Best Small Cars of 2016: Comfort, Safety and Great Prices
Having a big car is great for going on family trips and lugging kids back and forth to school activities, but it can make maneuvering through traffic and parking difficult. These are just two reasons why many people are attracted to smaller cars. Other reasons include better fuel efficiency, lower prices, and quirky designs. Below is a list of the 2016 model years of subcompact cars that fit this trend as well as details about their prices, performance, and other specifications.
Compared to the 2015 model year, the five-door 2016 Spark has a lower profile and longer wheelbase, making it look pretty sleek for a hatchback. Chevrolet gave the car a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 98 horsepower and 94 pound-feet of torque. It comes as a five-speed manual or with a continuously variable transmission. The CVT in the Spark takes a little longer than 11 seconds to reach 60 mph, but the handling is agile around turns. The manual allows for 30 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.
The Spark comes in three trims: LS, 1LT and 2LT. The Spark EV is an all-electric version that’s also available. The interior of the car is roomy enough to seat four passengers, and it has nice design features. Standard technology features of the LS trim include 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay integration, Bluetooth connectivity, the MyLink infotainment system with a 7-inch touch screen and a USB port. The MSRP for the LS manual is $12,660 and for the LS CVT is $13,760.
With a cute, fun and distinctively stylish exterior, the Fiat 500 Pop base model packs a 1.4-liter, four-cylinder engine with 101 horsepower, allowing the car to reach 60 mph in 6.9 seconds. This is paired with either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission that allow for 28 to 31 mpg in the city and 34 to 40 mpg on the highway. Quick-ratio power steering and sporty maneuverability make the car easy to drive in the city and stable on the highway.
Available in convertible and hatchback body styles, the available trims include Pop, Lounge, Easy, Sport, Sport Turbo and Abarth. The car is spacious for two adults, and the rear seats are best used for small children and short journeys. The standard features that come with the Pop base trim include Bluetooth connectivity, the Uconnect infotainment system with a 5-inch touch screen and voice control. The MSRP for the Fiat 500 Pop is $16,995.
Available as a four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Fiesta has a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with 120 horsepower and Twin Independent Variable Camshaft Timing. A five-speed manual is standard, but a six-speed PowerShift transmission is optional and unique among subcompacts. The car has nimble and sporty handling with responsive steering and supple suspension, and it has a top speed of 115 mph. In the city, the base model gets 31 mpg, and on the highway, it gets 46 mpg.
The S, SE and Titanium trim levels are available for both body styles, but the high-performance ST trim is only available for the hatchback. The interior has a modest amount of space, but space for the cargo and back seat areas are limited. The base S trim comes with an auxiliary jack, Bluetooth, a USB port and voice controls. The MSRP is $14,580 for the S trim sedan and $14,880 for the S trim hatchback.
For a hatchback, the Fit has a sleek, modern body style. Under the hood is a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 130 horsepower. It’s paired with a six-speed manual or CVT and has a top speed of 119 mph. Great visibility and light steering combine for total control to maneuver around the city. It also has excellent fuel economy with 29 to 33 mpg in the city and 37 to 41 mpg on the highway.
The Fit is available in LX, EX and EX-L trims. All fit five adults comfortably with generous legroom in the back and a versatile cargo space. The LX trim comes standard with an auxiliary jack, Bluetooth connectivity, a 5-inch color screen and a USB port. The base price for the LX manual is $15,890 and for the LX CVT is $16,690.
Nissan Versa Note
This five-door wagon has an expressive exterior and is powered with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and a top speed of 114 mph. A five-speed manual transmission is standard in the S base trim model, but a four-speed automatic is available. The S Plus, SV, SR and SL trims come with an Xtronic CVT. The Versa Note has adequate acceleration and gets 27 to 31 mpg in the city and 36 to 40 mpg on the highway.ž
Also available in a four-door sedan body style, the Versa Note has an exceptional amount of space in the rear seat, so it more than comfortably fits five passengers. However, the S trim only comes with an auxiliary jack and Bluetooth connectivity as standard tech features. The MSRP for the S manual is $14,230 and for the S Plus CVT is $15,480.
Taking inspiration from the Mazda 2 in the United Kingdom, the Scion iA is a stylish four-door sedan. It has a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that generates 106 horsepower and has a top speed of 120 mph. The car comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but an automatic is optional. Although the iA could use more power, it has crisp handling and a quiet ride. It also offers 31 to 33 mpg in the city and 41 to 42 mpg on the highway.
There’s only one trim level available for the Scion iA. The back seat is small, and tall drivers may not feel completely comfortable in the front. With high-quality interior materials for its class, however, its standard tech features include a backup camera, Bluetooth connectivity, steering wheel buttons for audio and cruise control, the Scion Access Connect multimedia system with a 7-inch touch screen, USB ports and voice control. The manual transmission has an MSRP of $15,700, and the automatic has an MSRP of $16,800.
The Smart Fortwo is a pint-sized hatchback with two doors. It has a meager 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine with only 89 horsepower and a top speed of 78 mph. It comes in five-speed manual or six-speed dual clutch gearbox options. Its small size is known for allowing owners to maneuver easily through traffic and park in small spaces, and it gets 32 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
The Smart Fortwo comes in Pure, Passion, Prime and Proxy trims as well as an Electric Drive model. As the name suggests, the surprisingly spacious interior is only built for two people. The standard features of the Pure trim include Bluetooth connectivity, Cross Connect app integration with Android and iOS devices, internet-streaming radio and a navigation system. The MSRP for the base trim is $14,650.
Subcompact Cars Take the Spotlight
This list of subcompact cars represents the roomiest vehicles for their size. Along with the majority of these cars being packed with features, they offer great fuel efficiency and affordable prices for trim levels that satisfy even the most hard-to-please drivers.