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2012 Best Commuter Car

The smooth Ford Focus is a great commuter car.
By Mitch McCullough, editor, New Car Test Drive

It's not just your imagination. Traffic is getting worse, according to the federal government's U.S. Transportation Research Board. Difficult commutes through heavy traffic contribute to frustration at work and at home, according to research by ABC News and the Washington Post.

The irritation your commute causes can be exacerbated or reduced by the car you drive every day. Choosing a car that minimizes this irritation can make life easier and more pleasant.

A great commuter car needs to offer smooth acceleration and smooth braking for stop-and-go traffic. It needs to have a smooth ride to insulate the driver from rough, deteriorating freeways and city streets, but the suspension also needs to be sufficiently controlled so it doesn't float around and cause motion sickness. Audio and climate controls need to be easy to operate and not distract the driver's eyes from the road. The driver's seat needs to be comfortable and offer myriad adjustments to allow changing of position. The cabin needs to be convenient, with cup holders for coffee and cubbies for your stuff. Excellent fuel economy is needed to minimize the costs of commuting five days a week.

After driving all the cars available today, we've chosen the 2012 Ford Focus as New Car Test Drive's Best Commuter Car for 2012.

The 2012 Ford Focus is smooth and quiet, gets smart fuel economy and is enjoyable to drive. Its 2.0-liter engine is smooth and responsive. Its suspension is nicely damped to soak up bumps on the morning commute yet sufficiently controlled to encourage spirited driving on weekend jaunts through the countryside. The fabric seats are comfortable, the interior materials are attractive, getting in and out is easy, and the audio and climate controls are simple to operate. In short, everything about the Ford Focus is easy and pleasant. We think the new Ford Focus is the best compact on the market and a superb commuter car.

For more on the Focus, check out our NewCarTestDrive.com 2012 Ford Focus Review.


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