With over two million drivers worldwide, and 750,000 in the US alone, Uber has flourished in recent years to become one of the most successful taxi companies. Their unique approach, which allows drivers to choose their own working hours, has proven popular across the country and the globe.
Drivers’ earning potential has been another draw for those getting involved – in the first six months of 2017 alone, Uber reported that their drivers had earned over $20 million in tips! With results like these, it’s unsurprising that many drivers are keen to get started. Although Uber try to make this process as straight-forward as possible, certain criteria do need to be met to ensure their drivers can work as safely and effectively as possible.
So, what kind of car do you need for Uber? The company specifies that your car must be under 10 years old, and in excellent working order. Practically speaking, this means the answer to the question “what year car for Uber do I need?” is 2009 and onwards at the time of writing.
Starting to work with Uber is a great opportunity to invest in a new car, and to help you make this decision, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten best cars for uber driving on the market right now.
2018 Toyota Camry Hybrid
Toyota are known for their affordable, reliable vehicles, and the Camry Hybrid sedan is no exception. Redesigned for 2018, the model has better fuel economy (up to 53 mpg), better styling, and a smoother ride than ever before, while its excellent safety features have earned it a five star rating from the NHTSA.
Toyota have carefully designed the Camry so that its batteries do not interfere with its cabin space, too – in fact, the Camry hybrid offers drivers and passengers exactly the same amount of space as its gas-only counterpart; 15.1 cubic feet of cargo room. With 208 horsepower at its disposal, the Camry is also intuitive and responsive to drive. Overall, Toyota have managed to produce a roomy sedan that’s affordable, comfortable, and easy on the gas.
Hybrid engine can achieve up to 53 mpg, making for low running costs
Roomy cabin is great for passengers
Smooth ride makes long shifts more comfortable
Outstanding safety rating
Costlier than its gas-only counterpart
Lacks Android Auto or Apple CarPlay
Lane Keep Assist feature is hit and miss
2018 Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid
The second car to make our list is another hybrid model – Chevrolet’s Malibu hybrid. Redesigned in 2016 with a sleeker exterior, and an altered wheelbase to offer passengers extra legroom for optimum comfort.
The Malibu also has a nifty collection of efficiency features, including an exhaust heat recovery system and the ability to run on its batteries alone up to 55 mph. This allows its hybrid engine to achieve up to 46 mpg. The car also has a five star safety rating from the NHTSA, giving you and your passengers the peace of mind they deserve. Drivers also report great handling, quiet road noise, and easy connectivity with smart devices, adding up to a calm and comfortable ride.
Improved leg-room compared to its predecessor
Excellent fuel-efficiency features
Hybrid engine can achieve up to 46 mpg
Outstanding safety rating
Compatible with Android and Apple devices
One of the cheapest Uber cars on the market
Hybrid model sacrifices some room in the trunk
Concrete surfaces bring a little ‘road roar’
Small selection of trim levels available
2018 Toyota Prius Hybrid Car
Currently in its four iteration, the Toyota Prius is probably the best known hybrid currently on the market. For its excellent mileage, good road comfort, and light steering at low speeds, making parking in tricky spots a breeze.
The Prius is roomy, too – in the front, taller passengers have plenty of headroom, while the flat floor in the back ensures that even passengers in the middle seat can enjoy a comfortable ride. The hybrid engine provides up to 56 mpg, as well as very low CO2 emissions, which make it an excellent option for heavy use as a taxi. Drivers say that the Prius is a reliable option, which the NHTSA have awarded with a four star safety rating.
Well-known hybrid option in its fourth iteration
Averages up to 56 mpg
Plenty of room for passengers in the front and back
Great road comfort
Bluetooth connectivity built in, even with the basic trim option
Split rear windshield compromises backward visibility
The trunk is shallower than you’d expect for the car’s size
Acceleration is not very responsive
2019 Kia Soul
If you prefer a wagon to a sedan, but don’t want to compromise on road comfort and headroom, Kia have you covered. The Kia Soul offers drivers a choice of three engines – including a turbo-charged four cylinder – offering great variety no matter how much power you require.
In addition, the Soul is nothing if not striking. On the outside, a variety of bold colors catch the eye; on the inside, the cabin is finished with high-quality surfaces, and an impressive array of equipment. In its latest iteration, Kia have given the Soul a five inch touchscreen display, rear-view monitor, automatic headlights, and voice activation software. Being crammed full of features doesn’t weigh it down, however – the Kia Soul can achieve up to 24 mpg in the city, ratcheting up to 30 mpg on the highway. It also has a five star safety rating from NHTSA, and offers a respectably quiet ride even at highway speeds.
Both interior and exterior have a striking appearance
Impressive array of driving assistance features
Respectable fuel economy for its build – up to 30 mgp
Five star safety rating
Poorer fuel efficiency than its hybrid counterparts
No all-wheel-drive option
2019 Honda CR-V
Drivers who are looking for the best SUV for Uber, need look no further than the Honda CR-V. Honda claim that their innovative hybrid engine can fuel efficiency that is just as impressive as the CR-V’s diesel predecessor, by switching between power sources strategically depending upon driving conditions.
Honda’s implementation of regenerative breaking technology also captures energy released when you brake, and uses it to charge the battery. This improves fuel efficiency significantly – particularly in stop-start traffic – allowing the CR-V to achieve up to 53 mpg, which is very impressive for an SUV. As well as its impressive efficiency credentials, the Honda makes it into the running for best car for Lyft or Uber thanks to its spacious capacity in the font, back, and trunk, coupled with a smooth, comfortable ride. Overall, the Honda is definitely one to add to your Uber SUV car list.
Strikes the balance between SUV ruggedness and hybrid efficiency
Can achieve up to 53 mpg
Awarded a five star safety rating by the NHTSA
Spacious in the front, back, and trunk
Smooth, comfortable ride
More cumbersome to handle than many of its competitors
Electric-only range is just three miles
One of the costlier options on our list
2019 Lexus ES
A list of good cars for Uber would be incomplete without mentioning the Lexus ES. With 305 horsepower, it packs more of a punch than your average Uber vehicle, making it easy and fun to cruise down the highway. Since its last iteration, Lexus has fully redesigned the ES, and equipped it with improved safety features, as well as introducing a sport version.
Inside, the car is about as luxurious as you would expect from Lexus. The cabin is constructed from high-quality materials, giving it a refined finish, while the comfortable ride and ample room will make passengers feel totally at ease. The driver will also benefit from its smooth, well-controlled handling, and surprisingly good fuel economy that delivers up to 21 mpg in the city, and 30 mpg on the highway. This, coupled with its sleek design, make the Lexus ES one of the coolest Uber cars around.
Great acceleration and handling
Luxury finish inside and out
Improved safety features from its previous iteration (yet to be rated by the NHTSA)
Ample room for passengers and luggage – one of the largest capacities in its class
Average fuel efficiency (up to 30 mpg) compared to its rivals
More expensive than other sedans
Complicated infotainment system is not very user-friendly
Relatively slow transmission response when shifting down
2019 Mazda CX-5 Crossover SUV
The latest iteration of this practical family car is equally comfortable dropping the kids off at school, and taking Uber passengers around town. Mazda have developed a new engine for their 2019 model, which offers drivers improved power and performance with its turbocharger and 250 horsepower.
Like all crossovers, the CX-5 was built with the goal of combining the ruggedness of an SUV with the comfort and practicality of a standard passenger car, and based on the overwhelmingly positive reviews, Mazda have managed to strike the balance just right. The 2019 iteration of the CX-5 manages to achieve up to 31 mpg on the highway, and its relatively firm suspension makes for intuitive and smooth handling. Although this firmness means that you won’t get the smoothest ride around, road noise is nonetheless kept to a minimum.
Affordable Crossover is ideal for both work and family life
Powerful and responsive 250 horsepower, turbocharged engine
Plenty of space for up to four passengers
Achieves up to 31 mpg – good fuel efficiency for its size and build
Quiet on the road
Easy to use infotainment system which can connect to smart devices
Awarded a five star safety rating from NHTSA
Fuel economy compares poorly to hybrid options on the market
Not available in a seven seat model
Firm suspension can make for a bumpier ride than other options
2018 Hyundai Ioniq
Hyundai’s second generation Ioniq hybrid hatchback offers up some very impressive mpg statistics (up to 58 mpg), along with a comfortable ride and plenty of safety features. The Ioniq’s petrol engine and electric motor work together in harmony, and actually add up to a car that’s quicker than its main rival, the Prius. At lower speeds, the electric engine does all the work, but the transition to its petrol engine is easy and smooth.
The Ioniq’s light steering makes it a breeze to negotiate both in town, and on B roads. Although the ride it offers is a little firmer than that of a Prius, it’s not less comfortable overall, since it sits more comfortably at higher speeds. The ample leg room for passengers in front and back also adds to the comfort, but, because of its sweeping roofline, backseat passengers may find limited headroom if they happen to be above average height.
Overall, though, because of its impressively low fuel use, power, and comfort, the Ioniq is certainly a contender for the best car to Uber with.
Impressive fuel economy statistics, offering up to 58 mpg
Offers more power than its rival, the Prius
Can connect with Apple and Android devices as standard
Light steering makes for great handling
2018 iteration yet to be rated by the NHTSA, but the previous version achieved five stars
Little headroom for passengers in the backseats
Firmer ride than other hatchback options on the market
2019 Subaru Impreza
Subaru’s latest iteration of the Impreza offers passengers plenty of head and leg room and a comfortable ride, while drivers will benefit from excellent handling, quality materials, and great visibility.
Available as either a compact sedan or a hatchback, the Impreza offers a 153 horsepower engine and all-wheel drive as standard, combining the compactness of a smaller car with all-weather traction of an SUV. Although its gas engine is not the most efficient on our list, it can nonetheless achieve a respectable 25 – 32 mpg. Most trim options also come with an impressive array of safety features, combined into a suite called EyeSight. The suite provides drivers with adaptive cruise control, automatic pre-collision braking, lane departure warning, and lane-keeping assist. Another useful feature, which comes as standard, is Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
All this, combined with its affordable price point, have helped the Imreza into the running for best car for Uber.
All-wheel drive comes as standard, for great traction in almost any weather
EyeSight safety features earned the Impreza a five star rating from NHTSA
Offers plenty of room for passengers in the front and back
Android and Apple connectivity as standard
Louder road noise than many of its rivals
Limited trunk space in the sedan version
Low quality materials on the low and mid-range trim options
2018 Chrysler Pacifica
And the final vehicle in the running for best car to use for Uber is Chrysler’s Pacifica. The only minivan on our list, the Pacifica is an ideal option for catering to larger parties.
The Pacifica can be had with either seven or eight seats, each of which offers passengers the ample leg and head room which only a minivan can provide. The Pacifica also provides a very quiet ride, great manoeuvrability, and surprisingly sleek styling. It runs with respectable fuel efficiency too, achieving around 22 mpg. Another great feature the Pacifica has to offer is its entertainment system. As well as being able to hook up with Android and Apple devices, the rear seats are integrated with the Uconnect Theatre app – great for occupying kids during a long journey.
Can accommodate up to seven passengers
Ample head and leg room
Fuel efficiency of 22 mpg
Awarded a five star safety rating by the NHTSA
No all-wheel drive option available
Automatic transmission can be sluggish while decelerating
Certain options only available on top-of-the-range trims
Things to Consider When Choosing What Kind of Car for Uber
As our list goes to show, there isn’t just one best vehicle for Uber – which option is best for you will very much depend on your unique circumstances. Below we outline a few key factors to bear in mind:
- Town or Highway
If you plan on conducting the majority of your work in and around a town or city, a compact hybrid vehicle is probably your best option. Conversely, for drivers who regularly undertake longer journeys on the highway, something a little larger may be preferable. Terrain will also make a difference – if challenging weather conditions are the norm where you live, you might consider an all-wheel drive vehicle.
- Running costs
When your income depends upon your car, running costs are crucially important! That’s why we’ve suggested vehicles which are very fuel efficient, and included so many hybrid options.
Safety should always be top of the list when selecting a car, but especially so when you’ll be using it so much and driving so many passengers. We’ve deliberately populated this list with cars which have high safety ratings, for your peace of mind.
The more time you spend in your car, the more important comfort becomes. When selecting a car for Uber, it’s important to bear this in mind – your passengers will thank you too!
- Driving Jobs – Uber