Writer Picks: 5 of the Best Cars for Uber & Lyft

January 25, 2020

Now available in all major Canadian cities, it looks like rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft are here to stay. Are you thinking about becoming a rideshare driver? Whether you’re considering Uber or Lyft as a side hustle or full-time occupation, you’ll need the right wheels to start. Our writers compiled a list of their favourite cars and SUVs for rideshare driving.

Joining up is a relatively straightforward process when you have everything in check. But as for your vehicle requirements, ridesharing services generally mandate that drivers own their own vehicle, which should be a four-door that’s 10 years old or newer... 

The vehicles best suited for this job aren’t gas-guzzlers or two-door speedsters. To help point you in the right direction, our writers compiled their own list of vehicles that not only meet Uber and Lyft criteria but are also fuel-efficient and rated for affordability, comfort, and safety.

1. 2020 Toyota Corolla Hybrid

best vehicles that meet uber criteria

Fuel economy: 4.5L per 100km

Comfort: Heated front seats, automatic air conditioning, roomy trunk

Tech: Hybrid Synergy Drive, 8" touchscreen, Apple CarPlay

Price: Starts at $24,790 

The Corolla has long been known as a fuel-efficient and comfortable car, so the hybrid trim takes that further with an electric motor working in tandem with the combustion engine. While you will have to fill it up with gas, the combination suggests you won’t have to do it as often as you otherwise would.

Toyota says total range, with the battery coming into play, comes out to 1,111 km on one tank of gas. That is based on regular charging, but in any case, is excellent mileage for anyone driving on a daily basis. 

The battery itself is nestled under the driver’s seat, so it doesn’t take up any practical room in the cabin or trunk. That means you won’t have any issue putting a couple of suitcases in when taking passengers to or from the airport or train station. 

The high safety rating is pretty routine for Toyota’s models, and while the car doesn’t lay out an extensive upgrade package, some good basics are there. The digital cluster and infotainment touchscreen also include support for Apple CarPlay. Heated front seats can keep a passenger warmer in the wintertime, and anyone sitting in the back can stay toasty or cool with the effective air circulation in the rear.

2. 2019 Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid

best vehicles that meet uber criteria

Fuel economy: 4.1L per 100km

Comfort: Spacious cabin, roomy trunk, dual-zone automatic climate control

Tech: Safety features, 7” or 8” touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Price: Starts at $24,399 

You won’t be getting this vehicle for speed, and that’s why it’s perfect for ferrying people around in the city. The electric motor and four-speed combustion engine are not all that dynamic, but the Ioniq Hybrid makes up for that in some key areas.

First, is range. Hyundai says the car can go beyond 1,000 km on a single tank. Note that there are other Ioniq Hybrid trims, including a plug-in hybrid, though we picked the standard model because it’s the most economical and allows for some upgrades. If you want to shave more off the price, look out for the 2018 model.

Safety options abound, if you’re willing to pay extra to get all of them. They include sensors to help your blind spot, plus rear cross-traffic warnings when backing out of a parking space. Lane departure, forward collision-avoidance assistance, backup parking sensor and driver attention warnings all round out a pretty extensive safety package.

Other perks, like heated front seats and leather interiors, depend on what upgrades you go with. As is, the car covers the basics of being the opposite of a gas-guzzler, and its compact size should navigate crowded city streets well.

3. 2017 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid

best vehicles that meet uber criteria

Fuel economy: 5.0L per 100km

Comfort: Spacious cabin, roomy trunk, leather interior, heated front seats

Tech: Safety features, 7" or 8" touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

Price: Between $20,000 - $22,899 

While there is a newer Chevy Malibu Hybrid in 2019 (or even 2018), the 2017 model isn’t dramatically different. Some of the exterior design got a refresh with the latest model, and 8" touchscreens are now standard, but much of the rest of the package remains very similar.

The hybrid batteries are situated in the trunk, limiting the overall space back there to about 11.6 cubic feet, which is average for a midsize sedan in its class. That may not matter much for commutes within the city, but airport runs with multiple passengers and baggage will likely require you keeping the trunk bare.

Fuel economy is about the same as the 2019 model, so you still benefit from the better mileage with this one. The interior cabin does depend on the upgrades that came with the car, but heated front seats, leather finishes and plenty of legroom probably won’t be hard to find with available used models.

Tech and safety features are a decent mix, and while a little louder on the highway, the car should drive quietly on city streets. With good handling and visibility, driving for longer stretches should feel a little easier behind the wheel.

4. 2015 Honda CR-V

best vehicles that meet uber criteria

Fuel economy: 7.8L per 100km

Comfort: Spacious cabin, heated front seats

Tech: Rearview camera, Bluetooth, all-wheel drive (optional)

Price: Between $17,500 - $22,000 

SUVs aren’t always the best route to save on gas, but the Honda CR-V is a fairly popular model for rideshare drivers. You also don’t have to go with a brand new one when you could find a used one for a decent price and fuel economy to boot.

The 2015 model stands out because it’s not too old, and can get you an extra five years of driving for Uber under the current 10-year terms for accepted vehicles. Honda had improved fuel economy in this model over prior years, and though the automaker used a different engine in 2016, this is a more affordable option.

It has no hope of matching the fuel economy of the hybrids in this list, and its infotainment system is woefully outdated. But it is roomy and comfortable, which is important for a rideshare vehicle with constant passenger rotation.

Being an SUV with extra space means the CR-V can handle rides that compact cars might have trouble with, like additional passengers or extra luggage, for instance. It also handles well in the snowy conditions of most Canadian cities, making it more versatile and dependable all year round.

5. 2019 Subaru Impreza

best vehicles that meet uber criteria

Fuel economy: 7.5L per 100km

Comfort: Spacious cabin, trunk space, optional upgrades

Tech: Rearview camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, all-wheel drive

Price: Starts at $19,995 

The Impreza is actually available in both sedan and four-door hatchback styles, with different trims changing the wheel size and adding extra comforts, like leather, heated front seats, automatic climate control and steering-responsive LED headlights.

The EyeSight package of safety features is optional, so you do have to pay extra to upgrade, but when included, you get adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, lane departure assist and pre-collision throttle management. The safety suite uses two cameras in front and sensors along the sides to help drivers out. The rearview camera is standard, no matter the trim.

Fuel economy won’t match a hybrid, but the Impreza should hold up well for long stretches of driving. While it’s hardly a speedster on highways and isn’t known for its acceleration power, the Impreza fits in well for city drivers.

Find a vehicle with a monthly payment that makes sense!

If you’re interested in a vehicle on this list or something similar, why not get preapproved online today? Whether you have good credit, bad credit, or no credit at all, Canada Drives helps uber drivers to get approved for car loans

It only takes 3 minutes to apply, and you could be driving home as soon as tomorrow!

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