a guide to the best cars for city driving
There are certain cars which are much more suitable for city driving than others. How well-suited a car you select for city driving will be is an important factor in whether it is the best or worst option.
On this list are several different types of cars, each suited to different needs and preferences to help you choose what works best for you.
What car is best for city driving?
All cars were not created equal; some are better suited to city driving than others. City drivers have different needs from those doing long motorway drives, so they need a car that's good in very different ways.
A smaller, fuel-efficient vehicle would be great for someone who spends most of their time on crowded city streets and doesn't want to pay high petrol prices every week. In contrast, a larger car might be better if you drive through wide-open spaces or spend a lot of time going off the grid. If you're stuck in traffic and need to get around quickly, a smaller car will be hard to manoeuvre.
Alternatively, if the only place you drive is a motorway, there's no point in buying an expensive petrol-sipper that can't keep up with the flow of traffic. This means that large cars like SUVs and trucks are generally not ideal for everyday city driving.
Another thing to consider when buying a car for city use is safety features such as side airbags or rear view cameras . If you end up spending most of your time in bumper-to-bumper traffic jams where everyone has to try and fit into the same lane, these might be necessities rather than options.
What is the best city car?
- Smart Fortwo - This small convertible two-seater may not appeal to many people's tastes, but if space efficiency is your top priority then take a look at the Smart Fortwo . The Smart Fortwo can seat up to 2 adults with no problem, and the boot space can fit about 3 large suitcases with room to spare. While this might not be enough for some families, it works well for the city dwelling single person or couple that doesn't have many items they need to store in their car and want access to a convertible during the nice weather months.
- Toyota Yaris - If you're looking for a small hatchback that's not as unique as the Smart Fortwo, you might want to check out the Toyota Yaris . The Yaris is affordable and has a great fuel economy (34 city/40 motorway). It can seat up to 5 people and has more than 10 cubic feet of storage space. This is about average for cars in its class, but still enough room for many items you might need with you on a daily basis.
- Volkswagen Golf - Looking for an upgrade from your current car or something larger? Consider taking a look at the Volkswagen Golf, which falls into the compact class of cars. Many new golfs have some pretty great specs- it comes with a 1.8 litre engine that gives off 170 horsepower and can seat up to 5 comfortably. The boot space comes in at a medium-size 13 cubic feet, which is pretty impressive considering the compact size of this car.
- Mercedes Benz GLK 350 - For those who want an SUV but don't need all the tall height and large size that typically come with them, check out the Mercedes Benz GLK350 . It has plenty of power (its engine generates 302 horsepower), but is still small enough to fit into parking spaces and manoeuvre through traffic conveniently. It also seats 5 people comfortably and gives you about 16 cubic feet of storage.
- Jeep Wrangler - This car is great for the solo off-roader or for a small family who wants something they can take on outdoor adventures as well as drive through the city. The Jeep Wrangler is a compact SUV, but also comes in very small 2-door models that can seat up to 3 people. It has a huge amount of storage space (about 30 cubic feet) and comes standard with many off-road features such as four-wheel drive and an impressive suspension system.
- Ford Focus - If you're looking for something more affordable than some of the other cars on this list, consider checking out the Ford Focus . This car is great for those who don't have a large family or need a ton of storage space because it only seats 5 people comfortably and has about 15 cubic feet of boot space. It's also really safe so you can feel comfortable packing it full of kids on the way to football practice.
Which is the best city SUV?
This all depends on how you use your car. For example, if you have a family and spend a lot of time transporting kids to school or activities, an SUV would be a better choice because it can accommodate everyone comfortably. An SUV is also good for off-road driving in the countryside, but this may not be necessary unless you plan on going camping regularly.
SUVs (sport utility vehicles) are built differently than normal sedans and similar cars because their main purpose is to provide driving ease in various conditions. If you find yourself driving along dirt roads or up steep hills often, then owning an SUV might make sense.
When it comes to driving an SUV in the city, they tend to get better gas mileage than other cars in their class so you won't necessarily sacrifice fuel economy when choosing an SUV over another vehicle. The biggest downside of SUVs comes down to safety, since you can be seriously injured if there's a collision.
Is city driving bad for diesel engines?
One common concern for those who live in cities is whether or not constant idling and stop-and-start traffic can cause damage to a diesel engine. The long and short of it is that it makes little difference whether you're driving through New York, Paris, Rome, Berlin, or any other city. Your diesel engine will be fine if you follow the scheduled maintenance guidelines.
In the UK, diesel engines are more common than petrol, largely due to the lower price-per-litre of diesel fuel. This is because diesel engines have a higher energy density and therefore produce more power from a given volume. In other words, a gallon of diesel will go further than a gallon of unleaded. This lower cost can sometimes make it difficult to justify replacing your engine for something newer, which would save you money in the long run.
Diesel is bad for stop-start driving because it's difficult to get diesel to evaporate in cold weather. This means that if your car is idling for long periods of time, you will be using more fuel than necessary.
What car is best for daily use?
This depends a bit on where you usually drive. If you drive your car in London, for example, you'll probably be aware of how congested certain areas are. A good city car will make it easier to beat traffic and get where you need to go without wasting fuel or wearing out expensive tires.
A small, economical car is generally considered the best choice for city use. This means that many people buy models like the Vauxhall Corsa because they are affordable and have great fuel economy (20-30 mpg). They are also easy to park in tight spaces and can seat up to 5 comfortably. Another option would be a diesel engine since they offer great fuel efficiency while still having the power to accelerate out of difficult situations.
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