Small cars have always been the good all-rounders of the car industry. They are quite good fun as they’re light and nimble, but they’re also great first cars for novice drivers. So many manufacturers realise this and thus have made their own versions of what they believe the best small car on the market. Thankfully this means more choice for the consumer. You really are spoilt for choice as Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Fiat, Renault and Citroen are just a few names that make excellent small cars. However, there is one thing that makes a small car the best choice for many drivers and that’s always been the fuel economy. Small cars always have small engines but couple this with a 1.0-litre engine and you have massive range capability. It’s not uncommon for a small car to have an MPG over 60. But there are more advantages than this as each model has it’s own personality.
Cream of the crop
For many years the best small car has been the Ford Fiesta. It’s got everything you would expect from a large famous brand. Looks, space, fuel economy, cheap parts and repairs as well as different package options. Take a look at this 2014 1.6-litre diesel on Eden Commercials for a classic example. A staggering combined fuel economy of 85.6 miles per gallon. Pushing out 94bhp and an impressive 151lb-ft, it’s a great city car. It’s pretty lightweight with a dry curb weight of around 1,135kg and a wet weight of 1,240kg. It’s front-wheel drive as you would expect but it’s not so nose heavy as other small cars. It’s in the upper echelon for internal space as well as boot space. A full manual, it’s also allows for more freedom in gear changes and torque application. This is great for those living in a suburban neighborhood or concrete jungle.
Made for the city
Small cars were once just an affordable option for those that don’t commute far and new drivers. But soon the direction of travel shifted to purely city car design. The Skoda Citigo is aptly named as it’s designed for narrow streets. It’s also a good family car as well as there is a 5-door version. You get more headroom than any other small car which is good for taller drivers. It’s got a respectable top speed of 107mph, and a 0-60mph time under 15 seconds which half of the small car category entrants cannot accomplish. Despite being a petrol engine, it’s combined miles per gallon is 65.3. Slim and with a short wheelbase, it’s great for those that live in cities.
The best classic
The MINI is by far the most iconic small car in the world. Famed for its handling qualities, it’s evolved to a newer curvier design. It can have a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine putting out 134bhp and a great 162lb-ft. This allows this legend to achieve 0-60mph in under 8 seconds. This is the small car for someone who wants to have fun and be the most agile thing on the streets.
Small cars are notorious for their handling qualities and fuel economy. However you have lots of options that will suit any lifestyle. The Fiesta is great for overall duties, the Citigo is for an urban setting and the MINI is for the carefree.