By now, you've inevitably heard how easy it is to make a little extra cash driving for ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. All you have to do is sign up, sign in and get paid to drive people around whenever you want. You probably even know a couple people who moonlight as drivers using their own vehicles. And if you're like a lot of cash-strapped Americans, maybe you've considered signing up yourself. But not all cars make for great ride-sharing vehicles. Usually, the car has to be a 4-door and 2001 or newer unless stated otherwise in major cities.
With that in mind, there are a few vehicles that are great when it comes to ride sharing programs. After being in literally some cars, I’ve made a list of the cars that would be great in certain scenarios.
Scenario # 1: The full time driver.
Solution: A 2008+ Toyota Prius/Prius C
Now I know what you’re thinking. “The Toyota Prius is the most boring and slow car you can buy.” That may be the case, but if you’re driving through the streets of Los Angeles, you won’t want a four-door sports car. Buying a used Prius can cost as little as $15,000 but you still get Toyota’s extremely frugal 121 horsepower hybrid engine. It isn’t a lot of power but it is enough to overtake should you need to. Not only that, but Toyota claims the Prius can get over 50 MPG. There may not be a lot of driver involvement but that gives the driver more time to talk with the drunken occupants and amaze them with the hybrid propulsion screen.
Scenario #2: The SUV driver.
Solution: A 2011+ Kia Sportage
The good thing about the Kia Sportage is the owner gets a handsome looking SUV with good gas mileage. Since it is a Kia, prices for a new Sportage start at around $23,000 with a well optioned Sportage priced around $27,000. A peppy 2.0-liter turbocharged 237 horsepower engine is available but you’re better off with the less powerful 2.4-liter 181 horsepower engine. Ride quality is not too harsh and the interior is understated yet functional. Being a smaller SUV, the Sportage handles traffic and congestion with ease. The Sportage is especially a good idea if you drive in cities like New York or Chicago that get a fair amount of snow during the winter with its all-wheel drive option.
Scenario #3: The extra-cash driver.
Solution: A 2012+ Ford Fusion
When Ford introduced the third generation Fusion, it transformed the midsized vehicle into a stunning machine that most people can afford. Various power plants including a plug-in option and hybrid technology means the Fusion can look good and be quite frugal. For those with a lead foot, there is a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 240 horsepower with all-wheel drive being an option. You can get all the bells and whistles such as navigation, lane-assist, adaptive cruise control, and so on. $25,000 can get you a well equipped Fusion but a fully loaded one will be almost $10,000 more. Unlike the Prius, the Fusion isn’t as much about maximizing your miles per gallon as it is a more stylish car to ferry people around in.
These are my three choices based on real world ride sharing experiences. How about yourself? Have you been in a car that you would consider a great ride sharing vehicle? Leave a comment below!
2016 Toyota PRIUS