Top 8 Best Cars for Arizona Residents
Arizonans are not all cut from the same cloth. We have city-dwellers who love their urban sophistication, nature lovers who get away to the mountains whenever possible, and busy families who need plenty of space in the family car for road trips and soccer games. These eight car selections can help just about any Arizonan find the perfect ride.
2017 Chevrolet Cruze
The Cruze is an excellent compact car for growing families. Seating five with a comfortable, spacious interior, the Chevrolet Cruze offers a comfortable ride, high fuel efficiency and an infotainment system as standard equipment that outranks other manufacturers’ optional systems.
What makes the Cruze a great transition car for families is the Teen Driver feature, now standard on all 2017 Chevrolet Cruze vehicles. As your child grows into a teenage driver, the Cruze can provide helpful training and support good driving habits. Some of the features include:
- Muting audio until front seat occupants are all buckled in
- Side blind zone alert automatically engaged
- Forward collision alert
- Front automatic braking
The car provides a report right on the infotainment screen to provide your teenage driver with immediate feedback on driving habits and challenge areas. You enter a Personal Identification Number (PIN) and the car does the rest. Your teen will be alerted when driving too fast and be unable to set the audio so loud it distracts from safe driving. When your teenage driver returns home “from the library,” you can get the in-vehicle report on miles driven.
The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is available as a hatchback or sedan and offers a diesel option.
2017 Honda Civic
For comfortable commuting for one or two people, the 2017 Honda Civic is a good buy. It has a quiet interior, roomy seats and a smooth ride. Getting 28 to 32 miles per gallon in city traffic and 36 to 42 on the highway, it provides nimble handling for quick lane changes or for nabbing a street parking space.
A compact car, the Civic is noted for making few compromises for its category. The interior appointments are a bit more lavish than other compacts, though it comes with fewer standard features than the Cruze.
If entertainment and information are important to you during your commute, the Cruze provides standard features such as a seven-inch touch screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and a rearview camera, none of which is available as standard equipment in the Civic.
2017 Toyota Tacoma
If petite commuter cars are not for you, the 2017 Toyota Tacoma pickup truck may be. It offers excellent off-road capabilities so mountain adventures and desert sunsets are yours for the taking. It is a pickup, so Toyota expects you to do work with this beast. It has a higher payload capacity (1,620 pounds, says U.S. News & World Report) than most competitors.
Though offering a wide array of standard and optional technologies, the Tacoma is short on interior room; the back seat is especially small for so large a truck, but if all you are storing is a toolbox or fishing rod, it may be fine for your needs. The front driver’s seat has limited adjustments, too, which means you need to test-drive the Tacoma carefully to know if you and it are size-compatible.
2017 Chevrolet Malibu
The 2017 Chevy Malibu ranks No. 1 out of 19 cars, says U.S. News & World Report, for midsize cars. This is unsurprising. You would have to look very hard to find deficiencies in the Malibu’s design, technology, engineering or ride. For growing Arizona families, or for the Arizona business driver, the Malibu could be the ideal car. It costs less than most of its competitors (starting at $21,680 MSRP) and comes with many available features to make it your own.
Families like safety, and the Malibu provides plenty of safety features:
- Four-wheel anti-lock braking system (ABS)
- Adjustable pedals
- Auto-leveling headlights
- Auto-On Headlights
- Blind spot monitor
- Brake assist
- Child safety locks
- Daytime Running Lights
- Electronic stability control
- Emergency trunk release
- Integrated turn signal mirrors
- Lane departure warning
- Night vision
- Rollover protection system
- Seven air bags
- Traction control
Reliable, attractive, with a spacious interior and large trunk space, the Malibu is more than a good family car; it is a perfect partner for your busy family’s needs.
2017 Subaru Forester
Sun, surf, sand, mountains, desert... if they all appeal to you, the Forester is a vehicle to consider. Though not ideal in fuel economy (the EPA says it gives 22 to 26 mpg in the city and 27 to 32 on the highway), and its interior may be a bit boring, the cargo capacity is unmatched among compact SUVs. It provides Subaru’s renowned all-wheel drive for sure navigating up country roads or across desert terrain.
It has a lot of available safety features, and can accommodate five average adults comfortably (or four adults and a dog; or two adults, two dogs and a child; or fold down the rear seats to increase cargo room).
If you plan to coat the Forester in mud, dust and other reminders of exciting weekends, you may not care that it is short on style, and its starting price of $22,595 is definitely a draw. The other principal attraction of the 2017 Subaru Forester is its large cargo capacity:
- In the base model, you get 34.3 cubic feet with the rear seats up
- Fold down the rear seats and enjoy a massive 74.7 cubic feet, nearly 12 cubic feet more than the compact SUV average
- If you opt for the moon roof, you lose about three cubic feet (seats up) or six cubic feet (seats down) of cargo space
2017 Chevrolet Colorado
If you need a practical pickup truck, look no further than the Chevrolet Colorado. This compact pickup works hard and can play hard, too. It features the best towing abilities in its class and offers a nice interior. Coupled with a quiet, comfortable ride, this is a pickup that can traverse Arizona highways and still get plenty of work done.
You can be picky about your power plant with the Colorado, since it offers two gasoline engine choices and a diesel engine option. Using the diesel engine, it provides the highest tow rating for compact pickups at 7,700 pounds.
The Colorado is notable for its smooth, easy handling (which means the Teen Driver standard feature could be very useful), fuel efficiency and above-average reliability. These are all pluses for covering long distances, getting to remote work sites on time and protecting younger members of the family.
For a work pickup, the Colorado is kind to your wallet, too, with an MSRP starting at $20,000 and fuel efficiency of 17 mpg city and 24 highway.2017 Kia Forte
The Goldilocks of compact cars, the Forte is neither a class leader nor destined to trail the pack. Its main attraction is its price, so for budget-minded Arizona drivers this may be the perfect starter vehicle.
Though not the most comfortable of rides on Arizona’s bumpy back roads, this little five-seater can provide enough interior room and cargo handling to carry you across the state in style. If you are the chatty type, you can overlook the dull handling and lackluster engine performance by spending the miles conversing with your fellow riders.
The Forte’s infotainment system is remarkably easy to use and is more intuitive than some systems in pricier cars. Though coming in with an amazingly low starting MSRP of only $16,600, the Forte offers lots of available features that most Arizonans will find useful.
2017 Chevrolet Bolt
Practically tops in its class, the Bolt is an electric car Arizona drivers need to take seriously. If you were considering making the switch from gasoline to electric, this is the car to make that leap. As U.S. News & World Report says, “Meet the new class leader.”
The market for electric cars is expanding fast, and the Bolt has no intentions of being left in the dust. It provides an excellent mileage range (238 miles per full charge), is fun to drive and has technology features to keep even the most avid tech hound happy.
For a compact, the Bolt has a quiet, generous interior, seating five average adults comfortably. It accelerates fast (electric motors provide instant power), drives nimbly and can get you 90 miles on a single, half-hour DC charge. This means you can take it to an Arizona mall, plug in, shop and have plenty of power for the ride home.
Most attractive in the Bolt, though, are the loads of technology features available. When an electric car moves past its electric motors as a main selling point, you know the era of electric cars is truly here. In the Bolt, this means all these features:
- Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system
- 10.2-inch touch screen
- Apple CarPlay
- Android Auto
- Turn-by-turn directions through either Apple Maps (from CarPlay) Apple Maps or Google Maps (from Android) using your smartphone’s internet connection
- Rearview camera
- Built-in wi-fi hotspot
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- Satellite radio
- Voice recognition
- Teen Driver system
The 2017 Chevy Bolt sets a new standard in electric cars, so be sure to test drive it first before comparing to the BMW i3, Nissan Leaf or Tesla Model S.
Schedule a Test Drive at a Valley Chevy Dealer
To get to know these and other 2017 Chevy vehicles, find your local Valley Chevy dealer, to arrange a test drive of the Bolt, Colorado, Malibu and Cruze all on one lot. Use those informative test drive experiences as baselines when comparing the other manufacturers' models, but be sure to test drive every car so you can make an informed decision.