Best Compact Cars

The EPA defines cars by size classes. By its yardstick, compact cars have between 100 and 109 cubic feet of space for passengers and cargo. Some popular cars that once were compact may not be in the list: the Honda Civic, for example, is technically a mid-size car.
1
2021 Nissan Leaf
2021 Nissan Leaf
MSRP From: $31,670
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7.2
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Nissan Leaf has matured from its awkward early years into a useful, efficient, mainstream electric hatchback.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
6 / 10
Safety
8 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
10 / 10
2
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
2021 Volkswagen ID.4
MSRP From: $39,995
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7.0
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 gives families the right formula for saying farewell to tailpipe emissions, but the cabin tech could use some smoothing over.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
10 / 10
3
2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV
2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV
MSRP From: $36,500
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6.8
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV provides a long driving range in a flexible hatchback body for the city—but it comes up short in charm and polish.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
6 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
10 / 10
4
2021 Honda Civic
2021 Honda Civic
MSRP From: $21,250
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6.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Honda Civic doesn’t let social responsibility get in the way of a good time.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
6 / 10
Safety
8 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
4
2021 Hyundai Veloster
2021 Hyundai Veloster
MSRP From: $18,900
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6.7
Expert Rating
“Fun always comes at a price. Thankfully for the 2021 Hyundai Veloster, fun won’t break the bank.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
6 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
9 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
4
2021 Mazda MAZDA3
2021 Mazda 3 2.5 Turbo
MSRP From: $20,650
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6.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Mazda 3 straddles the mainstream and upscale markets with a quality cabin, power that ranges from pedestrian to plentiful, and available all-wheel drive.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
9 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
4
2021 Toyota Corolla
2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition
MSRP From: $20,025
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6.7
Expert Rating
“With the 2021 Corolla, Toyota has almost excised all the bland from its diet.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
9 / 10
Features
8 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
4
2021 Volkswagen Golf
2021 Volkswagen Golf GTI
MSRP From: $23,195
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6.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 VW Golf TSI compels shoppers for its overall value, but the GTI is a hole in one.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
9
2021 Hyundai Elantra
2021 Hyundai Elantra N Line
MSRP From: $19,650
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6.6
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Hyundai Elantra has big style, big available tech, and big range from a hybrid powertrain.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
10 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
9
2021 Hyundai Ioniq
2021 Hyundai Ioniq Electric
MSRP From: $33,245
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6.6
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Hyundai Ioniq steps up the efficiency game with hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric editions.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
8 / 10
Fuel Economy
9 / 10
9
2021 Kia Niro EV
2021 Kia Niro EV
6.6
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Niro EV offers a roomy layout and a long driving range, but it might not add up to the stunning value elsewhere in the Kia lineup.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
5 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
10 / 10
12
2021 Honda Insight
2021 Honda Insight
MSRP From: $23,130
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6.5
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Honda Insight is a remarkable hybrid commuter with impressive safety features for a low price.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
9 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
8 / 10
12
2021 Subaru Impreza
2021 Subaru Impreza
MSRP From: $18,795
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6.5
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Subaru Impreza excels at foul-weather traction and value; it’s an exceedingly rational choice among economy cars.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
9 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
14
2021 Subaru WRX
2021 Subaru WRX
MSRP From: $27,495
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6.3
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Subaru WRX and WRX STI pitch drivers on heady performance without the usual styling excess.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
5 / 10
Performance
9 / 10
Safety
9 / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
15
2021 Kia Soul
2021 Kia Soul
MSRP From: $17,590
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6.2
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Kia Soul hatchback has style and substance in the same package; few cars can boast the same.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
8 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
4 / 10
Features
8 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
15
2021 Nissan Sentra
2021 Nissan Sentra
MSRP From: $19,460
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6.2
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Nissan Sentra has a sleek shape and a more refined ride, which makes it a better value than in the past.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
15
2021 Nissan Versa
2021 Nissan Versa
MSRP From: $14,980
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6.2
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Nissan Versa doesn’t claim the cheapest-car title anymore—and it doesn’t look, feel, or drive like it anymore, either.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
8 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
18
2021 Ford Mustang
2021 Ford Mustang Mach 1
MSRP From: $27,155
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6.0
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Ford Mustang flips its own blue-collar script with natural agility and searing V-8 performance.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
8 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
3 / 10
18
2020 Lexus RC
2020 Lexus RC F Track Edition
MSRP From: $41,295
6.0
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Lexus RC is a stylish, sporty coupe that makes a worthwhile rival to German stalwarts.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
20
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata
MSRP From: $26,830
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5.8
Expert Rating
“Stripped to its lightweight essentials, the 2021 Mazda MX-5 Miata makes driving fun.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
8 / 10
Performance
8 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
20
2020 Subaru BRZ
2020 Subaru BRZ
MSRP From: $28,845
5.8
Expert Rating
“Like a featherweight champion, the 2020 Subaru BRZ proves lighter and smaller can sometimes be superior.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
8 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
20
2020 Toyota 86
2020 Toyota 86 Hakone Edition
MSRP From: $27,060
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5.8
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Toyota 86 has its flaws, but it's still a fun small sports coupe.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
8 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
23
2021 Kia Niro
2021 Kia Niro
MSRP From: $24,690
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5.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Kia Niro is a thrifty choice for those who don’t want polarizing Prius looks.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
3 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
8 / 10
23
2021 Volkswagen Jetta
2021 Volkswagen Jetta
MSRP From: $18,995
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5.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is a no-frills compact with good value. Saving money never goes out of style.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
4 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
6 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
25
2020 FIAT 124 Spider
2020 Fiat 124 Spider
MSRP From: $25,390
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5.6
Expert Rating
“It’s fun and it’s flawed, but we still love the 2020 Fiat 124 Spider’s Italian looks and Japanese build quality.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
4 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
26
2021 Toyota C-HR
2021 Toyota C-HR
MSRP From: $21,595
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5.5
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Toyota C-HR needs to be seen to be believed; the driving’s forgettable.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
7 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
6 / 10
Features
7 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
27
2021 Kia Rio
2021 Kia Rio
MSRP From: $16,050
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5.3
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Kia Rio feels bigger than its subcompact size, but skips some big-boy features.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
5 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
6 / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
27
2020 Toyota Yaris
2020 Toyota Yaris
MSRP From: $15,650
5.3
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Toyota Yaris hatchback returns as a complement to the subcompact sedan.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
4 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
29
2020 Honda Fit
2020 Honda Fit
MSRP From: $16,190
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5.2
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Honda Fit is a versatile and relatively fun hatchback with impressive features and capability.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
5 / 10
Performance
4 / 10
Safety
5 / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
30
2021 Hyundai Accent
2021 Hyundai Accent
MSRP From: $15,395
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5.0
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Hyundai Accent is cheap and cheerful, but chintzy on safety.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
5 / 10
Performance
3 / 10
Safety
4 / 10
Features
6 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
31
2021 Acura ILX
2021 Acura ILX
MSRP From: $26,100
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4.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Acura ILX is cheap for a luxury badge, but it’s not especially luxurious.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
4 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
7 / 10
Features
4 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
31
2020 Chevrolet Sonic
2020 Chevrolet Sonic
MSRP From: $16,720
4.7
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Chevrolet Sonic looks and drives younger than its age, and still offers value and a pinch of fun.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
4 / 10
Performance
5 / 10
Safety
5 / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
5 / 10
33
2020 Nissan 370Z
2020 Nissan 370Z 50th Anniversary Edition
MSRP From: $30,090
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4.6
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Nissan 370Z is an old-school sports car that handles and accelerates well but feels like the dated design that it is.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
6 / 10
Performance
7 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
3 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
34
2021 Chevrolet Spark
2021 Chevrolet Spark
MSRP From: $13,600
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4.0
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Chevrolet Spark is one of the cheapest ways to get a new-car warranty, though it’s simple and uninspired.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
3 / 10
Performance
3 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
6 / 10
35
2020 FIAT 500L
2020 Fiat 500L Trekking
MSRP From: $22,500
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3.8
Expert Rating
“The 2020 Fiat 500L has largely been forgotten by American buyers, and for valid reasons.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
3 / 10
Performance
3 / 10
Safety
N/A / 10
Features
5 / 10
Fuel Economy
4 / 10
36
2021 Mitsubishi Mirage
2021 Mitsubishi Mirage
MSRP From: $14,295
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3.7
Expert Rating
“The 2021 Mitsubishi Mirage is a cheap car that looks, drives, and feels like one.” Read Full Expert Review »
Styling
3 / 10
Performance
1 / 10
Safety
4 / 10
Features
4 / 10
Fuel Economy
7 / 10
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