The best small cars for 2024 and 2025 encompass a range of subcompact and compact models, offering fuel efficiency, fun driving, and reliability.

Some of the top small cars include the 2024 Mitsubishi Mirage, Nissan Leaf, Mini Cooper SE, Cadillac CT4-V, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, and Mazda 3.

These cars are well-suited for local driving, commuting, and navigating urban areas, and they provide a diverse set of options for consumers seeking compact and efficient vehicles.

Best Small Cars

2023 Honda Civic Type R

Score 9.3
MSRP $43,795 
MPG 22 City / 28 Hwy
2023 Honda Civic Type R

The 2023 Honda Civic Type R is a high-performance version of the Honda Civic. It is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 315 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque.

The Civic Type R is known for its aggressive styling, sharp handling, and powerful engine. It is a popular choice among performance enthusiasts and has been praised by critics for its track-worthy capabilities.

Here are some key features of the 2023 Honda Civic Type R:

  • 315-horsepower 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine
  • Six-speed manual transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Brembo brakes
  • 19-inch wheels
  • Michelin Pilot Sport 4S tires
  • Limited-slip differential
  • Active exhaust system
  • Adjustable suspension
  • Sport+ driving mode
  • Data logger
  • Bose sound system
  • Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility

Overall, the 2023 Honda Civic Type R is a well-rounded performance car that offers a good blend of power, handling, and practicality.

It is a great choice for drivers who are looking for a fun and exciting car to drive.

2024 Acura Integra

Score 8.8
MSRP $31,500 – $36,500 
MPG 26-30 City / 36-37 Hwy
2024 Acura Integra

The 2024 Acura Integra is a four-door sports car that is available in two trims: the base Integra and the Integra Type S.

The base Integra is powered by a 200-horsepower 1.5L VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the Type S is powered by a 320-horsepower 2.0L VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine.

Both engines are mated to a standard continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), with a 6-speed manual transmission available on the A-Spec trim of the base Integra and standard on the Type S.

Here are some of the key features of the 2024 Acura Integra:

  • 200-horsepower 1.5L VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine (base Integra)
  • 320-horsepower 2.0L VTEC turbocharged four-cylinder engine (Type S)
  • Continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT)
  • Available 6-speed manual transmission (A-Spec trim and Type S)
  • 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster
  • 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  • Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility
  • A suite of driver-assistance features
  • Brembo brakes (Type S)
  • Limited-slip differential (Type S)
  • Aggressive styling (Type S)

2023 BMW M2

Score 8.7
MSRP $62,200 
MPG 16 City / 23-24 Hwy
2023 BMW M2

The 2023 BMW M2 is a rear-wheel-drive sports car that is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that produces 453 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

It is available with either a six-speed manual or an eight-speed automatic transmission. The M2 can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and has a top speed of 155 mph (177 mph with the M Driver’s Package).

Here are some of the key features of the 2023 BMW M2:

  • Twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine
  • 453 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque
  • Six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Rear-wheel drive
  • 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds
  • Top speed of 155 mph (177 mph with M Driver’s Package)
  • M Sport suspension
  • M Sport brakes
  • M Sport differential
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • Sport seats
  • M Sport steering wheel
  • M Sport exhaust

2024 Honda Civic

Score 8.7
MSRP $23,950 – $31,450 
MPG 26-33 City / 36-42 Hwy
2024 Honda Civic

The 2024 Honda Civic is a compact car that comes in sedan and hatchback body styles. It is available in five trim levels: LX, Sport, EX, EX-L, and Touring.

All trims come with a 1.5-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 180 horsepower and 179 lb-ft of torque.

The LX and Sport trims come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), while the EX, EX-L, and Touring trims come with a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Here are some of the key features of the 2024 Honda Civic:

  • Standard Honda Sensing® suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes:
    • Collision Mitigation Braking System™ (CMBS™) with Forward Collision Warning (FCW)
    • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
    • Road Departure Mitigation (RDM)
    • Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) with Low-Speed Following
    • Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS)
  • Available 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ compatibility
  • Available Bose® premium audio system with 12 speakers
  • Available wireless phone charging
  • Available one-touch power moonroof
  • Available heated front seats
  • Available leather-trimmed seats
  • Available 18-inch alloy wheels

2024 Mazda Mazda3

Score 8.6
MSRP $24,170 – $36,650 
MPG 23-28 City / 31-37 Hwy
2024 Mazda Mazda3

The 2024 Mazda Mazda3 is a compact car that comes in sedan and hatchback body styles. It is available in five trim levels: Sport, Preferred, Carbon Edition, Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus.

All trims come with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine that produces 191 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque.

A turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 250 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque is available on the Premium and Turbo Premium Plus trims.

Here are some of the key features of the 2024 Mazda3:

  • Standard Mazda i-Activsense suite of safety and driver-assistive technologies, which includes:
    • Pre-collision warning with automatic emergency braking
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane departure warning with lane keep assist
    • Blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert
  • Available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
  • Available 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Available Bose 12-speaker sound system
  • Available wireless charging
  • Available heated front seats and steering wheel
  • Available panoramic sunroof

2023 Hyundai Elantra N

Score 8.4
MSRP $32,900 – $34,400 
MPG 20-22 City / 30-31 Hwy
2023 Hyundai Elantra N

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra N is a high-performance version of the popular Elantra sedan, offering a thrilling driving experience without sacrificing everyday usability.

Performance:

  • 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder engine: Produces 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque, providing exhilarating acceleration and responsive handling.
  • Choice of transmissions: Available with either a 6-speed manual or an 8-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, catering to both driving preferences.
  • N Grin Control System: Selects from Eco, Normal, Sport, N, and Custom drive modes, adjusting engine performance, suspension, steering, and exhaust sound for various driving conditions.
  • N Performance Blue Link: Integrated app offering performance data, track maps, and N performance challenges.
  • Track-tested handling: Developed and tested on the Nürburgring racetrack for sharp handling and confident cornering.
  • Standard performance features: Includes launch control, electronically controlled suspension, larger brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires.

Exterior:

  • Aggressive and sporty design: Differentiated from the regular Elantra with unique front and rear fascias, side skirts, wing-type spoiler, and matte black accents.
  • LED lighting: Equipped with standard LED headlights, taillights, and daytime running lights.
  • 19-inch alloy wheels: Enhance the sporty look and performance.

Interior:

  • N Light Sport bucket seats: Bolstered seats with leather and Alcantara® trim, offering comfort and support during spirited driving.
  • N leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob: Provide a premium feel and sporty touch.
  • 10.25-inch touchscreen navigation: Includes Bose® premium audio, Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity, and a suite of driver-assistance features.
  • Heated front seats and alloy pedals: Add comfort and convenience.

Overall, the 2023 Hyundai Elantra N is a compelling option for drivers seeking a fun and practical everyday performance car.

It offers a unique blend of power, handling, technology, and comfort at a competitive price point.

2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

Score 8.3
MSRP $26,250 – $29,450 
MPG 49-51 City / 52-58 Hwy
2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid

The 2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is a fuel-efficient and stylish sedan that offers a comfortable and refined driving experience.

It’s a compelling option for drivers who want to save money on gas without sacrificing performance or features.

Key features

  • 1.6L four-cylinder engine and electric motor: Combined, they produce 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque.
  • Six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission: Provides smooth and efficient gear changes.
  • EPA-estimated fuel economy of 53 mpg city and 56 mpg highway: This makes the Elantra Hybrid one of the most fuel-efficient sedans on the market.
  • Standard features: Include an 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, forward collision avoidance assist, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.
  • Available features: Include a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, navigation, a Bose premium audio system, heated seats, a sunroof, and a wireless charging pad.

Overall, the 2024 Hyundai Elantra Hybrid is a great choice for drivers who are looking for a fuel-efficient, stylish, and well-equipped sedan.

2023 Volkswagen GTI

Score 8.3
MSRP $30,530 – $39,870 
MPG 23-24 City / 32-34 Hwy
2023 Volkswagen GTI

The 2023 Volkswagen GTI is a high-performance version of the Volkswagen Golf hatchback, offering a thrilling driving experience and a comfortable daily driving option.

It is known for its balanced handling, peppy turbocharged engine, and classic hot hatch looks. It remains a popular choice among driving enthusiasts.

Key features

  • 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 241 horsepower and 273 lb-ft of torque
  • Choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Front-wheel drive
  • Standard limited-slip differential for improved handling
  • Available adaptive dampers for adjustable ride quality
  • Plaid cloth seats or optional leather seats
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Available 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation
  • A suite of driver-assistance features, including forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning

Overall, the 2023 Volkswagen GTI is a great choice for drivers who are looking for a fun and practical performance hatchback.

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