2014 Compact Car Buyers Guide

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If you’re looking for style, fuel economy, tech and an easy-to-swallow price-tag, then the compact car segment is the place to be. Compact cars are no longer the ugly, too-cheap-to-be-seen-in vehicles that they used to be and offer a ton of value for buyers.

What's New with Compact Cars?

2014 Toyota Corolla SA number of new compact cars have been introduced this year. The globally popular Toyota Corolla has been updated for the 2014 model year and is now far better looking inside and out. While the base engine and outdated 4-speed automatic transmission remain in low trim models, a new 1.8L 4-cylinder and CVT transmission combine to get up to 42 mpg in the Eco model. The base Corolla L comes in at just under $17,000, while a fully optioned out version costs just under $22,000

The Corolla’s main Japanese competitor saw a second consecutive refresh this year, as speial attentio was paid to the 2014 Honda Civic coupe and Si models. Featuring a minor bump in horsepower, the big news for 2014 is a continuosly variable transmission replaces the five-speed gearbox in automatic equipped Civics.

SEE ALSO: Ten Things You Need To Know About the 2013 Mazda3

Mazda is also offering a brand new version of its Mazda3 compact car which is available as either a hatchback or sedan. The Mazda3 is now fully designed with the SkyActive principles of reduced weight in mind and is sure to be a fun, yet fuel efficient vehicle. The most significant change regarding the Mazda3 comes with its interior which is refined and far more attractive than past Mazda3 vehicles. Pricing starts at $16,945 for the four-door sedan, and can be as pricey as $26,495 for the five-door hatchback.

2014 Kia Forte The Kia Forte is also all-new this year and brings the compact sedan’s styling to the modern era. Buyers will appreciate the adjustable steering settings and despite the vehicle’s lower weight, the car is notably quieter on the inside. Starting at $15,900 the Forte is great value but you can get a more powerful model with 173-hp instead of 145-hp for $19,400

The Volkswagen Jetta sees the return of a 1.8 liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine this year. Replacing the old 2.5 liter five-cylinder, the new 170 hp turbocharged unit promises improved fuel economy and better performance. As well, the Jetta now recieves an independent rear suspension.

If you’re after performance, the compact car segment has quite a few exciting vehicles to choose from. The new Ford Focus ST is a speedy hot hatchback with a lot of turbocharged power going to the front wheels. With a total of 252-hp and 270 lb.-ft. of torque, this Focus can get going in a hurry. Additionally, a new generation of Volkswagen Golf is on the way, including a more powerful version of its sporty GTI trim. Costing just $24,115 the Focus ST is a bargain for enthusiasts.

2014 FIAT 500LThose looking for something a little different, there is the 2014 is the Fiat 500L, which adds two extra doors to the Fiat 500 subcompact and makes it a far more liveable vehicle for those who need more space. The car uses a turbocharged four-cylinder engine which makes 160-hp and is paired to a six-speed manual or a dry-dual clutch transmission that is shared with the Dodge Dart. Pricing for the 500L starts just under $20,000, which makes it a bit more expensive than other compacts on the market, but the extra practicality of the hatchback and unique styling may be a price worth paying for.

And for those in the market for a diesel, good news, Chevrolet is now offering one in the Cruze. Using a 2.0L turbo-diesel, the Cruze Diesel can see 46 mpg, while its main rival the Jetta TDI is rated at just 42. The Cruze is a bit pricier than its German competition though, starting at $25,695.

SEE ALSO: Top 10 Compact Sedans With the Largest Trunks

What's Coming in Compact Cars?

The Hyundai Elantra recieves an update later this year that includes revised styling and a new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine making 173 hp. Chevrolet is expected to roll out an updated Cruze with new styling that would see the compact sporting a look similar to the Chevy Sonic subcompact.

New Car Finder
10 of 27 Compact Cars shown
2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
2014 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
view 49 trims
$15,695 - $31,895 23/29 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Nissan Sentra
2014 Nissan Sentra
view 7 trims
$15,990 - $19,640 27/36 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Toyota Corolla
2014 Toyota Corolla
view 12 trims
$16,800 - $21,300 27/36 mpg
2 reviews
2014 Ford Focus
2014 Ford Focus
view 6 trims
$16,810 - $24,115 23/32 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Mazda Mazda3
2014 Mazda Mazda3
view 18 trims
$16,945 - $26,495 27/37 mpg
4 reviews
2014 Scion xB
2014 Scion xB
view 3 trims
$16,970 - $20,420 22/28 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer
view 6 trims
$17,195 - $28,395 18/25 mpg
0 reviews
2014 Chevrolet Cruze
2014 Chevrolet Cruze
view 10 trims
$17,520 - $24,985 22/35 mpg
3 reviews
2014 Subaru Impreza Sedan
2014 Subaru Impreza Sedan
view 5 trims
$17,895 - $22,195 25/34 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Honda Civic Sedan
2014 Honda Civic Sedan
view 11 trims
$18,390 - $29,290 22/31 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Subaru Impreza Wagon
2014 Subaru Impreza Wagon
view 8 trims
$18,395 - $23,195 25/33 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Toyota Prius c
2014 Toyota Prius c
view 4 trims
$19,080 - $23,360 53/46 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Volkswagen Golf
2014 Volkswagen Golf
view 6 trims
$19,995 - $27,995 23/30 mpg
1 reviews
2014 MINI Cooper Countryman
2014 MINI Cooper Countryman
view 4 trims
$22,100 - $34,950 25/31 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Toyota Prius
2014 Toyota Prius
view 4 trims
$24,200 - $30,005 51/48 mpg
0 reviews
2014 Honda Civic Hybrid
2014 Honda Civic Hybrid
view 4 trims
$24,635 - $27,335 44/47 mpg
0 reviews
2014 Volkswagen GTI
2014 Volkswagen GTI
view 4 trims
$25,095 - $30,795 21/31 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX
2014 Subaru Impreza Sedan WRX
view 5 trims
$25,995 - $37,845 17/23 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Acura ILX
2014 Acura ILX
view 6 trims
$26,900 - $34,600 22/31 mpg
2 reviews
2014 Volkswagen CC
2014 Volkswagen CC
view 19 trims
$31,795 - $42,895 17/25 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Lexus CT 200h
2014 Lexus CT 200h
view 1 trims
$32,050 43/40 mpg
1 reviews
2014 BMW 3 Series
2014 BMW 3 Series
view 11 trims
$32,750 - $49,900 20/30 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Cadillac ATS
2014 Cadillac ATS
view 16 trims
$33,065 - $48,195 18/26 mpg
1 reviews
2014 Chevrolet Volt
2014 Chevrolet Volt
view 1 trims
$34,185 35/40 mpg
2 reviews
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
2014 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
view 2 trims
$34,995 - $38,195 17/22 mpg
0 reviews
2014 Ford Focus Electric
2014 Ford Focus Electric
view 1 trims
$35,170 N/A
0 reviews
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
2014 Mercedes-Benz C-Class
view 10 trims
$35,800 - $62,750 13/19 mpg
1 reviews
10 of 27 Compact Cars shown

Compact Car Reviews

2014 Subaru Impreza Second Opinion

The Impreza has gone full mainstream in an attempt to find more buyers and it is working. Does this car appeal to our general consumer tester? We gave her one for a week to find out.
2014 MINI Cooper S Hardtop Review

2014 MINI Cooper S Hardtop Review

MINI’s iconic Cooper Hardtop is all-new for 2014, but it’s bigger in a number of key dimensions. Has the company ruined a good thing or improved the breed?
2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Review - Video

2014 Volkswagen Jetta SEL Review - Video

For 2014 the Jetta receives a new engine, a new rear suspension and new electric assist power steering. Will these changes be enough to return the Jetta to its former glory?

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2014 Ford Focus Hatchback Consumer Review

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