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Car Advice Needed - Commuter Edition

Do you know what is not on a top ten car list somewhere? The most comfortable, family-friendly, commuters cars.

Currently, I drive an almost 13 year old Mini Cooper S. It’s a John Cooper Works package, so it has racing suspension and tires. It’s fun as hell to drive on twisty roads, but NOT a comfortable commuter. I have a 90 mile daily commute, 88 miles of which are freeway, albeit, grinding Bay Area traffic-hell, freeway driving. Recently, I’ve been spending almost 3 hours in the car, every day. I’m not a happy camper.


I’m trying to get in the family way. I will not be moving closer to work any time soon. I need a vehicle that is comfortable, family-friendly (aka car seat friendly), reliable and gets good gas mileage.

When you type those qualities into the Google machine, the only top ten lists you get is best commuters. Nothing about comfort and family-friendliness.

Now, the one thing going for me is that there is a new commuter rail line that is supposedly coming on line, late spring 2017. If that works out, I anticipate being able to take it 4 days a week ( I’m a teacher, and so some days I have to arrive much earlier or stay much later for various meetings, etc.). In that case, a vehicle getting 36-40 mpg is more attractive, for its other benefits.

I really like the Subaru Crosstrek and the Impreza, but neither are superstars when it comes to mpg. But the AWD, size, and price are very attractive.


Car-minded GTers, what do you think? Leafs and most electric cars are currently out of the question due to mileage limitations or price.

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