Best superminis 2020
It's a hard-fought class, but these are the 10 best superminis on sale right now
Although SUVs may be enjoying their time in the spotlight right now, they can't top superminis, which continue to dominate the list of best-selling new cars in the UK. But with so many models to choose from, which are the best? Below we've listed the best superminis available. It's a class that has a number of hugely talented contenders, many of which have been updated recently.
Their success shouldn’t come as a surprise because today’s superminis are great all-rounders. The majority have space for four or five people plus luggage, as well as efficient engines and levels of quality and refinement that would embarrass the family hatchbacks of 10 years ago.
The breadth of choice in the supermini class is larger than ever before, with the latest generations of the long-running Ford Fiesta, Volkswagen Polo, SEAT Ibiza and Skoda Fabia models proving the best yet. Contenders include similarly capable offerings from just about every other mainstream manufacturer, including Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, Mazda and Honda – plus cheap-yet-worthy left-field choices like the Dacia Sandero.
We’ve excluded some big names here, but with good reason; the big-selling Vauxhall Corsa and stylish Peugeot 208 are soon to be replaced by closely related all-new versions, while Renault’s latest Clio is set to arrive before the end of 2019.
You’ll also find representative prices for each model, sourced from Auto Express’s sister brand Buyacar.co.uk – a great place to start your hunt for a new supermini with great discounts.
Supermini buying advice
Choosing your perfect supermini from the huge list of options on the market is tough, but it’s not impossible; you could even have fun doing so if you approach the process in the right way.
It’s worth starting your hunt by having a clear idea of your requirements before visiting a dealer. Take into account your average weekly, monthly or yearly mileage, the number of passengers you carry, required boot space and must-have features like smartphone connectivity, heated seats or cruise control. Consider your budget not just for fuel and insurance, but also for servicing and maintenance.
Given the efficiency and relative low purchase cost of a modern petrol supermini, diesel models are becoming increasingly difficult to recommend for most buyers. They are best avoided for mainly city driving, considering the current climate of low-emissions zones, and are better suited to long-distance motorway work. If you need a car to munch the miles, it might be worth looking at something more refined from the class above.
Instead, consider a small turbocharged petrol. Most modern units are designed to blend decent performance and economy. An engine with around 90 to 100bhp usually offers the best compromise.
Don’t underestimate the power of a test drive. Aspects like driving position, clutch weight, seat comfort and visibility can be make or break, even on a car that’s perfect on paper. Make sure you’ll be happy living with it before you buy.
If most of your driving will be in town, check you’re comfortable in tighter spots; try parallel parking or a three-point turn. Similarly, if your supermini will be a countryside commuter, find a B-road and see how the driving experience measures up.
Most entry-level superminis come with a decent amount of standard equipment, but it pays to weigh up cost versus requirements when working your way up the range. Figure out what you’ll need to avoid paying extra for features you won’t use.
If you plan to carry small children or are worried about safety in general, bear in mind that not all superminis will have a five-star Euro NCAP rating.
Best superminis to buy now
- Ford Fiesta
- SEAT Ibiza
- MINI 5-door
- Skoda Fabia
- Citroen C3
- Volkswagen Polo
- Dacia Sandero
- Kia Rio
- Mazda 2
- Toyota Yaris
Read more of our best car recommendations...
- 1Introduction - currently readingIt's a hard-fought class, but these are the 10 best superminis on sale right now
- 21. Ford FiestaThe latest Ford Fiesta picks up where the old car left off, but is improved in every area
- 32. SEAT IbizaThe latest SEAT Ibiza uses the VW Group's cutting-edge tech to boost its appeal
- 43. MINI 5-doorThe MINI remains as popular as ever and is one of the best superminis on sale
- 54. Skoda FabiaYou can save some cash by going for the Skoda Fabia over the VW Polo, but you won't lose much else
- 65. Citroen C3Funky looking Citroen C3 supermini has plenty of space and low running costs
- 76. Volkswagen PoloIt's not the best looking supermini, but its breadth of talents helps the Volkswagen Polo stand out
- 87. Dacia SanderoThe no-frills Dacia Sandero is cheap, but it gets the basics right
- 98. Kia RioThe Kia Rio boasts plenty of kit and the Korean brand's impressive seven-year warranty
- 109. Mazda 2Want the handling of a sports car in a supermini? Look no further than the Mazda 2
- 1110. Toyota YarisThe Toyota Yaris is a popular supermini choice thanks to its hybrid powertrain