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Best car for a courier

I am a courier who drives over 20,000 miles a year and am looking for a new car. I live in the NW so i would like it to be 4WD. The smaller the better so I can get into any parking space is good too. I do mostly city driving and a little highway so fuel economy is a major factor as well.

So I guess need to know the best car that:

1. Has the best fuel efficiency

2. Is small

3. Has 4WD (preferably)

4. Is very reliable.

Thanks for any help

Pretty much any Subaru, Toyota RAV4 or Honda CRV.


Your 4wd requirement subtracts from reliability somewhat…Type “Subaru” into the search window of this board to see what I mean…

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Those are good AWD options, but do you really need it, rather than FWD and a good set of winter tires? You’ll get better mpgs with FWD, like a Civic or Fit.

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The Subaru Impreza and Suzuki SX4 Crossover come to mind if AWD or 4WD are a high priority.

You didn’t mention capacity. None of the compact SUVs are that small anymore. So, the absolute smallest and most reliable that I would recommend is an Impreza hatchback. Economy is relative among awd cars, and will not give you top mileage until hub electrics…Impreza is good for AWD.
An ultra small compact; Fit/Scion with traction control may be a worthwhile “check it out” alternative. I agree though, that side streets in cities may be the last to get plowed, and if you MUST get there and your job depends upon it, awd is the answer regardless of all other concerns or recommendations.

Consider a VW Jetta diesel. If you compare it to a Subaru Forrester, it will cost 40% more for repairs over the first 5 years, but will cost 50% less for maintenance and repairs over the same time period. Part of that is VW’s free maintenance program, but even after that ends the cost per year for maintenance is substantially less. An then you get 34 MPH average vs. 22 MPG for the Forrester. At $320 per gallon for diesel and $3 for regular, you save $422 for every 10,000 miles driven. As a courier, you will likely save more than $1000 per year in fuel alone. Oh, and you get a $1300 tax credit for a Jetta diesel Sportwagen.

The same is true for the VW Golf TDI except that you get a $1700 tax credit.

I have to say that a VW TDI would be best for fuel mileage. If you can live without AWD/4WD I’d look at those, or a Honda Fit or even a Mini.

If you really need AWD the Subaru Imprezza seems like the best of the bunch for not too much money. Mileage will suck compared to a diesel or even the Fit or Mini, but won’t be bad for AWD. Oh, FYI, my brother used to be a rural mail carrier, and he swears by Subarus from that experience.

I agree. A civic, or fit with traction control, abs, and snow tires should perform considerably well. You’ll get good winter handling, honda reliability, and much much better gas milage than an AWD alternative. Not to mention, repair costs down the line will be cheaper with a FWD vehicle.

Will the small hatchbacks have enough space to carry your cargo? If not, you may want to check out the Ford Transit Connect. It has lots of space, and fuel economy that’s better than a full-sized van.

Consumer Reports New Car Buyers’ Guide at the local bookstore will have all of the available choices along with data on reliability. You can compare there and test drive those that look interesting to you.

Since the OP hasn’t returned, and probably won’t, we’ll never really know.
However, if the OP DOES come back and read this, I’ll 2nd this suggestion. It’s VERY popular in Europe due to it’s size.
Just under 181 inches long, 70 inches wide, and has almost 8 inches of ground clearance. For comparison, The 2010 Accord sedan is 194 inches long and almost 73 inches wide and the Fit is 162/67

I have a courier business in which I carry samples in full size coolers. I use a Toyota matrix which gets 30+ mpg and seats fold down to a solid plastic cargo plantform. I can fit 12 full size coolers in the cargo area and this vehicle comes in AWD also. It is also extremely reliable with no major repairs at 238k and still rolling. I have the FWD model which does well in the snow and live in portland oregon.

Well, Jeremy I would hope the person has found what they need since they asked 7 years ago.

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What is “this” ?

edit: 7 years old, sorry.

Yes I noticed this blog was dated 7 years back but it could still help new visitors.

You might want to edit out your name and phone number before your are flagged for spam.

Edit: How can recommending a discontinued vehicle be of any help?

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