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szeis4cookie (Forum Supporter)
szeis4cookie (Forum Supporter) Dork
1/20/22 8:59 a.m.

I own a CT 200h, it's a good car but not something I would be into for a long highway commute four days a week. Just too loud and drone-y on the highway. I'm in the Bolt camp here. 

adam525i
adam525i GRM+ Memberand Dork
1/20/22 10:01 a.m.

As someone that loves cruise control, if I were doing that sort of mileage everyday I think a radar cruise would be a requirement. I'm not sure why people can't maintain a steady speed but that is the reality, if you cant beat them, join them and the let the car deal with that annoyance. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/20/22 10:15 a.m.
MrChaos said:

Camry Hybrid

Avalon Hybrid

Rav4 Hybrid

Maverick Hybrid

My commute is 80 miles round trip but I am now only doing it 2-3 times a week so I have my Gladiator Diesel.

I did 20k miles in my fit last year. These are the droids you're looking for.

My favorite commmuter car was my base model automatic 2016 mazda 6. put it in drive and dont care about traffic or anything else.

Pick something where comfort is king if you're going to spend 12+ hours a week driving it, and it better get more than 40 MPG with a 600 mile weekly commute. 

spacecadet (Forum Supporter)
spacecadet (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
1/20/22 10:21 a.m.
OHSCrifle said:

It's amazing how driving a small economy car for several years makes you numb to the engine, tire and wind noise. I did it for 2 decades and never gave it a second thought until I took a trip in a friend's Lexus.. and then when I climbed back into my civic I finally realized what I was missing. 
 

Depends on your wallet to pain tolerance ratio. 

Once you spend any time in a Lexus, you understand why people become Lexus people.

My parents have a 2010 RX450h that i got them for a steal through some friends, my mother hated it for the size when they first got it. She borrowed my dads 2009 CR-V EX-L last year for the day and realized how much she had become accustomed to the quietness and level of comfort in the RX because the CR-V was the second nicesest car they'd ever owned to the Lexus.. and it wasn't in the same zip code for her perception.

The ES300H would be a quick pick from my point of view. it's beige and bland.. but it will take on the miles with no care.. and it gets 40 city, 39 hwy and it will just cruise.



 

dannyp84
dannyp84 Reader
1/20/22 10:27 a.m.

Avoid the Lexus CT, surprised anyone recommended that car. Noisy at highway speeds, rides rough, cramped seating. With a commute that long I'd lean more toward comfortable quiet cruisers than cars that are truly a lot of fun to drive. This is not the choice if cheap reliability is your main concern but my friend works on the road out of a diesel Audi A6.. he gets over 40 mpg at 80 mph and that car was quieter and more comfortable at speed than the 2012 E class wagon I drove to Akron recently. 
Because of how impressed with the seats I was on an hour drive, I'd consider a Chrysler 300. Other cars that come to mind: Passat TDI (you can get these with a stick if you're patient), GS350, Infiniti M45 if you don't care about mpg, 5 cylinder Volvo.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody MegaDork
1/20/22 10:38 a.m.

I did that commute for 21 years in everything from an Skoda 120, Rabbit diesel, Pony, various iterations of Suzuki Swift, several compact pickups, and at the end a Canyon 4cyl/5spd.

 A few years back, putting one of those Swifts back on the road I found ear plugs in the glove compartment I used for my commute. I had forgotten about that, but that car was stripped and had no radio. My fast Swift GT was also stripped and revved 4000RPM on the highway. I could probably still do it today but a couple years ago I bought a 16 Forte SX with the 1.6T/6spd manual and it was the nicest car I've ever owned. Comfortable, quiet, great on gas and it could be fun to drive if you wanted. That car's gone, but now I'm spoiled, and don't see a return to base model subcompacts any time soon.

I was regularly in (Toronto area) traffic , never once drove an auto, and don't understand why people think a manual in traffic is a problem. It was never an issue for me. My current commute is about 90 miles/day, all country, zero traffic, only 3 days a week, and I'm doing it in a 4cyl/5spd Colorado while I shop for a replacement for the Forte. I have no problem with the Colorado, but the replacement car will likely be full size-ish, and, unfortunately an auto trans, for the fist time in 40 years.

Bottom line, it really depends on your tolerance level. If it were me I'd look for good value cars because it will get used up by the mileage.

I like the Impala recommendation. 2014+ you have the choice of a 200hp 4 cyl, or 300hp V6, they're not in big demand, so prices are decent. They have above average reliability, and will eat up the miles.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/20/22 10:56 a.m.

In reply to Mr. Peabody :

Funny, I read, "...depending on your tolerance level" to also read, "...depending on your current age."  I know that applies to me.  With more age I want more comfort.  

I'm not sure of the OP's age.  

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody MegaDork
1/20/22 11:07 a.m.

I'll be 60 in 4 days...

But I do still enjoy the simplistic, rough ride, manual trans, almost retro feel of my Colorado

classicJackets (FS)
classicJackets (FS) SuperDork
1/20/22 11:12 a.m.
Mr. Peabody said:

.....

I like the Impala recommendation. 2014+ you have the choice of a 200hp 4 cyl, or 300hp V6, they're not in big demand, so prices are decent. They have above average reliability, and will eat up the miles.

 

I believe the Impala went to LFX/6speed trans in 2012 or 2013, usually distinguished by the Green "Flex-Fuel" badge on the trunk. These are on my short list for commuters - I have seen a few "Fleet spec" 2012/13s with 60k miles for $11k or so. There's a lot of life left there..

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody MegaDork
1/20/22 11:15 a.m.

Correct. I've researched those to death, and likely going to look at a 9C1 next week. If there's anything you want to know about that gen Impala ...

I can buy those for $5k +/- here.

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/20/22 11:15 a.m.

I think it's funny you guys de facto associate big cars with comfort.  I find trying to pilot a typical American-sized boat to be exhausting on anything smaller than an interstate.  Maybe I'm just not old enough yet?  I get so angry when I show up at a car rental counter and get informed that the econobox I reserved has been "upgraded" at no charge to a large sedan, or worse, an SUV.

frenchyd
frenchyd GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
1/20/22 11:22 a.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

I'm going to shock you.  Try a pickup truck with a bench seat.  The newer ones get shockingly decent fuel mileage.  But more than that they are easy on your body.  Oh, not the HD macho stupid high  4x4 diesels etc. but a regular pickup. I just drove 3400 miles in 37 hours and I'm fine in my pickup. 
     I've tried the luxury sedans and sports cars etc. German, American, Japanese.   Too soft a ride and your back is screaming. Too stiff and you wind up tense and muscles sore. 
    Get a regular cab short box to actually live with it ( parking space size )    
You can have a million miles on it and it's still worth a decent amount of money. As long as it's not beat up and rusty. ( so run it through the car wash ).   
    Now why a pickup over all your other choices?  You can really rack up miles and still get out in good shape. The factories know comfort is critical.  Chevy and GMC ( same truck just different trim )  is better than Ford or the imports in that regard. Dodge, just doesn't seem to understand yet. 
     I wouldn't be so quick to forget EV's.  All of the newer ones will go the 150 miles easily.  And if you're working an 8 hour day. 110 volts will charge it back up. 
     Right now you're talking about $30-40 a week  for gasoline but this morning they were talking about $100 a barrel for crude oil.  That should add another dollar or more a gallon to the price of gasoline.   
    You're now passing the cost of the car in gasoline costs alone. Add oil changes and brake work.   Plus maintenance  for about 100,000 miles.  
     The Chevy Bolt will fit your bill. And in all likelihood save you 10's of thousands of dollars over that period. 
   The older Volt will only get you 50 miles on the battery and the gas engine will get you the rest of the way.  ( the early  Volt only got 25 miles on the battery ). 

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/20/22 11:48 a.m.

I'm doing to disagree that an EV is a good option here.  A bolt charges at 4 miles per hour on 110v.  So while your statement that "110 volts will charge it back up," is true, but you'll need 37.5 hours to do it.  240V will charge it fast enough, and the range is adequate, but I think the bigger issue is how fast you're going to destroy a battery with kind of usage.  You're probably going to need to regularly dip into the below 20% or above 80% capacity which is really hard on lithium batteries.  So it'll do it, but for how long?  If you destroy a battery pack in a year, an EV is not going to be affordable.

And you need to do some math to find parity in gas prices with electricity / mile.  The electricity is not free.  Last I looked, the equivalent gasoline price was about $2.60/gallon.  [EDIT: just redid that with current numbers from a model3 and got $1.27/gallon for parity] Most of us with long commutes live in rural areas with expensive electricity--I pay $0.14/kwH.

Not saying that electric isn't a great option for some commutes, but I don't think it is for a commute of this distance yet.

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/20/22 11:48 a.m.

I do about 1000 miles per week. I've been doing it for 6 years. 
 

I can't help you with fuel economy. My company pays for all my fuel, so it is a non-issue for me. Because of that, I drive an F150 Ecoboost. Platinum trim level. 
 

But I do have a couple thoughts on comfort, and wearing things out quickly...

Some of you know how much I loved my 7.3L F250. I don't miss it ONE DAMNED BIT!  I had no idea how badly the noise and ride were beating me up until I got into a nice highway cruiser. Upright seating position, super quiet ride, multi-adjustable seats, decent stereo, retractable running boards, butt warmers, bluetooth phone, nav system... all I can say is you can't have enough luxury when doing a long commute. IT REALLY MATTERS!

Regarding wear and tear... I have decided that flipping from one vehicle to the next to avoid depreciation from wear and tear isn't worth it. My truck has 220K on the odo. It is at the point where depreciation is gonna tear me up. But it's a great running truck in fantastic condition. It has a few issues... I've decided I am gonna take it off the road for a month, drive a rental, and put a few thousand into it to set me up for the next 100,000 miles. With the insane price and the pathetic availability of vehicles right now, the stress of constantly looking for the next ride is too much to want to deal with. I have a clean comfortable ride, I'll spend a few grand on it (which would NEVER buy me much in the car market), and I will drive it into the ground just spinning the odometer around. 
 

As long as the chassis is solid, no rust, and the ride is enjoyable I will be ahead of the game if I keep this one purring. Even if I had to spend $10K - $15K on an entire drivetrain replacement, I'd still be ahead of the game.

That's  a little different spin than what others have said, but it's my $0.02 as a long term road warrior. 

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/20/22 11:53 a.m.
SV reX said:

Regarding wear and tear... I have decided that flipping from one vehicle to the next to avoid depreciation from wear and tear isn't worth it. My truck has 220K on the odo. It is at the point where depreciation is gonna tear me up. But it's a great running truck in fantastic condition. It has a few issues... I've decided I am gonna take it off the road for a month, drive a rental, and put a few thousand into it to set me up for the next 100,000 miles. With the insane price and the pathetic availability of vehicles right now, the stress of constantly looking for the next ride is too much to want to deal with. I have a clean comfortable ride, I'll spend a few grand on it (which would NEVER buy me much in the car market), and I will drive it into the ground just spinning the odometer around. 
 

As long as the chassis is solid, no rust, and the ride is enjoyable I will be ahead of the game if I keep this one purring. Even if I had to spend $10K - $15K on an entire drivetrain replacement, I'd still be ahead of the game.

That's  a little different spin than what others have said, but it's my $0.02 as a long term road warrior. 

 

This all makes a lot of sense. The flipping of cars makes sense on paper, but in reality, it sounds like a ton of work for not much reward. 

I'd personally go with another car instead of the rental, but the prices of used cars right now probably make that impossible (although what are rental rates right now?)

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/20/22 11:54 a.m.

Something else about a bigger vehicle...

When you live on the road, you wanna have stuff with you. In my case it's my mobile office AND I haul tools, but even without that... an overnight bag, a clean suit or change of clothes, some cold and headache medicine, a comfy pillow, a spare blanket, a couple emergency tools... you will end up "setting up" the vehicle to meet your needs, and you won't enjoy it if you cheat yourself on a few inches in the trunk to drive something "fun". 
 

It stops being fun when you aren't able to live out of it. 

SV reX
SV reX MegaDork
1/20/22 12:00 p.m.

In reply to mtn :

That's right!

In my case, I have a really nice cap on the bed of my truck. It's beautiful, but also let's me carry some extra stuff without it being in the weather. 
 

That cap cost me $6K, and took years to set up efficiently (lights, drawers, shelves, tools).   That's a big aggravation to consider every time I flip to another vehicle. 
 

But it's the same for a smaller car. It's really frustrating when I jump in my wife's car and don't have some of the little things with me that I always carry. (Flashlight, highlighter pens, spare business cards, extra tape measures, contact info for my customers...) The list is endless.

Mr. Peabody
Mr. Peabody MegaDork
1/20/22 12:34 p.m.
Wally (Forum Supporter) said:

Get something very comfortable.  I've been doing 160 a day for about 20 years. I had an Escort, Cavalier, Malibu, and now a Buick Verano. The Malibu and Verano were far better places to spend time, riding smoother, having a bit more space, and being quieter with costing much more to operate. The Buick while costing the most initially has been far less expensive to operate. 

Verano and Regal were both available with the 2.0T and 6 spd manual...

Both are on my list, but they're double the price of an Impala

mtn
mtn MegaDork
1/20/22 12:57 p.m.

In reply to SV reX :

When I was in high school and college, I worked as a caddie. I kinda lived out of my car, along with my brothers. We always had a pantry of food in the trunk, baseball mitts, 2-3 golf bags, sometimes a small tv and ninetendo with lawn chairs...

The only time I had a long commute though, it was in a Miata. I had places on either side of the commute I could sleep if need be (bad accident going to make the hour long commute 2 hours? Nah, I'll stay here), so I always kept a hockey stick and skates/helmet/gloves, golf bag, and fishing stuff in the car, not to mention a basic set of tools (though the best and most effective tool was, and still is, a cell phone and credit card). It was amazing how much I ended up using it. When you can't run home in 20 minutes or less to get something, your options are to go without or run to WalMart. It was easier to have some cheap duplicates that just lived in the car.

rodknock
rodknock Reader
1/20/22 1:15 p.m.
STM317 said:

For comfort, reliability, and fuel efficiency:

1) Toyota/Lexus hybrid (The bigger the better)

2) Ford/Lincoln hybrid

For fun to drive:

1) V6 Mustang

2) Focus ST

3) New Caprice (although most will be over 100k miles)

Depending on the commute route, the V6 Mustang and the Focus ST will get decent fuel economy as well. 

AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter)
AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand SuperDork
1/20/22 1:25 p.m.

This commute will be super low traffic.  Over half of it, I will see less than a dozen cars.  Traffic and active driving aids are not an issue.  
 

I do love my truck and driving my truck.  I know it will pull down about 24 mpg over this route.  It'd be at 200k or more miles in 5-7 years but this may make the most sense.  If I mix the Boxster, Camaro and Subaru in the mix, it'll probably be fun.  The MR2 with racing seats might me a once a year thing.  

Berck
Berck New Reader
1/20/22 1:47 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

Man, that commute sounds like a dream.  And if you treat it that way (you obviously like driving, you're here), instead of as a chore to suffer through with a truck, I think you'll be a lot happier.  When I had my long commute during motorcycle weather, friends would want to ride basically my commute on the weekends.  I did all week long without weekend traffic and had no need to do it on weekends.  There were days where the commute was the best part of my day.

Pete. (l33t FS)
Pete. (l33t FS) GRM+ Memberand MegaDork
1/20/22 1:49 p.m.

Liter bike and see if it is true that it is limited to 186mph?

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
1/20/22 1:53 p.m.

In reply to AnthonyGS (Forum Supporter) :

The vehicle you already have can often be your best bet.

It can be hard to buy your way into savings. 

BlueInGreen - Jon
BlueInGreen - Jon UltraDork
1/20/22 2:22 p.m.

In reply to John Welsh :

True, but when you're doing 100+ miles/day there's something to be said for having something disposable in the fleet to pile on the miles, saving a more special car from the wear and tear.

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