Best small cars

MINI Cooper vs rivals
Credits: Pete Gibson
9 Oct, 2014 12:15pm

Here are the 10 best small cars available, from the nimble MINI to the spacious Nissan Note

British buyers have always been fond of small cars, but that's true now more than ever. Ten years ago it was family hatchbacks that topped the best-sellers list, but in 2014 the list has been dominated by superminis, with the mighty Ford Fiesta being the best-selling car in the UK.

There's more than one reason why more of us have been buying smaller cars - they have a lot of benefits. Thanks to their small size they are light - and that means impressive fuel economy figures and nimble handling. 

Clever packaging means that modern small cars are spacious enough for four adults, which is a big plus - you no longer need a large car to carry a family around in. Boot space is a bit of a problem in certain models, but if you're after a small car with loads of storage space then something like the Nissan Note will be perfect.

• Most economical cars on sale

Small cars are sometimes seen as a less safe option - but that's a misconception. Euro NCAP crash tests show us that these models are just as good in an impact as many larger cars. Just make sure ESP stability control is included; some manufacturers only offer it as an option.

High mpg figures and low CO2 emissions mean small cars are great for saving money on your commute, too. Plus, low insurance group ratings mean young drivers might even be able to afford to drive them.

Driving through a city will be easy with one of these little cars, thanks to the compact dimensions. Parking and manoeuvring is easier, and models with nimble handling make it fun, too. Some of our top cars are just as good on the motorway, too - but take a test drive to find out if they suit your needs.

We've rounded up the 10 best small cars on the market. Click the links on the left to find out which one is right for you. Or, for an alternative review of the best small cars on the market today, visit our sister site Carbuyer.co.uk.

Best small car 2014

1. MINI
2. VW Polo
3. Ford Fiesta
4. Peugeot 208
5. Citroen DS3
6. Audi A1
7. Suzuki Swift
8. Toyota Yaris
9. Renault Clio
10. Nissan Note

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Wow. This is brilliant. This photo is good. Really Good. If the little Skoda looked half as smart as it appears in your photo, I would have bought one tomorrow.
I didn't see that bonnet affixed to the Citigo when I saw it last in metal. It looked like a cabin on four wheels with a stub for bonnet. A spacious albeit dour cabin with pop-out windows and not much else. Yet in your photo the Citigo not only has one but of a decent size too. Your photographer is good. Take my word for it.

Citigo is a great car, love mine.
Also like the fact you left the over-hyped 500 and panda out of the list.

You really are a prize idiot in every sense of the word aren't you? Anything from the VAG empire you just have to have a snide comment on. Citigo is a brilliant car, get over yourself and your jealosy of how well the Skoda brand as a whole is doing world-wide.

No Panda or 500? Or Mito? Autoexpress Suck...!

Contrary to what you appear to be thinking I don't really hate VW or its subsidiary companies. I have owned VWs in past and if I like one again I'll put my money on it.
For instance out of this list of small cars, I could buy an Audi A1 because in addition to being talented it looks smart.
I could also consider a VW Polo with the 1.2 TSI 105bhp engine or the 1.4L TSI with cylinder deactivation technology. But you won't see me in the 1.2L 60bhp although its a tried and tested VW engine in a Polo.
I'm also interested in VW's Taigun concept - a mini-SUV that will be based on the Up platform. And I'm keen on Up GT.
However I'm not gonna buy a Citigo just because of its VW roots. I find it very underwhelming. It seems to have been built with a singular utilitarian purpose. A bit like Honda Jazz - very talented but ...
No need to get personal.

It's (more than) a pity even a sh*** that you forget
the panda,...etc

+ 1

Seems strange that the other mags are saying the Panda is best in class while AutoExpress don't even rate it in their top 10. Just as happened with the Giulietta. Doesn't add up....

Could be because Italian cars are very poor and yes I do include ferrari and Lamborghini

Italina cars are crap

Cars from Italy are c**p that is why

Italian cars =Poorly made and unreliable

Skoda's = 1.Taxis
2. Cheapskate VW's

'world wide' - Not quite vagfan. Skoda don't even sell cars in the most important car market - North America. Nor do they sell in Japan, South Korea and few other Asian markets.

so saving £500 is bad? I know - let's put an Audi badge on it and charge an extra £3000 for a damped handle and a different badge

No way the citigo and its brothers are top of the list cars. They are worse in the NVH than the panda, no choice of engines and in some markets cost as much as the 1.25 diesel panda. And putting them above cars from the class above (fiesta, ibiza, polo, a1) doesn't make sense. Maybe rethink your "reviews"?

i can't believe you are not even putting in your list the new fiat Panda and the 500...

Have you ever owned one! I have always had Italian cars and none were poorly made or unreliable for that matter. My wife drives a Golf and all that does is visit garages. I think people should get a life and revisit what they think. Such a cliche.. but Autoexpress for sure is owned or financed by VAG.

+2

~~~
Please everyone, as someone who lives in the USA, (Colorado) I would love to have some choices in small city cars.
On that note, I must say. I'm so sick of Hatchback automobiles. Why can't someone build a inexpensive automobile with a boot and a convertible roof? This roof business is a big deal, I'm very tired of full-boat optioned out automobiles. Hey.. one should be able to buy a full-tilt luxury car if they choose. On the other hand, those who want some sun in a city car should have that choice too!!! I'm happy to crank up my own windows, same for the top!

just goes to prove the point...Auto Express is owned by the Germans so they have to be showing that their towing the party line to their pay masters. Fiat 500 and panda not even in the top 5? WHAT A TOTAL WHITE WASH!!!!

Errrm, ehhhh, not sure how to respond to that without calling you a moron...

AS IF ... i don't wanna know what you driving LOL

Don't trust anything from the car magazines. Spend more on advertising your car looks great. Don't spend on advertising, be consigned to the two stars bin. For years almost all magazines have been touting VAG cars as something to behold. The reality that they are unreliable, expensive to repair, overpriced and generally stodgy to drive never really cuts through in a VAG review.

If you think city goes/vw ups are good have a look on the owners site Briskoda major gearbox problems especialy there auto version.I own a Skoda Oct vrs and a panda brilliant little car. best value for money used. If buying new i wouldnt touch german buy a new model Hyundai i110.

With ever increasing fuel prices and the high cost of motoring generally, it makes far more sense to look for a more eco friendly car. Lower emissions, lower running costs and lower road tax.

Not anymore!!!

Ford made cars that last forever and are easy and fun to live with.

Hmm... Access denied on the Fiat Panda's page. C'mon AE, does it really hurt that much to say something nice about a FIAT?

The Fiat Panda & Renault Clio would be my pick, It's rivals might well be fractionally and slightly more polished dynamically and have better fiqures. But Ford, VW, cannot compete when it comes to the long history, culture, sophistication and flair of the Fiat & Renault marques.

Could you explain why you mention the reliability records for the 208? Peugeot has a better reliability than VW and Audi for example in all the rankings. It seems that you base your articles on some old stereotypes and some marketing techniques, but you forget to look at the real figures. Don't need to mention that if you're not telling the truth.

AEX 1,341
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