THe 2012 Chevrolet Volt. Photo by Don Bain

The six most overlooked cars for commuters

Here are six overlooked cars that could make our daily drive better, but generally don't just because they are new, somehow different or don’t fit the image we want.

Though we can’t completely avoid an emotional connection with what we drive, it makes sense to approach buying a car with a little common sense and an open heart.

Consequently, here is our list of cars that deserve a little more consideration, in our humble opinion. Most people spend between 5 and 30 hours per week just commuting to and from work or simply chauffeuring kids about. The car you drive can greatly add to or detract from your overall quality of life.

Chevy Volt
Perhaps the most advanced car on the road for under $40K, the Chevy Volt has failed to sell for reasons beyond comprehension. It is new technology, but seems just like the cars you’re used to. It does not need any new infrastructure and has an unlimited range just like a gasoline car, but it burns the fuel much more efficiently.

At an Chevrolet press dinner last week, Christi Landy, Chevrolet Product Marketing Director for Volt, Sonic and Spark, told the assembly the average Volt owner gets 900 miles between fill-ups, seeing a gas station only once a month.

All you need to charge it is a standard electrical outlet within 12 feet of where you park. One acquaintance told us of a friend who works in areas where no electricity is available for charging. He drives 32 miles to his workplace, unfolds a solar panel on the roof and plugs it into the car, thus gaining enough power during the day to drive back home via clean, free solar energy. If it’s cloudy, he used less than a gallon of gas to get back home and recharge.

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