamic. The rear seat can fold for more cargo space if needed, and it can also seat five when you need to squeeze that many passengers into the car. Upper trims could be found with extras like a Bose sound system, leather seats, and wireless charging, even going back to 2017.

7. Chevy Equinox

Despite the Equinox being a larger vehicle than most on this list, it still deserves a place as a Certified Pre-Owned contender for commutes. For drivers who have to manage snowy roads on a regular basis, all-wheel drive and a higher ride height can make those long hours behind the wheel more manageable. The Equinox also offers a very comfortable and quiet cabin with plenty of space in the rear seats and cargo area.

If you go with the standard gasoline engine and all-wheel drive, fuel efficiency can reach up to 30 MPG highway. There was also a diesel option sold in 2018 and 2019, which offered an amazing 38 MPG highway with all-wheel drive. Chevy offers handy features like a hands-free liftgate and built-in navigation for upper trims, but all trims can expect to include electronic traction and stability control to help with managing adverse driving conditions.