Best Cars for Commuting in the Valley of the Sun
Averaging a commute time of around 26.6 minutes in regularly scorching heat on Phoenix’s highways, commuting in the Valley of the Sun can be a long, hot drag for residents. Because you’ll be spending so much time and money in your car, you’ll want to make sure your regular ride to work is an investment, not some temporary fix or gas-guzzling luxury.
Commuters in Phoenix are going to want to look for four thing in their next car purchase: Comfortable seats, good air-conditioning, good mileage, and a good mpg ratio. Luckily for the city’s commuters, there’s not one, but two top competitors for Phoenix’s highways: Nissan’s Leaf and Toyota’s Prius.
One of the first mass produced electric vehicles wrapped in a sleek design the Leaf is a strong competitor to the renowned Prius, and for good reason.
The Leaf doesn’t rely on fossil fuel energies like petrol or diesel, allowing for continuous cost savings throughout the lifetime of the vehicle. Instead, the Leaf uses an electricity, right from your own home. You plug it into an outlet the same way you charge your phone.
The only downside to freedom from gas stations is the need for electrical charging stations instead. The Leaf has a range maxing out around 107 miles in urban traffic so while you might not want to drive this car across the country on a whim, it’s fine for regular commutes where you know exactly, give or take a mile, how far you’ll be going. In addition to the cost savings from not having to buy gas, you may also have lower insurance premiums. EV owners tend to have lower risk profiles because they’re seen as more responsible and less likely to cause accidents or commit a traffic violation (like speeding).
Because it lacks a number of the moving parts and mechanisms found in gas-powered vehicles, Leaf drivers enjoy a quieter interior, greater reliability, and don’t have to worry about purchasing expensive replacement parts like catalytic converters.
While it’s clear Nissan’s made a fierce EV to rival the Prius, don’t count it out. As one of the earliest hybrid cars, the Prius has been ranked as one of the cleanest and most fuel-efficient cars in the US.
Whereas the Leaf is limited in its range, the Prius’s hybrid abilities allows its engine to use both electric and gasoline to operate. Averaging are 50 mpg, depending on the model, the Prius is an optimal choice for long distance driving or a regular commute. Sure, you’ll still have to occasionally visit a gas station, but your visits will be few and far between. Unlike the Leaf, you also won’t have to wait long to be on the road.
With the Prius, you’ll also get Toyota’s well-known reliability, an extra amount of spaciousness, and a good degree of speed that the Leaf just can’t match.
Whether you’re looking to commute in a Leaf, Prius, or some other vehicle, you’re going to want to check out this guide for commuting. In the race to get to work comfortably and on time, there’s plenty of factors to consider and just as many options to go with.