‘Why small cars continue to make big headlines’

Deputy editor John McIlroy discusses the highly competitive and highly attractive supermini market

New 2017 VW Polo - front

Another week, another new supermini – but as you can read in our first verdict on the latest generation of Volkswagen Polo overleaf, these are indeed great times if you’re in the market for something smaller than a Golf or an Astra.

Senior reviewer Sam Naylor reckons the Mk6 Polo is arguably the most grown-up vehicle in the class – but it is amazing how mature many of its rivals have become in their latest incarnations, too. The Polo is the third big arrival in this category in the past six months and the others – our award-winning SEAT Ibiza and the recently revamped Ford Fiesta – really deliver a ‘big car’ experience. We can’t wait to test all three in the UK.

It’s easy to see why top superminis now have more appeal than ever for buyers. They’ve grown ever so slightly, and feature better packaging than before, so for many they’re practical enough to be everyday family transport.

Then there’s the on-board tech, which is a match for many larger, more expensive models’ (and the connectivity of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay narrows the gap even more). Euro NCAP crash tests mean they don’t want for safety equipment, either.

Running costs are key, too, with small petrol engines that are more comfortable in a supermini than they are in larger vehicles, giving them a better chance of delivering strong real-world economy.

Small wonder that many brands report that the trend for downsizing is continuing. Car buyers have rarely been so focused on the bottom line, but cars such as the Polo, Fiesta and Ibiza show that there have never been so many ways of enjoying affordable family motoring with no significant compromise on space, technology, safety and comfort.

Which is your champion out of the new Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and SEAT Ibiza? Let us know in the comments below...

Recommended

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'
Truck
Opinion

'It's clear that lorry drivers deserve much-improved working conditions'

Mike Rutherford proposes some alternative options to help streamline British imports and exports
23 Jan 2021
'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'
Opinion

'Gordon Murray is my British motor industry person of 2020'

Mike Rutherford highlights his positive car industry stories of 2020
4 Jan 2021
'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'
Opinion

'Citroen has changed the game and changed the lives of countless consumers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the quirky new Citroen Ami is a true game-changing car
13 Dec 2020
'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'
Opinion

'Power outages do nothing to inspire confidence in would-be EV buyers'

Mike Rutherford thinks the switch to an all-electric UK car market hasn't been thought through
29 Nov 2020

Most Popular

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90
BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90 - main
Car group tests

BMW 5 Series vs Audi A6 vs Volvo S90

Can plug-in hybrid power create a clear winner out of the BMW 5 Series, Audi A6 or Volvo S90
23 Jan 2021
Best small 4x4s to buy 2021
Dacia Duster ford
Best cars & vans

Best small 4x4s to buy 2021

Need 4x4 capability without big SUV fuel bills? Take a look our top 10 small 4x4s instead
6 Jan 2021
New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out
Lotus range
Lotus

New Lotus ‘Type 131’ due in 2021 as Elise, Exige and Evora bow out

A new look Lotus line-up is teased with heavy influence from Evija hypercar expected
24 Jan 2021