Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A white 2021 Chevy Tahoe is shown driving off-road after visiting a used Chevy dealership.

Finding the Best Used Car For Your Commute

The daily grind of commuting might be a drag, but if you have a dependable used automobile, the experience can improve significantly. However, finding the right car for you can be challenging, with so many to choose from. When making your choice, it’s good to know some key things to look for that can increase your new-to-you car’s longevity, as well as which used Chevy dealership you can rely on to support you through your purchase and beyond.

The truth is that over the past few years, a number of different vehicles have established themselves as reliable options for use for regular commutes, though what you find useful in a vehicle might not be the same as what someone else is looking for. Still, some constants remain for most situations.

What to Search for When Buying a Used Automobile

Before we go into specific makes and models of automobiles, let’s begin with some general pointers on what to search for when purchasing a pre-owned vehicle:

Low Mileage: Generally, a car with fewer miles driven will have had less deterioration over its lifetime. You should look for used cars with mileage that is significantly lower than the market average of 12,000 miles per year.

Service Records: It is helpful to have a complete service history. It demonstrates whether the previous owner took care of the vehicle and kept up with the required maintenance or not.

Vehicle History Report: Many dealerships will offer you a free report that details the vehicle’s history, such as one from Carfax. This information lets you know if the vehicle was involved in an accident or has title problems. A vehicle history report is crucial as it highlights things you can’t easily see.

Brands That Can Be Trusted: Certain automakers have earned a reputation in the industry for creating reliable automobiles. Reliability is a trait commonly associated with certain brands, including Toyota, Honda, and Chevrolet.

A white 2021 Toyota Camry is shown parked on the side of a street.

The Most Dependable Pre-Owned Automobiles for Commutes

Dependability and low repair costs are two things to consider when looking for a vehicle to assist you during your commute. After all, a vehicle that spends most of its time at the mechanic isn’t much help in getting you to work. You gain confidence and decrease stress when you know you can easily and safely get from point A to point B.

Toyota Camry

There are several convincing reasons why the Toyota Camry is regarded as a top decision for people who spend a significant amount of time on the road, especially regarding fuel efficiency. Whether you choose the traditional gas-powered engine of the Camry or a hybrid, you’ll be sure to save money with fewer trips to the gas station. In addition, reliability is a trait that has helped the Toyota Camry earn a solid reputation during the course of its production. This proven track record of dependability, in addition to its low maintenance cost, makes it an attractive option for many. Plus, the Toyota Camry offers a good amount of leg and headroom, as well as premium cushioned seating throughout.

Safety is another factor that commuters focus on when purchasing a used vehicle. The Camry consistently places near the top of its class in safety. It was designed with many innovative safety features in mind. These features include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automated emergency braking, and a number of others depending on the model year and trim. In addition, many models have received a high safety rating from organizations such as the IIHS and the NHTSA.

The Toyota Camry comes standard with user-friendly infotainment systems and controls. During your commute, you can stay connected to the outside world or enjoy entertainment thanks to features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Commuters also appreciate the Camry’s generous trunk, allowing them to haul things they need, such as items for work, gym bags, or groceries.

The Toyota Camry provides a ride that is well-balanced and composed, which is good for drivers whose commute is lengthy. It also has good handling, which makes driving on the highway a delight and ensures that you will arrive at your destination safely and with ease.

Honda CRV

If you’d rather drive an SUV for your commute, taking advantage of better sight lines, the CRV is an excellent option. Although the SUV is considered a compact SUV, it is still a consistent choice among many commuters. One common reason drivers give for choosing the CRV is its fuel efficiency and the number of engine choices, including a nimble four-cylinder engine and a hybrid version. These options allow you to travel for extended lengths without having to stop for fuel, which will save you both time and money.

Additionally, the interior of the CRV was developed with the commuter in mind. It is roomy, with sufficient space for the driver as well as the passengers in terms of legroom and headroom. You’ll also find that long commutes won’t be as uncomfortable thanks to supportive seats and a cabin that feels upscale thanks to the high-quality materials used throughout. You can easily converse with your passengers thanks to Honda’s focus on reduced road noise and a calmer, quieter interior.

When compared to other vehicles of its class, the Honda CR-V impresses with its amount of available cargo capacity. You can easily lower the rear seats down to create a level surface, allowing you to transport heavy objects without any difficulty. In addition, with its low lift-over height and the broad rear hatch, loading and unloading the vehicle is quick and easy.

Like Toyota, safety is one of Honda’s top priorities. As a result, the CR-V comes standard with many cutting-edge safety features, including collision mitigation braking, adaptive cruise control, and lane-keeping assist, among other features. These features not only improve safety but also lessen the stress that is often involved with driving to and from work each day. Also, like Toyota, Honda is dedicated to keeping you entertained and connected during your commute with a simple and straightforward infotainment center that connects seamlessly to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

One advantage the CR-V has over the Camry is its available all-wheel drive. This will be welcome if your daily commute takes you through areas with varying terrain or places prone to inclement weather.

A gray2022 Honda CR-V Hybrid is shown parked near a building.

Chevy Tahoe

While you might not expect to see a larger SUV on the list of viable options for a used commuter vehicle, the Tahoe has a lot of advantages. One of these is its low maintenance. Consumer Reports listed it as having one of the lowest annual repair costs. In addition, it gives you the best visibility of the cars listed, as well as the most amount of head and legroom, which is essential for your passengers if you’re not the only one along for the commute. High-quality components, comfortable seats, and cutting-edge technology make even your most routine commute feel like a welcome opportunity to unwind and enjoy the ride.

The Tahoe comes standard with a variety of advanced technology features, such as an infotainment system that is simple to use, smartphone connectivity, and optional extras such as the same connectivity to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto that the CRV and Camry offer. In addition, Chevy Assist, Chevy’s collection of driver assist safety features, is among the most extensive collection the automotive industry offers. The Tahoe gives you a full package of innovative safety technologies, including adaptive cruise control, blind-spot alert, lane-keep assist, and automatic emergency braking, among others. This makes the Tahoe an excellent option for families and individuals who place a high priority on safety during the commute.

The Tahoe also gives you peace of mind every day of the year with exceptional all-weather capability. Depending on where you live, this is possibly the most important benefit, as you can get to work and back home with ease with Tahoe’s optional four-wheel drive system and off-road capabilities. You can load the generous cargo space with whatever you need. This is perfect when packing for unexpected weather or when headed to your kid’s soccer practice right after work.

Lastly, the Chevrolet Tahoe comes with a variety of impressive engine options, each of which contributes to the vehicle’s levels of both performance and acceleration. Those who are looking for a commuter vehicle that is capable, comfortable, and can easily handle highway speeds may find this a game-changer.

Even while the Chevrolet Tahoe is most frequently connected with vacations with the family and outings in the outdoors, it may also be an enticing option for commuters. Knowing that you can have both function and fun in one vehicle makes it an appealing choice.

Choose the Right Commuter Vehicle For You

Finding the most dependable used vehicle for your regular commute can have a big impact on the quality of your driving experience as well as the amount of money you save in the long term. Pay close attention to the odometer reading, the maintenance record, and any available vehicle history data while shopping for a secondhand vehicle.

Once you’ve narrowed down a few options, head to your local used car dealership to view your choices in person, ask questions, and learn even more. With the right vehicle choice, your commuter car will last for years.