The 7 best commuting cars for 2013

Hyundai Elantra Sedan GLS

Price: $18,590

Mileage: 28 mpg city/38 highway/32 combined

CR Score: 80

Plain old value is the key attribute of Hyundai's Elantra. Brimming with standard content and protected by the best warranty in the industry, it delivers a lot of bang for the buck. The GLS sedan isn't the sportiest-looking version of the Elantra, and it's not the fastest or most fun-to-drive car on this list. But the standard 148-horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine and optional six-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission deliver the second-best gas mileage of our favorites. (That's using the new, lower mileage numbers Hyundai and the EPA released last week.) So sacrificing a little performance for fewer stops at the gas pump seems like a pretty good trade-off to us. The seats are comfortable and the cabin fairly roomy. Standard features include heated outside mirrors and six-speaker audio system with iPod interface.