Top 10 Most Popular Cars for a Short Distance

Introduction

In this article, we take a look at the top 10 most popular cars for a short distance. If your daily movements involve short commutes, then this article is for you. Please read on

Toyota Yaris

BROWSE USED TOYOTA YARIS MODELS from $1,900

The Yaris is a 5 passenger vehicle with seats arranged in two rows that offer ample legroom and headroom. Its large windows offer great visibility in all directions and the roomy cabin is nicely designed with great features. The dashboard is elegant with user-friendly controls. The A/C knobs are easily accessible and large enough, same applies to the audio controls.

Some of the features found in the Yaris include HD Radio, 6-speaker audio, SiriusXM satellite radio compatibility, automatic sound leveling, Bluetooth audio streaming capability, an aux input, iPod connectivity, Bluetooth hands-free calling, and a USB port. 

Under the hood, the Yaris comes with several optional engines depending on model and year of manufacture; the most recent models are powered by one of the listed engines as seen below.

  • The 1KR-FE 1.0L VVT-i 3-cylinder petrol engine produces a maximum power of 69 HP with a fuel economy of 21 KM/L
  • The M15A-FKS 1.5L Dual VVT-i 3-cylinder petrol engine produces a maximum power of 120 HP with a fuel economy of 18.87 KM/L

These engines are linked to either a 5 or 6-speed manual, 4 or 6-speed automatic, and CVT transmission.

The 3rd generation Yaris exterior is a bit edgy, with slightly aggressive air dams with curved looks on the corners. 

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Nissan Leaf

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The Nissan Leaf is a compact five-door hatchback battery electric vehicle (BEV) manufactured by the Japanese automotive company Nissan.

The interior of the Leaf is comfortable and offers a good driving experience. In the back seat, a tall passenger can sit comfortably. Interior features on the leaf include steering-wheel audio controls, climate control, electric power windows, Bluetooth, adjustable steering height, height-adjustable driver seat, keyless start and go.

The 2016 Leaf came fitted with a 30 kWh battery which was considerably better than the old 24 kWh. The Leaf is fitted with an SAE J1772 connector for charging on the AC main 120/220 volts. Charging the car for one hour on the main electricity, it regains 8 km. Other versions have a CHAdeMO port which speeds up charging in 30 minutes, whereas a fully discharged battery can be filled by 80%. 

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The Leaf uses a front-mounted electric motor to drive its wheels. This motor produces 107 HP was powered by a 24 kWh lithium-ion battery pack and when the leaf runs on a downward-sloping road, the Leaf’s motor regenerates electrical energy that charges the batteries. The Leaf Plus is fitted with a larger 62 kWh battery pack that can travel up to 364 km on a full charge and a new bigger and more powerful 150 kW motor. Some advanced technologies such as CarWings and telematics applied in the Leaf allow the driver to remotely control some functions via smartphone or computer. (This paragraph has been rearranged)

Subaru Outback

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The Subaru Outback is a 5 door crossover SUV version that was first released in 2009. The interior is roomy and comfortable. Standard Outback features include lane departure warning, sway warning system, pre-collision braking system, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone climate control, electronic stability control, traction control, hill descent, Bluetooth, anti-lock braking system, and airbag package.

The Outback is equipped with either a 2.5L DOHC DAVCS FB25 H4 with power and torque of 173 hp at 5800 rpm, 235 Nm at 4000 rpm, or a 3.6L EZ36 DOHC DAVCS H6 producing power and torque of 256 hp at 6000 rpm, 335 Nm at 4400 rpm, mated to Lineartronic CVT transmission.

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According to EPA estimates the standard Outback fuel consumption is approximately 11Km/L in the city and 14 Km/L on the highway. The turbocharged version sees a significant dip in inefficiency, with ratings of 9.7Km/L in the city and 12.7Km/L on the highway.

Honda CR-V

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The Honda CR-V is a a 3 or 5-door compact crossover SUV produced by the Japanese automotive company Honda since 1995.

The 5th generation CR-V (2016 – present) has a spacious interior and is very well-designed.  The driver cabin is comfortable and spacious providing enough legroom, headroom, and great support. The 2nd row has good legroom, headroom for adults, and shoulder room on the window seats, while the center seat is a bit narrow due to the presence of a transmission tunnel. It is dressed with fine cloth upholstery with leather as an option on base models and standard on higher trims. 

Inside CR-V there are several storage options which include door pockets, a glove box, cup holders, front-seat jacket pockets, and a center console cubby. The CR-V has a 1110L cargo space at the back that can be extended to 2146L by folding flat the back seats. The cargo area has a low liftover height for ease of offloading and loading. 

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The 2016 – present CR-V is fitted with a choice of a 1.5L turbocharged, 2.0L hybrid, or 2.4L as listed below. The 1.5L L15B7 engine produces a maximum power of 190 HP with average fuel consumption of 13 KM/L. The 2.4L K24W engine produces a maximum power of 184 HP with average fuel consumption of 12 KM/L. The 2.0L LFA1 hybrid engine produces a maximum power of 215 HP with average fuel consumption of 22 KM/L

These engines are mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission, e-CVT (Hybrid), and CVT.

Subaru Forester

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The Subaru Forester is a 5-door compact crossover SUV manufactured by the Japanese automotive company Subaru since 1997.

The Forester’s cabin is simple but attractive with great outward visibility and a high driving position. The interior is amusingly finished, and the cabin looks well-designed. The driver cabin is very supportive and comfortable, while the second row is comfortable and roomy enough to even accommodate adults comfortably for road trips.

Features found on the Forester include a 6.5-inch (8.0-inch for high-end models) touchscreen infotainment system with Subaru’s state-of-the-art Starlink interface, HD Radio, a 4-speaker stereo, 2 front and 2 rear (optional) USB ports, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto capability, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and onboard Wi-Fi.

The Forester’s cargo space is 977L with back seats intact and 2155L with back seats folded using Forester’s easy 60/40 electronic back seat split-folding mechanism.

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The 5th generation Forester came fitted with either the FB25 2.5L 170 HP petrol engine or the FB20-T 2.0L turbocharged 147 HP petrol engine. These engines claim to have an average fuel consumption of 12 KM/L and 12.5 KM/L respectively.

These engines are linked to a 4-speed automatic, a 5-speed manual, a 6-speed manual, or a CVT transmission.

Honda Odyssey

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The Honda Odyssey is a 5-door minivan with a large and wider body, revised styling, and a lower roofline. Honda Odyssey carries up to 8 people comfortably and inside you will find standard features like a 5-inch infotainment display, Bluetooth connectivity, 2 USB ports, and a 7-speaker stereo.

Optional features on the Honda Odyssey include a 12-speaker 650-watt audio system, voice-controlled satellite GPS, HDD navigation system with XM NavTraffic, a larger 16.2-inch split-screen rear-seat DVD entertainment system, an external HDMI input, a cool box chilled by the air conditioning, a removable first-row center console, a new steering wheel, and a foldable 3rd row 60/40 split-bench seat.

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The Odyssey received a transmission upgrade from the 5-speed transmission to 6-speed transmission in all models.

The exterior of the Odyssey features an aluminum hood, a new aluminum front fender, twin-bar grille, revised fascia, optional integrated fog lights, smart entry availability, and LED taillights. 

The Honda Odyssey came with a 3.5L V6 J35Z8 with 248 hp at 5700 rpm and torque of 339 Nm at 4800 rpm while delivering a fuel economy rating from 9.17Km/L – 14.0Km/L and 5-speed automatic transmission that gives a fuel efficiency, performance, and balanced combination of low emission. 

Mazda 3

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The Mazda 3 (Axela) is a 4-door compact car manufactured by the Japanese company Mazda.

The Mazda3 interior is roomy, comfortable with supportive seats. The cubby storage is adequate, but those who need the most cargo space should choose the sedan, which holds 6 carry-on bags in the boot versus the hatchbacks 5. 

Mazda offers 3 choices of engine starting with a 2.0L on the base sedan, a 2.5L that generates a maximum power of 186-hp unlocks the optional all-wheel-drive system and a 2.5L turbocharged engine that generates the maximum power of 250 hp. These engines mated to either a 6-speed manual or 6-speed automatic transmission. 

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Mazda3 feels calm on twisty roads and provides a refined ride quality. It has tight body control, a firm ride that manages not to disturb passengers when driving over rough roads, and natural-feeling steering.

The Mazda 3 sedan is an efficient car with the base 2.0L 4 cylinder engine earning ratings from the EPA of 11.9Km/L city and 15.3Km/L highway; upgrading to the more powerful 2.5L engine drops those numbers—but not by much—to 11Km/L city and 14.8Km/L highway. The turbocharged hatchback model with all-wheel drive is the least fuel-efficient, with ratings of 9.7 Km/L in the cities and 13.1Km/L on the highway.

Lexus ES

BROWSE USED LEXUS ES MODELS from $3,400

The Lexus ES previously known as Toyota Windom (1991-2006) is a 4-door sedan vehicle produced by Toyota from 1989 to the present. The Lexus ES took an evolution with the body advancing to a midsize luxury vehicle from a compact executive class vehicle. Coming in a front-wheel-drive and front-engine with V6 engine configuration, the advancement of performance features, development, and bodywork of the Lexus ES has gone through 7 generations to what is now the latest release.

The Lexus ES comes with standard features such as 10-way power-adjustable front seats, the push to start button, phone calls, a Lexus 10 speaker Premium Sound System for entertainment, an 8.0-inch Lexus Multimedia System that comes with a color display and compatible scout, GPS Link, dual climate control with interior air filters, paddle shifter, a power moonroof, and MapStream and TurnStream modes.

BROWSE USED LEXUS ES MODELS from $3,400

Overall, the Lexus ES is fairly a fuel-efficient vehicle. According to EPA-estimated, it achieves a 9.3Km/L in the city and 13.6Km/L on the highway, so you can spend a long distance on the road before needing to refuel. If you opt for the F SPORT model, you’ll have an EPA-estimated 9.3Km/L in the city and 13.1Km/L on the highway.

BMW 7 series

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The BMW 7 Series is a full-size luxury sedan produced by the German automotive manufacturer BMW since 1977.

The BMW 7-series is suitable for a business person, a large family who needs to travel on a regular basis, or a couple who simply wants to travel in perfect comfort.

The interior is spacious and is almost the same size as the previous generation. You will find a roomy cabin that can accommodate 5 adults comfortably. In the driver row, the space is excellent and the seats can be adjusted to comfortably support the occupant. In the passenger row, the space is likewise impressive and tall people will find it comfortable. The 7 Series comes with leather upholstery as standard.

Inside the 7 series, you will find various storage sections that are suitable for storing items such as smartphones, goggles, beverages, handbags, etc. These areas include door panel storage, the center box, cupholders, and a glove box. In the passenger row, you will enjoy front seat jacket pockets, door pockets, and cup holders. The cargo space is somehow large and can comfortably carry luggage for a family of 5. When more space is required, the back seats can fold flat in a split format to create an even larger space.

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BMW 7 Series engine has taken a series of advancements by making it more than an ordinary vehicle. It comes in the BMW 750i and 750Li, BMW 740i and 740Li, and the BMW 760Li featuring the 3.0L to 6.0L TwinPower Turbo V8 and V12 engines with 315-, 445-, and a 535-hp respectively linked to an 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. While giving you the flexibility to smoothly shift into aggressive gears for optimal performance at reduced fuel consumption the BMW 7 Series is designed to adapt to your driving style.

Volvo XC30

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You get a whiff of luxury inside the XC30 cabin. The dashboard lends a sense of class to the cabin and the leather upholstery on the seats. The first row is extremely comfortable for short driving as well as for long journeys and the driver would get an electrically adjustable seat with lumbar support. In the second row, the seats can be reclined and are again pretty comfy too. At the rear, you also get a center armrest which is a useful feature. There is more than enough space both for the rear passengers and at the front. The multifunctional steering wheel has numerous buttons to control the audio system, phone and also read data on the instrument cluster and feels good to hold.

The interiors are loaded with high-end features and the latest tech. The car is equipped with an efficient air conditioning unit and the presence of back AC vents keeps the entire cabin cool. Its features list include a sunroof, power steering, multi-functional steering wheel, auto-folding ORVMs, projector headlights, multi-information display, reverse parking sensors, touch-screen infotainment system, leather seats, Bluetooth options, and advanced audio system that has CD, USB, AUX. 

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Volvo XC30 comes fitted with two engine options a 1.6L petrol engine and a 2.4L turbocharged diesel engine that also powers XC40. The XC30 fitted with a 2.4L diesel engine discharges peak power of 183 hp @ 4000 rpm and the peak torque of 400 Nm @ 2000 rpm. These engines transfer power to the wheel via a 6-speed manual transmission which delivers power smoothly

The Volvo XC30 provides good city driving performance with decent sound for the highways. The engine is powerful enough to perform well on the different roads. 

The XC30 offers good fuel efficiency so it delivers an estimated mileage of 13 Km/L – 14 Km/L which is so good for short-distance driving.

Final Verdict

If you routinely drive over short distances, driving the right car is of great significance. A good car for a short distance trip needs to be fuel-efficient, or an Electric Vehicle (EV) which is comfortable, supportive, and fun to drive. The cars mentioned above are most popular for short-distance driving and can give you what you need for your daily commutes. Most of these cars are comfortable and fun to drive while listening to good music. Depending on your budget but you can purchase one on our BE FORWARD store and enjoy your ride. 

BEST VALUE USED CARS FROM $410

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Written by: Josephat Lukaza

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