If you’re looking for style, fuel economy and technology at 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.
Volkswagen was hard at work this year further updating the Jetta with a revised interior, updated suspension tuning and minor exterior tweaks. The big news for Jetta is a new, more efficient 150 HP 2.0-liter turbocharged diesel engine in TDI models. Not stopping with the Jetta, the all-new Golf is finally available in North America with a variety of flavors ranging from the all-electric e-Golf to the sporty GTI.
Acura has overhauled the ILX this year, ditching the base 2.0-liter engine and manual transmission options. All ILX models now come equipped with a 201 HP 2.4-liter Earth Dreams four-cylinder engine paired to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Styling updates inside and out give the compact Acura a more contemporary look and new technology promise to make it more class competitive.
Hyundai has given the Elantra a thorough update this year including refreshed styling inside and out as well as a new 173 HP 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Available as a sedan or a five-door hatchback, the Elantra now has one of the more powerful entry-level engines in the class.
For 2015 Subaru has given the compact Impreza a host of upgrades. Thanks to some engine and transmission tuning, fuel economy numbers for automatic equipped cars goes up this year. As well, minor styling inside and out make the Impreza look more modern and great measures have been take to quiet the cabin of the car. The big news for 2015 is the addition of Eyesight, Subaru’s adaptive cruise control and crash detection system, for the Impreza.
Last year MINI introduced an all-new Cooper hardtop and this year the model line expands to include a four-door model. Basically a longer MINI hatchback with four doors, the new car uses the same choice of turbocharged three and four cylinder engine options.
The Nissan Sentra should be overhauled in the near future and a revised Chevrolet Cruze is on the way. The Ford Focus is due for an overhaul and a new Scion will join the compact car fold in the form of the hatchback iM.