Car Buyer Labs

Car Buying Advice, Tips, and Reviews

A red 2020 Chevy Sonic Hatchback is parked in front of a modern home.

Top 5 Chevy Commuters

If you are looking for the perfect vehicle to commute to work every day, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand that commuting doesn’t just mean finding the car that has the best gas mileage. Comfort and entertainment features play a role as well because no one wants to sit in an uncomfortable car for an hour twice a day, listening to radio commercials or static. The best commuter vehicles are ones that are enjoyable to drive and have a high fuel economy. So, if you are about to head to your local Chevy dealer to pick up a new set of wheels, take this list of the top 5 Chevy commuters with you!

#5 – 2020 Chevrolet Sonic

As a compact car, you may be surprised to see the 2020 Chevy Sonic in fifth place on our list. This is a great example to show that size isn’t the only thing that matters. Available in three trim levels and two body styles, this five-seater still makes a very good commuter car, though.

Resting under the hood is a turbocharged 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine that is paired with a 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive. Producing 138 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque, this petite model has an average fuel economy estimated at 30 mpg combined (26 city/34 highway). You probably already guessed that the city gas mileage is the reason why this vehicle is in the fifth spot.

The base LS model is the economical version. Riding on 15-inch steel wheels, it comes with LED daytime running lights, automatic headlamps, manual windows, and manually-adjustable side mirrors. However, it does has remote locks and a few cool tech features inside the cabin.

A rearview camera has been installed, and the video feed is displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen that doubles as the infotainment interface. Featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Bluetooth, OnStar telematics, and a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot, this model has plenty of advanced features to keep you occupied. Other features include dual USB ports, a 4-speaker sound system, and a tilt-and-telescoping steering column.

The mid-level LT gets larger 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows, heated/power-adjustable side mirrors, satellite radio, two more speakers, and a slew of safety features. These include rear parking sensors, forward collision alert, and lane-departure warning. Lastly, the top-tier Premier model gets larger 17-inch wheels, faux leather upholstery, and keyless entry. We recommend either the 2020 Chevy Sonic LT or Premier as the best commuter options due to their advanced safety systems.

#4 – 2020 Chevrolet Malibu

If you are searching for a commuter car with a bit more room, then the 2020 Chevy Malibu is a solid choice. This mid-size sedan has spacious seating for five people, and it gets even better gas mileage than the compact Sonic. Every Malibu trim level (except the Premier) is equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and FWD. Generating 160 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque, this sedan gets about 32 mpg combined (29 city/36 highway).

Although the new Malibu is available in five trims, we will only discuss the first four since the Premier uses a separate powertrain that isn’t so friendly towards commuters. The base L trim comes with air conditioning, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, keyless entry/ignition, and smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Next, the LS version adds features such as a 4G LT Wifi hotspot, and noise-reducing glass. The sporty RS model comes with some cosmetic changes, including a unique grille and rear spoiler. However, the cabin only gets convenience upgrades, such as power-adjustable seating. The final trim on our list, the LT, includes heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, rear air vents, and satellite radio. We recommend the 2020 Chevy Malibu LS for the quiet cabin and internet connection.

A dark blue 2020 Chevy Equinox from a local Chevy dealer is driving on a snow-covered road.

#3 – 2020 Chevrolet Equinox

Are you surprised to see an SUV on our commuter list? We were! The new Chevy Equinox gets stellar gas mileage, and it is perfect for people who enjoy carpooling. Although this compact crossover has two powertrain options that you can choose from, we are only going to discuss the economical one.

The powertrain that you should get if you’re looking for a commuter vehicle is the standard 1.5-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. With its 6-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive, this motor pumps out 170 hp and 203 lb-ft of torque. It also has an incredible fuel economy set at 32 mpg combined (29 city/36 highway).

Available in four trim levels, the base L model includes LED daytime running lights, heated side mirrors, and keyless ignition/entry. Inside the cabin, you will find plenty of advanced technology, including Bluetooth, OnStar, a 4G LTE Wifi hotspot, a 6-speaker sound system, and compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It even comes with some amazing safety systems, including pedestrian detection, emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-departure mitigation, forward collision warning, automatic high beams, and a rearview camera.

Next, the LS trim adds rear privacy glass, and the LT gets a few upgrades, including xenon headlights and satellite radio. Finally, the top-tier Premier comes with LED exterior lighting, a hands-free liftgate, and a wireless charging pad. We recommend the 2020 Chevy Equinox L due to the economical price and the plethora of advanced features.

#2 – 2020 Chevrolet Spark

The last gasoline-powered model on our list is the 2020 Chevrolet Spark. This compact car is quite impressive. With seating for five people, it’s the ideal commuter car if you’re not ready to spring for an electric vehicle. Each model is powered by a peppy 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine coupled with front-wheel drive and your choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Only pushing out 98 hp and 94 lb-ft of torque, this petite motor gets about 33 mpg combined (30 city/38 highway).

Available in four trim levels, the base LS model comes with air conditioning and an advanced infotainment interface. Displayed on a 7-inch touchscreen, it is the same system that comes with the Chevy Sonic models. Out of all of the vehicles we’ve mentioned so far, the Spark is the most economical.

Next, the 1LT comes with full power accessories, a 6-speaker sound system, and cruise control. Foglamps have also been added for enhanced visibility. Then, the Activ is the sporty version, and it features faux leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, roof rails, and a raised suspension. Lastly, the 2LT also gets faux leather upholstery and heated seats, but it comes with rear parking sensors, push-button start technology, and chrome accents. We recommend the 2020 Chevy Spark 2LT for its added safety systems.

A gray 2020 Chevy Bolt EV is parked on a beach at sunset.

#1 – 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV

In the top position on our best commuter cars list is the 2020 Chevy Bolt EV. This fully electric vehicle is very impressive. As a five-seater, it uses an electric motor powered by a 66-kWh battery pack to get around. Equipped with a single-speed transmission, it generates 200 hp and 266 lb-ft of torque. With a driving range of 259 miles per charge, that puts the gas mileage equivalent at 127 city/108 highway.

The Bolt is only available in two trim levels. The base is known as the LT. It comes with push-button start technology and a large 10.2-inch touchscreen for the infotainment system. This interface keeps its compatibility with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and it also serves as the video feed for the rearview camera. The higher Premier trim includes standard heated seats for both rows, a standard automatic heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, a rearview camera mirror, chrome accents, and a 360° camera parking system. We recommend the 2020 Chevrolet Bolt EV Premier due to the safety and comfort features.

Find a Chevy Commuter

Did any of those vehicles spark your interest? If you want to try one out, get in touch with your local Chevrolet dealer. You can take it out for a spin to see how it really feels!