Since 1911, Chevrolet has been leading the way in Detroit automaking. Chevy wasn’t the first to use overhead valves in their engines, but they did use them from the start, setting a standard for efficiency that continues today. When you’re looking for an everyday car, you want the perfect combination of efficiency and practicality. From the subcompact Spark and the all-electric Bolt EV to the Trax crossover and the massive Suburban, you will likely find the perfect commuter vehicle at your Chevy dealership.
Spark of Genius
Let us start by introducing you to the five-door Chevy Spark hatchback. GM first introduced the Spark to U.S. audiences as the Chevy Beat at the 2007 North American International Auto Show. Despite an appearance in Michael Bay’s second Transformers movie, Revenge of the Fallen, it wasn’t mass-produced for the States until 2013. However, the Spark has an international history dating back to 1998 and was larger than many of its peers, including the Fiat 500 and the Scion iQ. The first Spark also stood out by disguising the rear passenger doors, emphasizing the sporty, fast look of this subcompact hatch.
Today, the Spark starts at just $13,400 and has an EPA-estimated fuel economy of 33 MPG combined. The Spark may be less than 12 feet in length, but with the rear seats folded, you have over 27 cubic feet of storage space. So the Spark isn’t just good for a weekday commute; it can handle a road trip or a visit to Costco with ease. The Spark has four trims to choose from: the LS, 1LT, ACTIV, and 2LT.
The ACTIV trim, with its raised suspension and standard roof-mounted luggage rack, is ready to take you on a weekend adventure. If you’re looking for a keyless push-button start, standard on so many vehicles these days, you’ll want to go with the 2LT. This premium line also features rear park assist and a driver confidence package with forward collision alert, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. No matter which Spark you choose, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed on the highway in this subcompact, thanks to the high-strength steel cage and plenty of airbags.
The Chevy Spark comes with a 1.4-cylinder gas engine, and it’s got great mileage. But if you’re truly looking to contain your commuting carbon footprint, you want to look at the Chevy Bolt EV. Another five-door hatch, the Bolt EV is fully electric and can go up to 259 miles on a full charge. You also have the option of the brand-new 2022 Bolt EUV – a larger electric utility vehicle.
Either Bolt is easily charged at any standard 120-volt outlet or more quickly at a 240-volt grounded outlet – commonly used in homes for clothes dryers and electric ovens. In addition, Chevy will cover the installation of a professionally installed home charging station when you buy a 2022 Bolt EV or Bolt EUV, so you can have the fastest charging from the comfort of your own driveway. The Bolt EV starts at $31,995, and the Bolt EUV is $2,000 more.
The Bolt EV clocks in at over 13-and-a-half feet, a bit larger than the Spark, but still very easy to maneuver around the downtown when you reach the end of your commute to work. The Bolt EUV is closer to 14 feet, and that extra space gives you an extra three inches of legroom in the rear seat, which is handy if you find yourself carpooling to work.
Both Bolts now come standard with Chevy Safety Assist, a package that includes automatic emergency braking, forward collision alert, lane keep assist with lane departure warning, a following distance indicator, and Intellibeam automatic headlights. Additional driver assistance tech available on both the Bolt EV and Bolt EUV includes a rear cross traffic alert, adaptive cruise control, and HD surround vision for a complete look around your vehicle while backing out of tight parking spaces. On top of all of that, the Bolt EUV is the first Chevy to offer Super Cruise, allowing a hands-free drive into the office.
Sub-compacts have their uses, but sometimes you want something city-friendly that’s also a little bigger, something that sits a bit higher and feels a bit weightier. Meet the Chevy Trax. Starting at $21,400, the Trax comes in three trim levels with varying bells and whistles and has a 1.4-liter turbocharged EcoTec engine. While nearly two feet longer than the Spark, it still has an EPA-estimated MPG of 28 MPG combined, which is perfectly acceptable for any commute. The extra wheelbase space leads to a max cargo space of over 48 cubic feet. You can also get the Trax in all-wheel drive, which is handy if you live in a climate with bad weather.
The Chevy Trax has gotten a full five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association. All models have a high-strength steel cage, ten airbags, and a rear vision camera, while the higher LT trim offers additional driver-assist features, including rear cross traffic alert, rear park assist, and side blind zone alert. Whichever Trax you choose, it’s going to be safe and efficient, with added perks like a built-in WiFi hotspot.
A Suburban for the City
Commuting tends to lend itself to subcompacts and crossover SUVs. But not everyone’s commute is the same. Sometimes you need a vehicle that can carry the whole family to school in bad weather along back roads. Enter the Chevy Suburban. Starting at $52,300, the redesigned 2021 Suburban has a newly expanded third row with over 36 inches of rear legroom, so there is room for the whole family. In addition, it has almost 145 cubic feet of cargo space, the best in its class.
The Suburban’s only real drawback is its EPA-estimated fuel economy of just 18 MPG combined with the standard 5.3L V8. This is a big difference from the smaller vehicles, yes, but sometimes commuting means going from school to the office, back to school, and then to practices and rehearsals, and you can’t easily fit a family of five plus hockey gear and dance bags in a subcompact. That poor mileage can also be improved to 23 MPG combined if you are willing to opt for the optional 3.0L Duramax turbo-diesel that is new for 2021.
The Suburban sits comfortably above the crowd, giving you a wide view of traffic around you. You want as many safety features as available when you’re commuting with your wee ones, and the Chevy Suburban comes standard with an HD rear vision camera, forward collision alert, a following distance indicator, automatic emergency braking, and rear park assist. In addition, you can add a driver alert package to the lower-trim models with lane keep assist and lane departure warning, a lane change alert with side blind zone alert, rear cross traffic alert, and front park assist.
This package is standard on the upper trims. The Premier and High Country models also have an additional safety package available that includes HD surround vision, a rear camera mirror with its own washer, rear pedestrian alert, and a head-up display, so you can see all of your most important data without taking your eyes off the road. You can even choose to add adaptive cruise control to these premium models.
Life Can Be a Breeze
Commuters have a wide variety of needs, from a solo driver who needs to zip around downtown to client meetings to someone who needs to get the family from point A to points B, C, and D while still keeping up with a busy career in the city. The Spark is an affordable subcompact that doesn’t compromise on safety. The Bolt EV and Bolt EUV are practical all-electric cars that can easily charge while you’re in meetings.
For something a bit bigger with more storage options, you can’t beat the Chevy Trax. And there’s a reason the Suburban is such a family classic, able to get everyone in your house to where they need to go on time and in style. No matter what your particular daily drive looks like, when you are looking for a new commuter vehicle, Chevy has you covered.