"You work at Edmunds?" our Uber driver says as he plods through L.A. traffic en route to the airport. "I used you guys to buy this," he says, petting the dashboard. "Did a ton of research. I needed something with a good backseat, a good seat for me, a big trunk and, of course, good fuel economy."
While we're glad our Uber driver found his perfect car on Edmunds, we realized he's probably not alone in this quest. With that in mind, we put together a list of top picks for other prospective ride share drivers. Most are mainstream cars for the average Uber X driver, but we threw in a few high-end picks for those who are eyeing the high-end Uber Black business.
10. 2016 Lincoln MKT
The dark horse of the Uber Black fleet, the Lincoln MKT is built for this kind of duty. Tons of space for luggage, heated and cooled rear bucket seats, a whisper-quiet cabin, three-zone climate control and 12-way power seats for the driver.
Here's one that crosses over the Black and XL genres. Whether it's a trip to the Emmys or the airport, make your passengers feel like a VIP in the biggest, boldest Caddy on the block. We prefer the ESV to the normal Escalade for its smoother ride, more generous third-row passenger space and bigger cargo hold.
Power-operated sliding doors and the built-in vacuum would be enough to earn the Odyssey a spot on this list. The easy-folding third row, configurable second row and available rear entertainment system seal the deal.
Although there is a hybrid model of the Fusion available, we're suggesting the traditional model here. You give up some MPG, but there are deals to be had on the non-hybrid Fusion that can help offset that cost. The Fusion has an exceptional driver seat and a spacious backseat.
The Toyota Camry Hybrid is a great all-around sedan. It gets 41 mpg in combined driving (43 city/39 highway), it can be ordered with blind-spot and collision warning systems, and it has one of the most spacious cabins in the class. Because of the hybrid's battery, the trunk is a little smaller than that of the standard Camry, but it's worth the mileage trade-off.
The Kia Soul is small, easy to drive, fuel efficient and feels bigger on the inside than you might think. Plus, it comes in Alien 2 (an ultra-bright green) and Solar Yellow (pictured) so it's easy for your customers to see you coming.
If it's good enough to be a New York City taxi, you know the Toyota Highlander must be practical and tough. The Highlander Hybrid is rated at 28 mpg in city and highway driving which is, frankly, spectacular for a vehicle of its size. If there's a downside, it's cost, as the Highlander Hybrid is one of the more expensive cars on this list.
This all-new full-size luxury sedan is almost as big as the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, yet it starts at just $54,490. We love the comfy driver seat, generous passenger space, refined driving experience and fuel economy with the base engine (25 mpg combined).
The 2016 Honda Civic has redefined the compact sedan class. This car is not only nicer than you'd expect from a Civic; it's bigger, too. The backseat is especially impressive. Not only that, but the Civic starts around $20,000, can get up to 35 mpg combined (from the 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder) and comes with Honda's reputation for reliability.
The newly redesigned Toyota Prius has tons of interior space, is remarkably easy to drive, offers numerous active safety features and reliably returns over 50 mpg. And despite its delicate appearance, it's a sturdy sedan. There's a reason that so many taxi services have already made the Prius their car of choice.