18 Best Small Cars for City Driving

Best Small Cars
Photo by LUM3N

If you live in an urban area, city driving is likely your daily routine. Although, for these situations, owning one of the best small cars can make your life much easier and more enjoyable. 

While larger cars often have the legroom and interior space that people seek. It’s the best small cars that are more maneuverable, better at avoiding traffic jams, and cheaper to operate daily. 

Nevertheless, To find out which small cars are the best for city driving, check out this list of top 10 models from Consumer Reports below!

1. Mazda3

The Mazda3 has been on a tear lately, and it’s no wonder why. Mazda3 is affordable, sporty, the best small car, and easy to drive. With 155 horsepower on tap.

Therefore there’s enough power to have fun but not so much that you’ll get yourself into trouble. Moreover, The ride is smooth, thanks to its independent suspension.

It’s also agile enough to take any tight corners. Also, with EPA-estimated gas mileage of 30 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. There won’t be any excuses not to go somewhere new every weekend.

2. Hyundai Elantra

The new entry-level compact vehicle offers loads of great features while keeping an affordable price tag. The main drawback of its size is that it can feel too small for tall drivers or those who like to sit in their seats comfortably. 

Also, it does not have as much cargo space as some of its competitors. If you’re looking for a nice compact and best small car at a reasonable price, check out the Hyundai Elantra. 

3. Toyota Aygo

The Toyota Aygo is a fun, best small car with a unique feel and lots of character. Although, the Aygo’s three-cylinder engine provides it with a nippy drive, which makes it perfect for darting through traffic in busy urban areas. 

However, drivers hoping to carry more than just two passengers will want to opt for something more significant; inside, there’s only enough room for four small looks.

But, if you’re looking to make your commute easier or love that European feel, get behind the wheel of an Aygo.

4. Nissan Sentra

Nissan has made a name for itself as one of America’s leading automakers, and it’s easy to see why.

The Sentra is an outstanding best small car that is roomy inside but not too large to be uncomfortable driving or parking.

Also, a starting price tag of just $16,660 makes transportation affordable and reliable.

Although, as with most cars these days, Sentra comes equipped with excellent safety features such as anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD).

However, active head restraints and side-impact airbags for front-seat passengers also include child-seat ropes in the back.

5. Nissan Micra

It has a low price tag, a high safety rating, and excellent resale value. Nissan’s Micra is among the excellent best small cars choice if you want to drive around town.

It isn’t overly flashy or even all that spacious, but it provides enough comfort and space to make it through your daily commute.

6. MINI Electric Hardtop

The MINI Electric Hardtop delivers excellent cargo space and range for a car’s size. Although, it’s best suited to those who need to go beyond their typical daily drive.

Also, the Mini Countryman All4 is among the Best Small Cars for city driving. If you love how practical small SUVs are but don’t want to deal with their limited passenger and cargo space.

Also, consider a crossover like BMW’s Mini Countryman All4. It gives you all of a crossover’s utility while preserving most of its compactness—and it looks fantastic.

Nevertheless, The Ford Fiesta ST is also part of the Best Small Cars for city driving. Moreover, Sporty and high-quality compact best small cars are hard to come by, but that doesn’t stop Ford from trying with its Fiesta line.

7. Skoda Citigo

If you don’t want to pay over £10,000 for a new car, that is. The Citigo is a cheap alternative to small hatchbacks, with engines from 62bhp 1.0-liter three-cylinder petrol up to 74bhp 1.0 turbo-petrol and 95bhp 1.6 TDI diesel units, which manage 68mpg combined fuel economy.

Although, It has all you need, including automatic headlamps and wipers and a park assist system on higher-spec models.

Moreover, It will even let you know when you leave your lights on and give you warnings if there are hazards, such as pedestrians ahead, using adaptive cruise control!

8. Vauxhall Corsa

The Vauxhall Corsa is an excellent option for drivers who don’t have a lot of room to play with when buying a car.

However, this reliable little runabout is perfect if you’re looking to ditch your motorbike and want something that can carry you. More so, as well as your passenger, comfortably around town. 

Nevertheless, the smaller dimensions of a small vehicle mean that parking in cities is far more accessible than in cars or vans, which means that you’ll get from A to B without too much fuss. 

Plus, when you consider how cheap it can be to run and maintain these best small cars. Nevertheless, you have an affordable option for getting around town on a smaller budget.

9. Chevrolet Spark

With just three models in India, Chevrolet needs to ensure that it doesn’t leave behind any customers looking for the best small cars.

Also, the Spark is an entry-level hatchback that comes with a price tag of Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Nevertheless, It is priced aggressively against its rivals in India, who mostly charge more than five lakh rupees (ex-showroom) for a similar-sized hatchback. 

Moreover, The price, coupled with minimal features and lack of many standard features found in even much cheaper cars, makes it difficult to recommend. 

However, if you find it on sale and want something small and cheap. then you can go ahead with buying one because there aren’t many other options available at such a low cost

10. Smart ForTwo

Starting at just under $20,000 with a manual transmission, it’s cheaper than any gas-powered car. They’re also efficient (44/48 mpg) and cheap to run. 

Although a bit cramped for anyone over 5-foot-6, they’re fun to drive—and that’s pretty important in the best small cars. 

Therefore, Their diminutive size makes them quite maneuverable in traffic, and parking is an absolute breeze. If you want the best small cars but don’t want to give up comfort or efficiency, there aren’t many options better than ForTwo—or they are more fun to drive!

11. Toyota Prius Prime

The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime is unique in that it’s a plug-in hybrid, and most of its competitors are straight hybrids, like Toyota’s Highlander and Corolla. 

However, it can go 21 miles on electric power alone, but when there’s no juice left in its battery, you get a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine to help out (it produces 95 horsepower).

Moreover, It comes with an eight-inch touchscreen interface that can be controlled using voice commands and touch. You also get adaptive cruise control and lane assist technology—and both are standard.

12. Toyota Corolla Hybrid

However, the 2016 Toyota Corolla is a top choice among small cars because of its low cost, good fuel economy, and standard safety features.

Also, Corolla’s interior has a functional cabin layout with space to comfortably fit five passengers for the best small cars. 

Moreover, the base engine provides adequate acceleration in most situations. While an available automatic transmission gives a smooth ride when traveling at highway speeds. 

Nevertheless, despite its size, which limits cargo room, reviewers agree that it’s one of the best vehicles in its class. And recommend it to drivers looking for the best small cars that are easy to drive and handle well. 

13. MINI Cooper

The MINI Cooper is one of those best small cars every car lover wants to drive.

Moreover, despite being more expensive than some of its competitors, it has a very lively engine and is also quite spacious.

The interior design is unusual and looks more like something from a sci-fi movie than a small car.

Although people love it, you’ll never get bored when driving one. It’s not as fuel-efficient as some other vehicles on our list, but you’ll have fun riding around in style in your Mini Cooper.

Therefore, You can find models starting at $19,000, so we recommend taking one out for a test drive whether you’re looking for your first or next car!

14. Toyota Prius

It’s no surprise that hybrid cars have smaller carbon footprints than your typical car, but it may be surprising to learn that a Prius can deliver better mileage than many non-hybrid cars

However, bonus, you don’t need to sacrifice any power or features to score excellent gas mileage.

Another plus, Priuses are known for reliability and longevity. However, you’ll probably pay more upfront than with other small vehicles.

Moreover, you won’t need to replace your Prius anytime soon, and when you do, there will be plenty of used models available on which you can find savings.

However, Other green contenders include smart cars and electric vehicles like Tesla’s Model S sedan. Also, If your budget allows it, these are good options.

15. Subaru Impreza

This best small car is a four-wheel-drive hatchback, which means you don’t have to worry about hitting slippery areas, and you can quickly get through the snow.

With just over 30 mpg in gas mileage, it’s a great way to save money on gas and have fun. The five-speed automatic transmission makes it easy to learn and master while quickly getting up to speed if needed. 

Although, If you’re looking for the best small cars that can handle what your life throws at it without breaking down, then this is one of your best options.

It will give you room for passengers and cargo with three rows of seats and has many available packages, including heated leather seats.

16. Nissan Leaf

The Nissan Leaf has been around since 2010, but it is still a great car for city driving due to its robust air-conditioning system and intuitive controls. However, the Nissan Leaf takes four hours to charge using a 240-volt charger. 

Also, with a fully charged battery, you’ll get much less range in cold weather. Driving in traffic or on hills will also impact how far you can go between charges. 

Also, to help keep an eye on your available range, consider installing a small dash-mounted energy display from one of many companies specializing in aftermarket electric vehicle (EV) technology options. 

Nevertheless, the display can even show how fast your battery is charging or regenerating power from braking and give you estimated trip range information based on these factors.

17. Hyundai Accent

The 2019 Hyundai Accent is a four-door compact car available as either a sedan or hatchback. However, It has an EPA rating of 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving.

Though, its standard six-speed automatic transmission, and it features Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a non-hybrid version of the Accent with a manual transmission that gets 28 mpg combined with either engine option.

Moreover, the 2019 Toyota Prius v is another hybrid option with 36 mpg combined, but it costs more than twice as much as our top best small cars pick.

18. Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa might be tiny, but its affordability and enormous interior space make it an excellent choice for city dwellers on a budget.

The car’s base price is $11,990, and its EPA estimated fuel economy hovers around 28 mpg combined.

A 2015 model with a manual transmission starts at $13,580. It comes standard with cloth seats and offers front-seat heating to take care of Chicago winters. 

The Versa hatchback design also makes it easy to load up with more oversized items you might pick up at big-box retailers like Target or Ikea — items that wouldn’t fit in smaller sedans like the Chevrolet Cruze or Ford Focus.


When owning a small car, you don’t have to settle for lack of power or poor fuel economy.

Several small cars are on sale today that offer excellent performance and good gas, even when compared to their larger counterparts. 

Also, while you may not be able to haul large loads in them, these are more than capable of getting you from point A to point B with little difficulty.

So, no more excuses: If your budget is tight and city parking is limited, get yourself one of these great-handling small vehicles. You won’t regret it!

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