The 8 best commuting cars for 2014

2014 Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid SE

Price: $28,080
Fuel Economy: 42 mpg city/48 highway/45 combined

What first struck us is the Jetta Hybrid's athleticism. It not only achieves the second-best fuel economy of our picks, but it delivers the uber handling characteristics expected from Volkswagen. Its 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor generate an impressive 170 horsepower, which the seven-speed automatic puts to good use. So while the Jetta can't match the gas mileage of a Toyota Prius, it's way more fun to drive. (Those VW commercials are true.) The SE is the least expensive version of the Jetta Hybrid, but it provides nearly every must-have on our list. We would have liked a backup camera, too, but we didn't want to pony up the extra $2,585 to get it an SEL. The interior is as spacious, although not quite as well-appointed as most of our other picks. Notable standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, color touch screen, and a six-speaker audio system with satellite radio.

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