12 Best Small and Compact Cars in 2019

12 Best Small and Compact Cars in 2019

August 23, 2019    Best Cars

Small and compact cars can offer fuel efficiency and affordability. But what are the best small and compact cards to buy in 2019? We’ve done the research and come up with a top 12 list. 

Small and compact cars may appeal to cost-conscious buyers looking for a reliable way to get around. What is the best small car to buy? We’ve got the answer. We scoured reviews and car ratings to find the 12 best small and compact cars in 2019 new and used car buyers should take notice of.

  1. Chevy Cruze
  2. Nissan Versa
  3. Kia Soul
  4. Toyota Corolla
  5. Kia Forte
  6. Mazda Mazda3
  7. Nissan Sentra
  8. Subaru Impreza
  9. Hyundai Veloster
  10. Honda Civic
  11. Hyundai Elantra
  12. Ford Focus

1. Chevy Cruze

The 2016 Chevy Cruze is rated as one of the most dependable small cars for 2019 by J.D. Power and the 2019 model ranks firmly near the head of the class for best compact cars. Brand-new models start at just under $18,000 and seats 5, so even though it’s small it’s still roomy. The Cruze also rates well for fuel efficiency, getting 28 to 31 miles per gallon in the city and up to 48 mpg on the highway.

2. Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is another small car that’s big on comfort and interior seating. It’s also a steal price-wise, with 2019 models starting at under $13,000, making it one of the least expensive sedans on the market. The Versa seats five and has a surprisingly large amount of trunk space for a smaller vehicle. Handling is smooth and fuel economy is on par with other small car competitors.

3. Kia Soul

The Kia Soul is a standout for looks, with its unique body design. The 2016 model also rates highly on J.D. Power’s dependability rankings and the 2019’s base price of around $16,500 makes it appealing for budget-conscious buyers. In fact, it won an award as the best compact car for the money for 2019.

4. Toyota Corolla

The Corolla is practically a byword for reliability. New and used models are practical and price-friendly, with 2019 models available starting at $19,000. These small cars get great gas mileage and they come with all the standard features you’d expect. The advanced safety features, such as forward collision warning and pedestrian detection, might make this a perfect buy if you’re looking for a small vehicle for your growing family.

5. Kia Forte

The Kia Forte is small, sporty and fun but there’s more to these cars than just outside appearances. The 2019 Forte is fully redesigned, with a starting sticker price of less than $18,000 and 2018 models go for $13,000 to $19,000 on average. Some of the car’s best features include plenty of legroom, excellent reliability ratings and solid safety features.

6. Mazda Mazda3

The Mazda3 is a bit pricier, with 2019 base models starting at $22,000 but you might consider that a fair trade if you’re looking for a small car with upgraded features. Both the hatchback and sedan models offer a sportier look and driving experience and it’s one of Car and Driver’s top small car buys for 2019. If you can’t spring for a new model, 2018 and 2017 models run in the $14,000 to $19,000 range.

7. Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra is another small car contender that’s spacious and reasonably priced. The 2017 model averages between $12,000 and $17,000 but if you’d rather buy new and you don’t need a lot of bells and whistles, you can get a 2019 model for under $18,000. Safety, reliability and a roomy interior set the Sentra apart from the small car crowd.

8. Subaru Impreza

The 2019 Subaru Impreza comes with standard all-wheel drive, which might be important to you have to navigate hazardous or rough road conditions from time to time. It’s great for fuel economy, with an upper limit of 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway. If the 2019 model’s sticker price of around $19,000 is too high for your taste, the 2017 model is an excellent (and safe) compact choice that you could get for around $16,000.

9. Hyundai Veloster

The Hyundai Veloster looks great and handles great, features you might be looking for in a compact hatchback. Inside, you get a little less space than you do with some of the other small cars on this list but the Veloster makes up for that with its driveability. The 2019 model has a little more power than the 2017 model (the Veloster wasn’t manufactured in 2016) and a starting price tag of around $18,000.

10. Honda Civic

Like the Corolla, the Honda Civic is another stalwart small car buy for safety and reliability. In 2016, the Civic underwent a complete redesign but the car’s reputation for performance remained the same. The 2019 models, with a base price of $19,550, have some updated features including sport trim, a revamped interior and the Honda Sensing package.

11. Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra is designed for drivers who want a small car that’s still sleek and sophisticated. The 2020 models have already made their debut but it’s the 2019, 2018 and 2017 models that earn the highest ratings for safety, reliability and features. 2019 and older models are also attractive in terms of price, with base prices starting under $20,000.

12. Ford Focus

Last but not least, the Ford Focus is a popular small car pick and has been for more than a decade. Ford has discontinued the Focus as of 2019 but the 2018 model remains one of the top compact cars on the market. This model offers great handling with the kind of horsepower you might expect in a larger car. On average, the 2018 model and its older counterparts can run anywhere from $11,000 to $32,000, depending on upgrades.

Birchwood Credit Solutions features an extensive inventory of small and compact cars. Stop in today to view our selection of new and used vehicles or start the financing process by completing a loan application online.

Rebecca Lake
Written by

Free Buyers Guide

Download our New to Canada Guide

Download Now
Free Buyers Guide