The 7 best commuting cars for 2013

Volkswagen Golf 2.5 Hatchback

Price: $20,590

Mileage: 24 mpg city/31 highway/26 combined

CR Score: 85

Easily one of our favorite small cars to drive, Golf combines German performance with decent fuel economy. Its small size and superb steering make it easy to maneuver around tight urban spaces. We recommend the five-door version, which earns the highest score from Consumer Reports of any car on our list. At the heart of Golf's performance is a 170-horsepower, 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine bolted to a six-speed, driver-shiftable automatic transmission. Nicely contoured front seats and a neatly arranged instrument panel highlight a well-made interior that seats five. Standard features include a height-adjustable center armrest, cooled glove box, heated outside mirrors and an eight-speaker audio system with auxiliary input jack.