Best Cars for City Driving
If you live in a major metropolitan area, you probably don’t use your car that much. Actually, you might forget sometimes that you even have one. And why not? They can be impractical in the constantly crazy traffic, a real mother to try and parallel park on already-narrow roads and all that stop-and-go really does wonders for your fuel economy, doesn’t it? Sometimes it just seems like taxis, the subway and other modes of public transportation are the way to go. But maybe that’s because you don’t have the right car for the city.
Believe it or not, there are vehicles out there that can make car-owning in the city a much more agreeable prospect. They’re safe, they’re fuel-efficient and they’ll make you feel pretty cool – even in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a weekday morning.
Honda Fit – $15,975
The Fit is It, the commercial declares. Well, it’s at least a great option for driving in the city. With 20.6 cubic feet of cargo space (and a flat-folding front passenger seat), this is an unexpectedly handy vehicle for a young adult to have around on moving day – and there will be plenty of them in the big city (Mom and Dad are only going to bring their truck once after they get a load of the traffic). With pleasing standard features like air conditioning, power accessories and even a spot to plug in your iPod, plus 28 mpg in the city, the Honda Fit is a well-priced little hatchback.
Mazda3 iTouring AT – $19,550
She’s got a long body, but the Mazda3 gets excellent gas mileage nonetheless – 28 mpg city and a whopping 40 mpg on the highway. While it has surprisingly small cargo space, it makes up for space quantity with a quality 155-horsepower, 2-liter, four-cylinder engine that not only cranks up the fuel efficiency (thanks to Mazda’s new SkyActiv Technology) but is also a real blast to drive. Plus, the sporty Mazda style means you look good while enjoying reliable braking and sure handling.
Ford Fiesta – $13,320
Ford continually releases economy-friendly cars, trucks and SUVs; the Fiesta is among the best choices for city driving, with an estimated 29 mpg automatic and 28 manual. Worldwide the Fiesta has ranked among the most popular cars in the UK and Brazil, while here in the States both the sedan and hatchback have enjoyed solid sales. While it is small and is perhaps best-suited for people on the petite side (unless you want to look like Magilla Gorilla, you comedian), that also means the Fiesta enjoys excellent maneuverability, which comes in particularly handy on narrow, crowded streets and among tight parking spaces. The reasonable price makes it a must-look if you’re shopping for a city car.
Honda Civic – $15,810
Honda has built a reputation for reliable, affordable cars and the Civic is one of the finest examples. It’s wildly popular and for good reason: the Civic is fuel-efficient and safe, ranking consistently among the most driver-friendly vehicles on the road today. All of these attributes make it an attractive car to keep while living in the city. It enjoys the maneuverability of a small car while offering passengers a comfortable, surprisingly roomy cabin. Plus, as of 2011, all Civics are equipped standard with technological goodies like current odometer mileage, current trip mileage and current fuel economy readouts, CD track information display, climate information and steering wheel controls. These Honda Civic parts are pretty outstanding, it goes without saying, for city cruising.
Nissan Versa Sedan SV – $14,870
Nissan makes some beautiful cars; the Versa is no exception. With a fantastic 30 mpg city, Versa also adds substance to its stunning looks. While its other features might be middle-of-the-road, it still handles well and provides its passengers with roomy comfort that they might expect from a larger model. Even for the low base price, Versa comes fortified with a variety of safety features, as well as Intelligent Key (which lets the driver keep the key in his or her pocket while a proximity sensor does the work of unlocking – and also starting – the vehicle), auto-dimming mirror and steering wheel controls for the radio. Like the Civic, the Versa has an auxiliary jack for easy iPod or other mp3 player connectivity.
About the Author: Paul Miller is a contributing writer and city-dweller. Owning a Honda himself, he sometimes needs to track down OEM Honda civic parts for his urban car.