Subcompact commute car you’d recommend.

ldi

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Things to consider:
Something simple to work on, Dependable and Reliable, not thirsty and reasonably priced.
It has to be small - parking space limitations in the back of the building in Boston.
What say you - NES brain trust ?
 

fstkmaro

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honda civic and chevy Cruze come to mind. Same with the Ford Focus. Extreme case, I'd say the SMART car. All of these have good reliability and are fairly affordable. Well, maybe not the honda but the others are in their base models. Good luck .
 

M1911

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No cars are simple to work on anymore. The best you can hope for is that they don’t break.

Are you looking for new or used?

In general, Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic. If you need to go smaller, the Honda Fit is a good car, but it is going to be significantly less comfortable.

If it isn’t too big and expensive, a Toyota Camry is a lot nicer car than a Corolla — quieter and more comfortable.
 

50wt

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2010 yaris , 170k . Its the easiest to park with a 2ft long hood, easy on gas ( though the tank is small ), and easy on the wallet. The hatchback is a very useful feature but it does not offer lockable and concealable storage unless you use the tire well.

For a little more money you can get a civic, corolla type with a little more power and features.

Good luck.
 

allen-1

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I had really good luck with a Hyundai Elantra as a commuter car.
Bought it specifically for that purpose, I had two bikes and a truck at the time.
I had ONE mechanical issue with it, an air conditioning vent hose backed up.
I gave it to my son when he needed a car.
200K+ miles and two owners later it's still running fine.
 

atmay

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It’s hard to go wrong with Honda or Toyota, but I drive a ‘17 Nissan Sentra. Little bigger than their true subcompact (the Versa), but she’s done me pretty well this far. My last Nissan was a ‘94 Altima that lasted until 2011.
 

jhagberg88

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Honda Fit with a manual transmission, sounds crazy but those little cars do great in snow. Engine compartment is decent sized for working on as well.
 

Varmint

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Toyota Yaris Hatchback.
My 2010 has 245,00 miles and has been uber reliable!
I would buy another one once this one finally dies.
BTW, it would make an awesome bug out car![smile]

Does it have power steering? We had a 5 door rental Yaris in Curaçao without power steering. It was kind fun to try to keep on the road on the winding roads.
 
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Civcs and Corolla are much larger than they used to be and aren't even the most compact cars of their respective lines. My '13 Corolla would not fit into a compact car space. It's only slightly smaller than a Camry or Accord.

The Honda fit or Yaris are the smaller versions you might be looking for. Both get good reviews. Not a lot of frills, but cheap and good quality.

If you are looking used, the Toyota Echo is a very small car, though most are getting to be pretty old at this point. Some Yaris are available as non-hatchback versions if you prefer having a trunk.

The Scion xA and xD were very nice small hatchbacks, made by Toyota with good reputation for reliability.
 

drgrant

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Bmw. Life’s to short to drive a boring car.
What difference does it make... commuting is horrendous, you basically are burning up a premium car and gas to sit in traffic. I don’t even like commuting with my GS350, so I now have also have a more boring, older, ES to do that with. The fact that it has almost 100hp less matters little when you’re unlikely to exceed the speed limit more than a few short times.... There’s a pretty good chance I will end up replacing it with another ES or maybe even downsize to a Corolla or an Elantra...

Save the nice car for weekends and low impact commuting days. Fact that he posted this tells me that he does not have a short commute... That means a shit box or similar or at least a sedan that will get like 25+ mpg.....
 

1776

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Ford Focus hatchback. Don't forget Mahty's upcoming $10 a day toll. With one of the worst in the nation commuting/congestion ratings and toll gantries going up all over, I wouldn't be surprised to see a $50/day cost of going into Boston.

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drgrant

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I had really good luck with a Hyundai Elantra as a commuter car.
Bought it specifically for that purpose, I had two bikes and a truck at the time.
I had ONE mechanical issue with it, an air conditioning vent hose backed up.
I gave it to my son when he needed a car.
200K+ miles and two owners later it's still running fine.
The old elantras were trash but those things have come a loooing way.... esp in the past few years...
 
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What difference does it make... commuting is horrendous, you basically are burning up a premium car and gas to sit in traffic. I don’t even like commuting with my GS350, so I now have also have a more boring, older, ES to do that with. The fact that it has almost 100hp less matters little when you’re unlikely to exceed the speed limit more than a few short times.... There’s a pretty good chance I will end up replacing it with another ES or maybe even downsize to a Corolla or an Elantra...

Save the nice car for weekends and low impact commuting days. Fact that he posted this tells me that he does not have a short commute... That means a shit box or similar or at least a sedan that will get like 25+ mpg.....

I've had 30 minute to 1-2 hour commutes for the majority of my adult life. I agree with these statements. Especially in Massachusetts, where the state hobby is to accelerate to 75, then slam on the brakes, then speed up again, then slam on the brakes, all the way home on 495, thus resulting in the highway smelling of cooked brakes and brake dust.

You can make commuting more enjoyable and cheaper by: a) buying a motorcycle; or b) using the train. I'm assuming OP doesn't have access to the MBTA or else he would already be taking it. But if OP does, I would suggest running the numbers and figuring out cost of MBTA versus total cost of car + insurance + taxes + gas + maintenance. And the motorcycle isn't for everyone. It's only viable in New England from March-May to November-December. You have to absolutely be on your toes for incompetent cagers - there's a huge number of people out there who don't pay attention while driving and on a motorcycle, you don't have walls of steel/aluminum/plastic around you to protect you. But bikes are cheaper to live with and make commuting fun.
 

mikeboston

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For commuting I would go with a corolla or maybe a civic but I would also consider a Mazda3. Parts are not that expensive too many part manufacturers out there for those two brands. Mazda tends to be reliable but horrible resale which is good for someone looking for used. All depends what you are looking to spend there is a huge difference on the car you get between spending $5k or $11k. I have seen 3 year old corolla S with 30k miles go for $11.5k at dealer. It was CPO and practically new. Another factor the cost of major maintenance it might need add that to the purchase price. I’m sure everyone’s philosophy and budget varies. Nothing exciting commuting to work like drgrant said earlier. I wanted a nicer car to get there now I want a car to get me there and enjoy the nicer car evenings and weekends.
 
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