More people buy small hatchbacks than any other type of car.
The small car market is one of the most fiercely contested, which is great news if you’re after this sort of vehicle, because it means there are stacks of models to choose from and standards are incredibly high.
To have a chance of topping the class, a car must be as comfortable on the motorway as it is in the city. It must offer a decent amount of equipment, enough boot space for weekly shopping trips and an interior that’s practical enough to cope with the demands of families. And it must, of course, be competitively priced.
In order to help you find the right small car, we’ve picked out our top 10 – and named the ones you should avoid.
The i10’s compact dimensions and great visibility make it ideally suited to the city, yet it doesn’t feel out of its depth on faster roads, thanks to a 1.2-litre petrol engine that has enough oomph for stress-free journeys. Ride comfort is impressive at all speeds, too, even compared with many larger models. However, the i10 is quite pricey for such a small car.
- Comfortable and quiet to drive
- Five seats and decent rear space
- Loads of safety kit as standard
- Pricey to buy outright
- Non-turbocharged engines are a bit lacklustre
- Pricey to insure
Our True MPG test proves that the new Yaris hybrid has a remarkable ability to sip fuel gently; in town, it achieved 80mpg, which is almost double the economy of conventionally powered small hatchbacks. It should also be very reliable and hold its value well. Just bear in mind that the ride is quite firm and the rear seats cramped.
- Excellent real-world fuel economy
- Toyota’s reliability record
- Slow predicted depreciation
- Below-par infotainment system
- Firm ride – especially on models with 17in alloys
- Cramped in the back