What about the new Honda Insight?
If you want a solid, long-distance commuter that’s comfortable and has good mileage and reliability ratings, check out the 2010 Toyota Corolla. The Honda Insight’s ride quality and seat comfort haven’t won over many of our editors after long drives, though its fuel-efficiency (40/43 mpg city/highway) and reliability ratings are high. Consumer Reports gives the Insight its best predicted reliability rating, Much Better than Average.
The Corolla is roughly the same size as the Insight, and the Toyota’s 34 mpg highway with automatic transmission and 35 mpg rating with manual is respectable for its class. What makes the Corolla a good highway commuter are its comfy seats plus minimal wind and road noise. For reliability, Consumer Reports rates it with its second-best rating, Better than Average.
Not so impressive are the Corolla’s interior quality, design and fun-to-drive factor – as Cars.com editor Kelsey Mays writes in his review.
Note: Stay away from the XRS performance trim level, which loses many of the Corolla’s comfort qualities we like.
If you want to step up in size, a Toyota Camry or Ford Fusion would make great commuter cars for much less coin than their hybrid counterparts. The Camry’s mileage with base four-cylinder and automatic is 32 mpg, manual is 33 mpg, while the Fusion S with automatic is 34 mpg.
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