Downsizing your car? There’s no reason not to these days, particularly when the best things come in small packages.
No longer confined to towns, small cars are just as capable on the motorway, and these little bundles are terrific fun to drive and getting safer all the time. They’re also great value, benefiting from some of the lowest dealer prices, fuel costs, road tax and car insurance.
Here is a guide through the best small cars around.
Best for value – Hyundai i10
Brand new cars can come with small price tags, and at just £6,795, the Hyundai i10 is money well spent.
Sporting an ultra-modern look, the i10 packs a lot of space into its small cocoon, and although it’s short, the boot is deep enough to be practical.
But the real clincher is the spec sheet: air con, electric windows, central locking, immobiliser and six airbags are all standard, as well as Hyundai’s impressive seven-year warranty.
Best for fun factor – Mini
The Mini has been winning back hearts and minds since its 21st century relaunch in 2006.
Popular as ever, this small car can be customised both inside and out. But the best bit is the combination of engine and chassis: the keen handling and sorted suspension make it a hoot to drive, while the performance is backed up by good economy too.
It’s easy to see why this little bundle of fun makes it onto our best small cars list.
Best for practicality – Toyota iQ
Small cars with spacious interiors are becoming highly sought after, and manufacturers are getting even smarter at squeezing in extra inches. But one car has re-written the rulebook for space efficiency: the Toyota iQ.
Clever engineering solutions fit four seats into a car that’s less than three metres long. Your passengers won’t believe the legroom!
Best for low running costs – Citroen C1
When times are tough it’s all about saving pennies, and when it comes to running costs, there aren’t many better than the Citroen C1.
Go for the entry-level 1.0-litre version and you only pay £7,695. It sits happily in car insurance group 1 which makes it as cheap as you’ll get, while the low 106g/km C02 emissions means it’ll only cost £35 a year for tax.
Fuel economy is the icing on the cake: go easy with the right foot and you’ll get over 60mpg.
Best for style – Fiat 500
For some, there’s nothing more important than looks, so watch out for the Fiat 500. Cute, yet stylish – even men look cool driving these!
The 500 borrows the looks of the original 1950s Fiat but with modern underpinnings.
The good news is that it’s as much fun to drive as it is to look at, especially if you go for the hot Abarth version. It’s smart on the inside with funky retro touches, but proves its modernity by gaining a full Euro NCAP five-star safety rating. (To learn more about Euro NCAP, read, ‘Don’t be a Crash Test Dummy’).
All this style won’t break the bank either: prices start at £8,100 for the 1.2 Pop model.