Guest Post: The Best Cars for Major U.S. Cities

Drive down any laid back rural lane or bustling interstate highway across America and you’ll notice a wide variety of vehicles on the road. Trucks and SUVs throughout the Midwest, sleek convertibles and motorcycles in the South or fuel efficient hybrids in California: an area’s geography, population and climate all have a dramatic effect on the type of vehicle driven and adored. Here are four major U.S. cities and the type of vehicle best-suited to make it back and forth to work, your kid’s school and all the commonplace destinations Americans drive to each and every day.

Los Angeles, California
Ask any driver living in Los Angeles and the first thing they’ll talk about is the horrible congestion and packed freeways stretching across the city. The endless summer means you won’t need to worry about sand or road salt, but the constant stop-and-go traffic and oppressive temperatures doesn’t lend well toward older vehicles or those which have a tendency to overheat. To keep in line with California’s strict emissions guidelines and the resident’s eco-conscious sensibilities, your best bet is a hybrid vehicle. These cars obviously get amazing gas mileage and are sold across the state, meaning you’ll find one for a great price.


New York City, New York
Another city well known for its congestion is New York, although unlike Los Angeles many choose to combat this fact by taking advantage of public transportation. If you’re not into catching the subway or living off cabs, purchasing the right vehicle for the city’s cramped streets and potentially questionable weather is a good idea. First, you’ll need a smaller vehicle that can handle the city’s hot pavement in the summer and snow covered streets in the winter. Forget about a huge SUV, truck or any other non-compact automobile, as you’ll spend hours circling looking for a big enough parking spot. Small-sized and compact cars all provide you with fuel efficiency, all-weather capabilities as well as the small size to skirt in and out of infamous New York traffic.


Chicago, Illinois
The Chicago winters are brutal, but so are the summers. Many overlook the fact that residents of the upper Midwest’s largest city are often subjected to oppressively harsh summer weather, meaning their vehicle must be able to withstand these drastic temperature fluctuations. The city’s traffic is a mess, but you’re still able to get around in an SUV or small truck fitted with all-season tires, which are both good bets when the temperatures plummet below zero and there’s two feet of snow on the ground. A sedan, hatchback or wagon are all acceptable, just pay attention that whatever you decide to choose. The most crucial winter weather feature is available and fully functional; four-wheel drive. Many SUVs, minivans, sedans and almost any vehicle you can imagine are now outfitted with four-wheel drive and the feature is becoming more affordable.


Miami, Florida
Everyone assumes that your vehicle’s look, make, model and price tag are all that matters in the very possession-conscious city of Miami, Florida. What these same don’t realize is that having a sleek convertible or ridiculously expensive sports car will get you noticed on the streets, but it won’t keep you safe or necessarily come equipped with the many features mandatory to help you from getting lost on this city’s complex road system. Anyone that’s drive throughout Miami will tell you that navigating its roadways is a chore, which is made all the easier with an onboard navigation system. Parking, or more notably the lack of spaces and the constant presence of the meter police, makes finding a spot not only a chore, it’s actually sometimes more difficult than the notoriously congested New York City. Keeping this is mind, it’s a good bet to purchase and make your way around the busy city on a motorcycle, moped or anything that features two wheels. If you must have a car, once again choose a newer model subcompact or sedan that can withstand the heat, sand and constant traffic.


Whichever city, state or climate you reside in, please remember to change the filler neck for a more fuel-efficient vehicle, which is always a good bet. The price of gasoline is inflated no matter where you travel, making owning and driving a car that receives excellent gas mileage a wise investment, no matter what.


This post was written and contributed by Edson Farnell. Edson writes about various automotive topics. Many of Edson’s friends refer to him as the Auto Parts Geek.


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