The number of inexpensive hatchbacks with good gas mileage continues to grow, and unlike the "econoboxes" of a decade ago, standards have never been higher.
The 2014 Mazda 2 stands out for its simplicity, sporty driving experience, and fuel efficiency, but it faces plenty of very good competitors.
The new Nissan Versa Note offers a roomier interior and surprisingly high fuel economy, at the price of mediocre refinement and a grim interior.
Also on the practical, comfort-minded end of the scale is the Toyota Yaris, although its gas mileage is nothing to write home about--especially compared to its Prius C sibling.
The Chevy Sonic, now in its third year, remains a strong contender with a refined feel and clever features as well as more fun-to-drive character than you'd expect.
The Ford Fiesta--dimensionally similar to the Mazda 2--has been updated for 2014 and offers far more sophisticated infotainment as well as sporty handling.
And even in its last year before a complete redesign, the Honda Fit remains one of our favorites, with its spacious interior and flexible Magic Seat offering configurations and cargo space that no other contender approaches, as well as driving fun.
Finally, the MINI Cooper--which costs several thousand dollars more--is hugely engaging and fun behind the wheel; it too will be entirely new next year.
|2014 Mazda MAZDA2Get FREE Price Quote||2014 Chevrolet SonicGet FREE Price Quote||2014 Ford FiestaGet FREE Price Quote||2014 Nissan Versa NoteGet FREE Price Quote||2014 MINI CooperGet FREE Price Quote||2013 Honda FitBrowse Used Listings|
|28 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy|
|Regular Unleaded I-4||Gas I4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Regular Unleaded I-4||Intercooled Turbo Premium Unleaded I-3||Gas I4|
|Compact Cars||Subcompact Cars||Subcompact Cars||Mid-Size Cars||Minicompact Cars||Small Station Wagon|
|4-Door HB Manual Sport||4-Door Sedan Manual LS||4-Door Sedan S||5-Door HB Manual 1.6 S||2-Door Coupe||5-Door HB Manual|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|Manual w/OD||Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual|