Compact cars are everywhere. It seems as though every car manufacturer makes them, as they should. These little cars are easy to get around in and save us lots of money on gas. There are so many to look at, though, that buying a new one can be overwhelming. Who has time to go over all of them to find the best models? These top-rated compact cars have been tested and rated by experts and consumers alike. There's no need to re-invent the wheel, here. Simply choose from the best of the best.
What is the top-rated compact hatchback?
The Honda Fit and Volkswagen Golf are tied for first place in this category. The Honda Fit is a very roomy compact hatchback that seats five. There is even enough room in the back seat for two adults to ride comfortably. It also offers up to 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seat folded down. The Fit is a front-wheel-drive car that gets 29-33 mpg in the city and 36-40 mpg on the highway. The 2018 Honda Fit did extremely well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) crash tests. It got a Good rating on all tests and a Superior Crash Avoidance & Mitigation rating. The Fit is a safe, reliable, comfortable little car that costs between $16,000 and $20,500.
The Volkswagen Golf also seats five very comfortably and has 52.7 cubic feet of cargo room when you fold down the back seat. It isn't quite as fuel efficient as the Fit, but it is still easy on the wallet at the pump. You can expect to get 22-25 mpg in the city and 30-36 mpg on the highway. The Golf is available with either FWD or AWD. It is a safe, reliable hatchback, too. The 2017 Golf is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. The Volkswagen Golf hatchback is a bit more expensive than the Fit. Base MSRP ranges from about $20,000 to $40,000.
What is the top-rated compact sedan?
The Honda Civic is the top-rated compact sedan. It is followed very closely by Mazda's Mazda 3, though. The Honda Civic is a fairly roomy five-passenger car. There is plenty of room in the back seat for people of average height, although tall passengers won't be quite as comfortable. The Civic is incredibly fuel efficient. It gets 28-32 mpg in the city and 36-42 mpg on the highway. It is only available with front-wheel drive, but you can get the Civic in coupe, sedan or hatchback styles. Sedans offer 15 cubic feet of trunk space, and coupes have about 12 cubic feet of room in the trunk. The hatchback models have 46.2 cubic feet of space with the back seat folded down. The Civic received a five-star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and is an IIHS Top Safety Pick. Base prices for the Honda Civic range from about $19,000 to $28,500.
The Mazda 3 is an equally roomy five-passenger car. It is also a very fuel efficient car that gets 25-28 mpg in the city and 33-38 mpg on the highway. It is only available with front-wheel drive, but you can get it in either a sedan or hatchback model. Mazda 3 sedans have a slightly smaller trunk than Civic sedans, with only 12.4 cubic feet of trunk space. The Mazda 3 hatchbacks have slightly more cargo room than Civic hatchbacks with 47 cubic feet of space when you fold down the back seat. The Mazda 3 is also received a five-star Overall Safety Rating from the NHTSA, but it hasn't been tested by the IIHS. Base prices for the Mazda 3 range from about $19,000 to $26,000.
What's the top-rated compact SUV?
The Honda CR-V is the top-rated compact SUV. There is room for five passengers in this little CUV, including the driver, and it gets great gas mileage. You can expect to get 25-28 mpg while driving in the city and 31-34 mpg on the highway. It is available in front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive. The CR-V is also quite roomy with 75.8 cubic feet of cargo space with the back seats folded. This compact SUV earned a five-star Overall Safety Rating from NHTSA. The 2017 CR-V was given the IIHS Top Safety Pick+ award. You can buy a 2018 Honda CR-V for around $25,000 to $35,000.
The Mazda CX-5 comes in at a very close second. It is also available with FWD or AWD and seats five. It's not quite as fuel efficient as the CR-V, though, at 23-24 mpg in the city and 29-31 mpg on the highway. The CX-5 isn't quite as roomy as the CR-V either. With the back seat folded down, it has 59.6 cubic feet of cargo space. The 2018 Mazda CX-5 earned the IIHS Top Safety Pick award and a four-star Overall Safety Rating from the NHTSA. The CX-5 is slightly cheaper with base prices ranging from $24,000 to $29,500.