During the last several years, small cars did well in the auto industry. In 2015, new technology and advancements in fuel savings brought a rise to the popularity of the compact car segment. To help you understand the latest trends in this category, we’ve prepared a list of the best small cars of the year 2015, featuring cars from both the compact and subcompact category.
1. Honda Fit
It’s often said that good things come in small packages, and the 2015 Honda Fit does indeed fit this description. The Honda Fit is a subcompact car that provides a very satisfying driving experience. Starting at $15,650, it’s one of the most affordable subcompacts out there, and the base model also receives great mileage rating at 33/41 city/highway MPG.
You might think that a 1.5 liter, 130 horsepower engine couldn’t really pack a punch, but you’ll be surprised to uncover that the Honda Fit is faster than most cars in its class. The CVT transmission shifts smoothly and provides great response on the road. The new headlight and grille design make the new Honda Fit seem more grown up, and the interior is roomy and offers generous cargo space. You’ll also be impressed with the availability of heated leather seats, as well as larger touchscreen interface, keyless ignition and smartphone integration options.
The standard rearview camera is a nice touch that complements the Bluetooth and steering-wheel mounted controls. Safety features are plentiful and include front side and side curtain airbags, brake assist, traction control, antilock brakes, active head restraints and the LaneWatch blind-spot monitoring system.
The Mazda3 is a dependable ride that is both economical and stylish. Its peppy driving dynamics will have you “zoom zooming” around town with ease. With the base price starting at $18,815, Mazda3 is an affordable and fun ride with great fuel economy. Thanks to the standard 2.0 liter, four-cylinder engine, the Mazda3 sports 155 horse power and an estimated 26 mpg/35 mpg city/highway rating in terms of fuel efficiency.
No matter where you go, you’ll enjoy precise steering and quick acceleration. Available in both sedan and hatchback version, with 3i and 3s trim levels, you will easily find the model that fits your needs. There’s no lack of high-end features in the new Mazda3 either: intelligent driving controls and intuitive and driver-oriented dashboard are within easy reach. An optional infotainment system adds even more luxury to your ride.
The Mazda3 sports some of the most spacious seating in the class, and the sporty bolstering of the front seats is a nice touch to its great handling. With its traction control, brake assist and numerous airbags, the Mazda3 is rated as one of the safest rides in its class, and has received top crash safety scores.
3. VW Golf
For approximately $23,165, the VW Golf provides lots of space and great safety features. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine comes standard and receives an estimated 25/37 city/highway fuel efficiency rating. You’ll love how well the car handles thanks to its high quality brakes and accurate steering.
Volkswagen decided to stick to the already tested design, so only subtle changes, like the reshaped headlights and taillights, and a bit sharper body panels, will give the new 2015 VW Golf away.
The new Golf also has more space, for both passengers and cargo. Spacious legroom in front and back makes every ride comfortable, and 52.7 cubic feet of storage in the trunk will easily accommodate all the luggage you can carry. The interior is filled with user-friendly tech, including the touch screen audio system, but lacks some features that are widely considered basic, like auto dimming rearview mirror, cross traffic alerts or blind spot monitoring. Integrated turn signal mirrors, antilock brakes, traction control as well as front side, side curtain and driver knee airbags are just some of the numerous safety features it offers. Optional features include front and rear parking sensors and forward collision warning.
4. Honda Civic
The Honda Civic‘s fluid transmission and classy interior bring the perfect mix of upscale features and affordable prices. The Civic has built a reputation on its reliability: the 2015 model continues to provide a peace of mind on the road, and its $18,930 price tag has made it a popular choice as well. The 2015 base model sports a 1.8-liter engine that generates 143 horsepower, with a top speed of 124 MPH and fuel efficiency of 30/39 mpg city/highway.
Available in both Coupe and Sedan body styles, the Civic offers quite a number of trim levels: both body styles come in LX, EX, EX-L and EX-L Navi trim levels. The Civic’s interior is provides plentiful of upscale materials and an attractive design. You’ll appreciate all the storage spaces Honda has placed around the vehicle, and thanks to increased insulation and thicker windows, you’ll enjoy a quiet ride as well.
The upper trims offer the HondaLink system, and all trim levels sport a two-tier dash display. During safety tests, the Civic passed with top scores. Its traction control and antilock brakes will keep your wheels stable, and front side and side curtain airbags will help prevent injuries. The HondaLink comes with emergency crash notification and a blind spot camera is also available.
5. Buick Verano
Buick has decided it’s time to join the list and turned up the fun with its Verano. With a six-speed automatic transmission and 2.4 liter engine, you’re set for some excitement on the road. The Verano is a perfect blend of the typical brand poise and high-tech features.
Despite its smaller size, it produces 180 horsepower and comes with an optional Turbo version. Unfortunately, you will have to trade a bit of fuel efficiency for power. The Verano is estimated to receive 21/31 mph city/highway.
Starting at $24,300, the Verano offers a quiet, roomy interior equipped with top-of-the-line materials, and features a rearview camera, IntelliLink infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and OnStar with 4G LTE. This car received five-star ratings from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and includes antilock brakes, traction control, emergency trunk release and full-length side curtain airbags.
6. Chevrolet Cruze
The versatility of the Cruze makes it a smart choice for anyone who’s looking for value and practicality. Starting at $16,170, the six-speed manual transmission and 1.8 liter engine Cruze provides 138 horsepower and receives 25/36 city/highway fuel efficiency.
The responsive handling inspires confidence on the road, and the handsome exterior has made it a solid player in the compact-sedan segment. The new split grille design creates a familiar resemblance to the Malibu and Impala.
On the inside, the new Cruze comes with a myriad of tech options, including a 4G LTE wireless connection with a Wi-Fi hotspot and Apple’s Siri Eyes Free integration. How does the Cruze rate for safety? It contains numerous features, including antilock brakes, traction control and stability control.
7. Subaru WRX
One of the most exciting compact cars of 2015 is the WRX. Fully redesigned, WRX comes standard with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that accelerates quickly and has excellent road response thanks to its low center of gravity. Starting at $26,295 base price, the WRX offers power, performance and rather good fuel economy. With 268 horsepower, this car can go 0 to 60 mph in five seconds and reach top speeds of 144 mph. The estimated fuel efficiency is 21/28 mph city/highway.
The interior design in simplistic and to the point, with all the controls being intuitive and within the driver’s reach. On the dashboard, you’ll appreciate the 4.3 inch multifunctional display. The faux carbon fiber trim adds to the great looks as well. The interior is spacious and provides plenty of room for passengers and cargo.
Subaru has always placed safety as a top priority. The WRX’s symmetrical all-wheel drive and vehicle dynamics control (VDC) are two rare features in this class. The VDC senses your steering and braking, which keeps your car on course. In addition, the advanced protection system contains seven airbags so that passengers remain safe at all times.
Compact cars have become much more than the “econo-boxes” of the past with small dimensions and low running costs. The compact cars of today feature great tech and features that were formerly reserved for full sized vehicles only. What car is your choice for the best compact car of 2015? Would your reasons have to do with eye-catching appeal, practicality, or incredible handling?