Compared to other Southern or Midwestern cities, Memphis has a relatively mild commute. However, traffic jams, stalled cars, and construction can add minutes and even an hour to your daily commute, so it’s best to have a front-wheel car that’ll spice up the journey. With plenty of power, tech specs, and agility, these cars are sure to add some excitement on your journey across the Memphis-Arkansas Bridge, I-40, and 1-55.
Toyota Prius Prime
The Toyota Prius Prime is the plug-in hybrid that’s more than just a world saver. Under the hood, the Prius Prime sports a 1.8-liter Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder with two permanent magnet asynchronous motors and an 8.8-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. A full charge takes just 5.5 hours to achieve and can propel you up to 25 miles on electric power alone, making it perfect for those with a short commute or a charging station near their office.
When you run out of electric power, the gasoline portion of the engine kicks in, offering up to 54 mpg combined with an equivalent miles per gallon (MPGe) of 133. Coupled with an 11.3-gallon gas tank, the Prius Prime can go 640 miles on a single tank, giving it the longest range in the industry. Aside from its exceptional range and fuel economy, the Prime comes with better options than you’d think, including an 11.6-inch touch-screen display, standard LED lighting, heated seats, and a head-up display.
Rear-wheel drive has almost always been the standard on pickups to stabilize the vehicle and keep the rear wheels on the ground over bumpy surfaces. That’s what makes the Honda Ridgeline so interesting. It’s currently the only pickup with front-wheel drive, yet it performs admirably anywhere you’d want to go in the Memphis area. A 3.5-liter V-6 controls the reins of the Ridgeline, providing 280 horsepower and up to 262 pound-feet of torque.
After a long day at the office, the Ridgeline becomes your greatest ally for an after-work party. This includes a 540-watt truck bed audio system, an in-bed compartment that doubles as a cooler, and outlets that allow you to hook up a television. If you can’t set it up after work, don’t worry. It’s just extra motivation to go tailgating or hang out with friends on the weekend.
Fiat 500 Abarth
The name Fiat usually instills thoughts of fuel economy, dependability, and Italy, but with the Fiat 500 Abarth, you’ll get one spicy meatball. This souped-up version of the 500 is wicked and raucous, sporting a 1.4-liter MultiAir Turbo four-cylinder that churns out an impressive 160 horsepower and up to 170 pound-feet of torque.
A five-speed manual is a ton of fun to drive, but an upgrade to the six-speed automatic transmission with sport mode has been fine-tuned to add even more torque and an exciting driving experience. Top it off with some sexy 17-inch hyper black alloy wheels and the Abarth is one handsome devil.
Whether you want a versatile pickup truck, a family sedan, or a sports car, these front-wheel-drive offerings will improve your journey, enhance your mood, and maybe even get you a little excited for work.