At the moment, downsizing is a big trend in motoring as buying a small car is a great way to cut your insurance premiums and boost your fuel economy. If chosen wisely a top city car or supermini can deliver most of the qualities expected from a larger vehicle.
Modern packaging techniques mean most superminis can comfortably sit adults in the rear while small city cars are more than adequate for children. City cars don’t tend to offer that much in the way of boot space but you can usually fold the rear seat backs down to increase capacity. Go for a supermini and you can expect a generous boot. The best small cars have performed well in Euro NCAP crash tests, and come with plenty of airbags and safety features.
Low running costs are also a big draw for buyers considering a small car, with some small cars promising fuel consumption figures in excess of 80mpg and CO2 emissions low enough to qualify for free road tax.
The top five small cars
Tanking account all the small cars available in the market, the top five are the Skoda Citigo, Ford Fiesta, Peugeot 208, Renault Clio and Fiat Panda.
A brief overview of the top five small cars
The Skoda Citigo is better value than sister models VW up! And SEAT Mii, offering S, SE and Elegance trims which all feature ESP, air con and airbags. Buyers can choose from a 59bhp or 72bhp 1.0 litre three cylinder petrol engine and there is also the choice of a three door or five door variant.
The Ford Fiesta has recently been updated, now offering a 1.0 litre three cylinder EcoBoost turbo petrol engine which produces 123bhp and returns 65.7mpg. The latest diesel Fiesta ECOnetic promise lower fuel consumption at 85mpg with CO2 emissions of 87g/km making it exempt from road tax.
The Peugeot 208 is one of the best looking superminis, powered by a wide engine range, featuring an 82bhp three cylinder 1.2 litre VTi turbo and a 92bhp 1.6 litre HDi diesel engine. Both promise low fuel consumption and the safety kit includes ESP and plenty of airbags.
The Renault Clio is sold as a small five door vehcile yet it’s hidden handles make it appear to be a three door model. Buyers have a massive range of specs to choose from, with all versions gaining keyless entry and keyless go as well as a seven inch touchscreen. Safety kit includes ESP and emergency brake assist as standard, with the option of parking sensors and a reversing camera. Engine choices include a new 900cc petrol turbo and with the £250 ECO pack, the fuel consumption drops to 65.7mpg.
The Fiat Panda has been around since 1980 and offers a variety of petrol and diesel engines in either two, three or four cylinder layouts. Safety wise, ESP is not featured as standard but is available as an option for £315. The Panda also comes with the manufacturer’s three year or 60,000 mile warranty.
With new small car models constantly joining the market, these models may not remain the top five small cars for long.