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Toyota Prius tops Forbes' 'Best cars for commuters' list
By Insure.com staff

The Toyota Prius tops Forbes' annual "Best Cars for Commuters" list this year based on fuel efficiency, reliability and space.

To compile the list, Forbes considered new vehicles on Consumer Reports "Recommended Picks" for the year, then evaluated the contenders for mileage, front legroom and front headroom measurements, giving one point for each inch of space and one point for each mile per gallon.

Forbes says it did not consider price, but all the finalists cost under $30,000, due to the emphasis on fuel efficiency. Economy cars get better gas mileage than pricey luxury vehicles.

Vehicle value is among the factors insurers consider when determining car insurance rates. Insurers also look at claims histories of similar models by car makers and safety features, and they take into account a policyholder's driving record, age, gender and where the car is garaged.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety recommends considering a vehicle's safety when shopping for a car. Not all the vehicles on the Forbes list made the institute's list of "Top Safety Picks," but they did meet all the Consumer Reports' safety standards.

The Forbes Best Cars for Commuters, 2011 were:

  1. Toyota Prius
  2. Volkswagen Golf
  3. Volkswagen Jetta Wagon
  4. Honda Civic Hybrid
  5. Toyota Camry Hybrid
  6. Mini Cooper
  7. Mazda3
  8. Honda Accord
  9. Honda Fit
  10. Hyundai Sonata GLS
  11. Toyota Corolla
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