Sometimes, bigger does not necessarily mean better. A common stereotype states that the bigger a vehicle’s size, the greater amount of fuel the vehicle itself consumes. This list of ten excellent small cars will demonstrate that big toys for the big boys do not have to be actually big in size and heavy on the wallet. Of course, comfort and safety should also be considered in buying a small car, and those ten cars are guaranteed to excel in these two departments. Here is the list, in no particular order.
The Honda Fit, which is also known as the Honda Jazz in some markets, is an established name in the realm of compact cars. Of course, in order for the Fit to stay on top of the game, improvements have to be made; and the 2015 model shows these improvements, and then some. The litany of improvements includes a pumped-up fuel economy of 33 miles per gallon on the city and 41 miles per gallon on the highway, even more interior space especially for tall people, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a rear view camera, and general versatility.
The MINI Cooper is the long-running compact car in terms of its production run. Besides some embellishments on the exterior, the 2014 version of the MINI Cooper still stays true to the spirit of its forebears. On the inside, the usual characteristics of subcompact cars, which are a roomy front and a cramped rear, are inherent in the MINI. The steering is fine, and it can go 29 and 41 miles per gallon on the city and the highway, respectively. Meanwhile, the Clubman variant has some differences with the base model. Its mileage is 27 and 35 miles per gallon on the city and the highway, respectively; it has a retro-themed interior; and it can fit an entire family.
Toyota Prius c
As demonstrated by its tagline, the Toyota Prius c exemplifies “the harmony between man, nature, and machine”. This hybrid’s fuel economy is top notch – it can go for 53 miles per gallon on the city and 46 miles per gallon on the highway. For those who are concerned about making tight turns, the Prius c handles it with grace. The interior’s materials may be less elegant, but they are substantial enough for size and comfort. In terms of trims and colors, the Prius c is abundant. One can choose from four trims and nine colors.
Who would want to go “zoom-zoom” on the Mazda 2? This hatchback has a substantial mpg rating of 28 and 34 on the city and the highway, respectively. In terms of handling, the Mazda 2 delivers – with racing-quality power, precise steering, and responsive brakes being the norm. For those who want the Mazda 2 to be flashier, it may be a bit lenient on other features such as the interior and the engine. But for those who want to go barebones, this is the vehicle for them.
Driving the Ford Fiesta does feel like the driver is having a fiesta. Even with just a 1-liter engine, the Fiesta can go 27 to 30 miles per gallon on the city and 38 to 41 miles per gallon on the highway. In terms of handling, the driver will have a feast. The suspension does a great job of absorbing bumps that arise from the driver’s mistakes. The steering is receptive enough if ever the driver makes sharp turns, thanks to the Electric Power-Assisted Steering feature. In terms of the interior, the Fiesta is also a feast for the eyes, with carefully-chosen materials that provide a good balance of softness and firmness. The dashboard may have too many buttons, but there is a voice activation feature for those who are not button mashers.
The Audi A1 certainly lives up to its name. Basically, the wizards at Audi shrunk the typical Audi sedan without losing its essence. The results are impressive. It can go from 0 to 60 in almost 9 seconds. Its fuel efficiency is 53 miles per gallon. Its exterior appearance and interior trims are as sporty as advertised. The handling is speedy. There are lots of options for one to choose, from surround sound provided by Bose to LED interior lighting. The A1 is not yet officially released in the US, but erstwhile importers will sneak these in for those who want their economy cars to be sporty.
Scion iQ/Toyota iQ
The Scion iQ, or the Toyota iQ outside the US, is another of Toyota’s contributions to the subcompact car market. With regards to fuel efficiency, the mileage rating is unusually close; it clocks in at 36 mpg on the city and 37 on the highway. In terms of acceleration, the iQ can go from 0 to 60 in 11.7 seconds. In terms of the exterior, the user can choose from the two-seater’s 7 color schemes, and it does not include the limited-quantity two-tone Monogram edition. In terms of features, the Scion iQ is packed with 11 airbags, an option to expand the two seats to three, an elegant leather steering wheel, and a respectable audio system.
The BMW 228i is for people who want an affordably-priced coupe packed with Germanic efficiency. Its 2-liter, 240-horsepower engine can go 36 miles per gallon on the highway, it is equipped with an 8.8-inch touch-screen display filled with apps such as a lap-timing app, it has a surround sound system provided by Harman Kardon, and it graciously provides satellite radio.
In terms of affordable compact cars, the Fiat 500 is a great contender. The Italian automaker has poured its resources to making the 500’s exterior as eye-catching as it can be; and the results show that its four models (Pop, Sport, Lounge, and Turbo) are simply eye candy. The interior is no slouch, either – with its retro-themed look and enough room for tall drivers to fit in. In terms of fuel efficiency, it goes from 27 to 31 mpg on the city and 34 to 40 mpg on the highway. For those who want the emission-less electric version, they can settle for the 500e.
The Nissan Cube is good for those who want to take a break from the bland designs of compact cars. The exterior is quite unusual, with a wraparound rear window that is sure to attract a few glances from other people. While the miles per gallon rating is 27 and 31 for the city and the highway, respectively; the Cube uses less fuel than its competitors. It may not be sporty in terms of the interior or the handling, but it is here to stay for those who want to make a bold automotive statement.