2015 Compact Car Buyers Guide

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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.

What’s New?

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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.

2015 Volkswagen Golf Review

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.

SEE ALSO: 10 Compacts Cars With the Largest Back Seats

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.

2015 Subaru Impreza Review

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.

What’s Coming?

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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.

Find Your Next Car

10 of 33 Compact Cars shown
2015 Kia Forte
2015 Kia Forte
view 3 trims
$15,890 - $19,390 25/36 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Chevrolet Cruze
2015 Chevrolet Cruze
view 10 trims
$16,170 - $25,660 22/35 mpg
1 reviews
2015 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
2015 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan
view 32 trims
$16,215 - $31,670 23/32 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Nissan Sentra
2015 Nissan Sentra
view 6 trims
$16,480 - $20,670 27/36 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Dodge Dart
2015 Dodge Dart
view 5 trims
$16,495 - $23,095 22/33 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Mazda Mazda3
2015 Mazda Mazda3
view 22 trims
$16,945 - $26,595 25/35 mpg
2 reviews
2015 Toyota Corolla
2015 Toyota Corolla
view 12 trims
$16,950 - $22,955 27/36 mpg
1 reviews
2015 Scion xB
2015 Scion xB
view 2 trims
$17,120 - $18,070 22/28 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Ford Focus
2015 Ford Focus
view 6 trims
$17,170 - $24,370 23/32 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Hyundai Elantra
2015 Hyundai Elantra
view 7 trims
$17,250 - $22,600 24/34 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer
view 6 trims
$17,395 - $29,495 18/25 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Volkswagen Golf
2015 Volkswagen Golf
view 14 trims
$17,995 - $29,495 25/36 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Subaru Impreza Sedan
2015 Subaru Impreza Sedan
view 4 trims
$18,195 - $22,295 25/34 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Honda Civic Sedan
2015 Honda Civic Sedan
view 12 trims
$18,490 - $29,390 22/31 mpg
1 reviews
2015 Subaru Impreza Wagon
2015 Subaru Impreza Wagon
view 7 trims
$18,695 - $23,295 24/33 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Kia Forte 5-Door
2015 Kia Forte 5-Door
view 3 trims
$19,690 - $21,890 21/29 mpg
0 reviews
2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door
2015 MINI Cooper Hardtop 4 Door
view 2 trims
$21,700 - $25,100 24/34 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Buick Verano
2015 Buick Verano
view 4 trims
$23,380 - $29,215 21/30 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Toyota Prius
2015 Toyota Prius
view 5 trims
$24,200 - $30,005 51/48 mpg
1 reviews
2015 Honda Civic Hybrid
2015 Honda Civic Hybrid
view 4 trims
$24,735 - $27,435 44/47 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI
view 20 trims
$24,785 - $32,640 25/33 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Subaru WRX
2015 Subaru WRX
view 5 trims
$26,295 - $31,195 19/25 mpg
1 reviews
2015 Acura ILX
2015 Acura ILX
view 4 trims
$27,050 - $31,750 22/31 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Ford Focus Electric
2015 Ford Focus Electric
view 1 trims
$29,170 N/A
0 reviews
2015 Audi A3
2015 Audi A3
view 15 trims
$29,900 - $38,600 23/32 mpg
2 reviews
2015 Lexus CT 200h
2015 Lexus CT 200h
view 1 trims
$32,200 43/40 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan
2015 Cadillac ATS Sedan
view 16 trims
$33,215 - $48,715 18/26 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Chevrolet Volt
2015 Chevrolet Volt
view 1 trims
$34,345 35/40 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
2015 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
view 2 trims
$34,495 - $38,995 17/22 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Subaru WRX STI
2015 Subaru WRX STI
view 3 trims
$34,495 - $38,495 17/23 mpg
0 reviews
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
2015 Volkswagen e-Golf
view 1 trims
$35,445 N/A
0 reviews
2015 Volkswagen Golf R
2015 Volkswagen Golf R
view 2 trims
$36,595 - $39,090 N/A
0 reviews
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
2015 Cadillac ATS Coupe
view 14 trims
$37,995 - $51,435 18/28 mpg
0 reviews
10 of 33 Compact Cars shown

Compact Car Reviews

2016 Acura ILX Review

The Acura Integra was a big deal for Acura. Well loved by many, it became synonymous with Acura and elevated the young luxury brand’s image. But the ILX, Acura’s new take on a small premium sedans, has yet to catch on. Lacking an identity of its own, the ILX’s mundane styling, ho-hum powertrain and absence…

2014 Subaru Impreza Second Opinion

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.

2013 Dodge Dart GT Review

Dodge is back in the small-car segment in a big way with the brand-new Dart. Does this Alfa Romeo-infused sedan make up for the company’s past sins or is it just another Caliber-level disappointment?

2014 Mazda3 Review – Video

The Mazda3 has always been one of the best small cars on the market and it’s just been redesigned for the 2014 model year. Has the company made meaningful improvements to it or have they ruined a great thing?
More Compact Car Reviews

Compact Car News

MINI Debuts 395-HP Gran Turismo Concept

MINI Debuts 395-HP Gran Turismo Concept
MINI is the latest automaker to show off its Vision Gran Turismo concept. Joining the virtual race track in Gran Turismo 6 is the MINI Clubman Vision Gran Turismo that is powered by a 395-hp engine that propels the concept to 62 mph in just 3.5 seconds. Mated to the engine is a six-speed sequential transmission…

Five Worst New Cars by Consumer Reports

Five Worst New Cars by Consumer Reports
What are the worst cars available on today’s market? Consumer Reports has released its annual list of the best and worst cars available, after putting each vehicle through a battery of tests. The overall scores for each vehicle are based on over 50 individual tests and evaluations and each is scored on a 100-point scale. Reliability and crash…

2015 Jeep Renegade Rated at 25 MPG Combined

2015 Jeep Renegade Rated at 25 MPG Combined
The first fuel economy figures for the 2015 Jeep Renegade have been announced. The compact crossover when equipped with a 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, a nine-speed automatic transmission and front-wheel drive will return 22 MPG in the city and 31 MPG on the highway, good for a 25-MPG combined rating. Figures for the 1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine…

Infiniti Q30 Sheds Camouflage in Spy Photos

Infiniti Q30 Sheds Camouflage in Spy Photos
The Infiniti Q30 is shedding some camouflage for AutoGuide.com‘s spy photographers. The last time the Q30 was spotted by spy photographers, it was sporting heavy camouflage, concealing much of its body and features. This time around, the Japanese automaker has removed the massive black coverings as it tests the new compact luxury hatchback in Europe. Sharing…

2016 Fiat 500 Spied During Winter Testing

2016 Fiat 500 Spied During Winter Testing
The 2016 Fiat 500 has been caught playing in the snow by AutoGuide.com‘s spy photographers. The Italian automaker is giving its compact a facelift for the 2016 model year and as you can tell by the spy photos, the mid-cycle refresh for the 500 won’t be drastic in nature. The city car will retain most of…

2015 Toyota Yaris, Tacoma Recall Announced

2015 Toyota Yaris, Tacoma Recall Announced
Toyota is recalling two of its models for separate problems. The Japanese automaker has announced that certain 2015 Toyota Yaris compacts may have rear-axle bearing bolts that were not tightened sufficiently during assembly. In the case that a bolt is loose, it could fall off during vehicle operation, damaging rear brake components and resulting in poor brake performance…

How Far Can You Drive on a Tank of Diesel?

How Far Can You Drive on a Tank of Diesel?
For the most part, diesel engines achieve superior fuel efficiency compared to their internal combustion gasoline counterparts. When fitted with a sizable fuel tank, they can offer bladder-busting range. This makes diesel vehicles great for long road trips with minimal stops. But just how far can you really stretch a single tank of diesel? Well,…

Lexus LF-SA Accidentally Teased Early

Lexus LF-SA Accidentally Teased Early
Lexus accidentally released an image of its upcoming compact car concept prematurely. The above image was posted on the Japanese automaker’s European Twitter feed for a few moments before it was removed, but given how fast word spreads on the Internet, the Lexus LF-SA teaser now lives on. The LF-SA is believed to be a compact…

Rinspeed Budii Concept to Debut at Geneva Motor Show

Rinspeed Budii Concept to Debut at Geneva Motor Show
The Geneva Motor Show, which opens to the press next month, is a top venue for supercars and other exotic reveals. Appropriately vehicle builder and tuner Rinspeed is debuting an autonomous concept called the Budii. Surprisingly this design study is based on the BMW i3 and was engineered by Swiss firm 4erC. Described by the…

Kia Cee’d Sport Wagon Spied

Kia Cee’d Sport Wagon Spied
Kia’s Europe-only Cee’d small car has been spied once again. The revised Sport Wagon version has been spotted undergoing testing. This revised model is expected to sport exterior and interior changes plus engine upgrades. Currently the Sport Wagon model offers a wide array of powertrains, from a petite 1.4-liter gasoline engine to a torque-rich diesel…

Lexus Rumored to Debut Compact City Car Next Month

Lexus Rumored to Debut Compact City Car Next Month
Rumor has it Lexus is going to enter the compact luxury car segment. Despite reports last year that the Japanese automaker had no intentions to create a model smaller than the CT 200h, Australia website Motoring is reporting that Lexus will actually debut an all-new B-segment compact car that will serve as a direct rival…

Smart Fortwo Brabus Spied During Winter Testing

Smart Fortwo Brabus Spied During Winter Testing
The new smart fortwo is getting a little bit more of a personality courtesy of Brabus. AutoGuide.com‘s spy photographers have caught the Smart Fortwo Brabus conducting winter testing and this time it’s practically fully revealed and sitting still. Featuring a dual-tip exhaust, it appears that Brabus hasn’t fully finished the compact’s rear diffuser or has…

Top Five Most Anticipated Chicago Auto Show Debuts

Top Five Most Anticipated Chicago Auto Show Debuts
Like VC fighters hacking their way through Vietnam’s jungles in order to keep the Ho Chi Minh trail open and supplies flowing we find ourselves in the thick of auto-show season, surrounded by enemy combatants … or perhaps just journalists from other publications. Anyway, there’s a little shindig going on in Chicago right now. The…

2016 Chevrolet Spark Spotted with New Style

2016 Chevrolet Spark Spotted with New Style
The 2016 Chevrolet Spark has made an early appearance in some low-res photos.  Expected to make its debut at the 2015 New York Auto Show in April, this new Spark was spotted in China. The photos were first published by Korean website Bobaedream.co.kr,  but seem to have been taken down. Based on the same platform as…

2015 Ford Focus Gets ‘Anti-Spinout’ System

2015 Ford Focus Gets ‘Anti-Spinout’ System
Ford is adding a new feature to the stability control system in the 2015 Focus. The new setup can predict when a spinout is imminent and brake individual wheels to help the driver maintain control.  Known as, “enhanced transitional stability technology,” Ford says the system uses real-time data like vehicle speed, steering wheel input and the turn rate…

Most Watched Videos of the Week: February 1 – 8, 2015

The Land Rover Discovery Sport continues to garner the attention of automotive shoppers worldwide. AutoGuide.com was fortunate enough to travel to Iceland to put the new Discovery Sport to the test and this week’s most watched video takes a look at the British automaker’s newest SUV inside and out. Other popular videos include a comparison…

2016 Ford Focus RS Super Hatch Revealed

2016 Ford Focus RS Super Hatch Revealed
Making all other hot hatches look just lukewarm, Ford has revealed its incredible new Focus RS super hatch. Co-developed with rally driver and stunt-man Ken Block, Ford has confirmed the new machine will make use of an exclusive 2.3-liter EcoBoost turbocharged 4-cylinder engine with “well over” 320-hp. Based on the same basic architecture as the…

2015 Honda Fit Earns 5-Star Safety Rating

2015 Honda Fit Earns 5-Star Safety Rating
The new Honda Fit has earned a top safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  Five star ratings were handed to the new Fit in the front and side crash tests while the rollover tests were rated at four stars. Honda says the Fit’s strong performance can be attributed to the its next-generation Advanced Compatibility…

Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Spied Testing

Mini Countryman Plug-In Hybrid Spied Testing
Mini is preparing a new plug-in hybrid version of the Countryman.  Our spy photographers confirmed as much in these shots of a Countryman prototype sporting hybrid stickers. The Countryman plug-in will use a small turbocharged three-cylinder engine to power the front wheels while the electric powertrain will take care of the rear wheels. SEE ALSO: New…

MINI Clubman Spied, Previewed in Render

MINI Clubman Spied, Previewed in Render
The next-generation MINI Clubman is taking shape. AutoGuide.com’s spy photographers have caught the next-generation Clubman testing and it’s our most revealing look at yet the compact sedan. Since the last time we spotted the Clubman testing, it has dropped some of its camouflage and we get a better look at its tail lights for the…

Buick Eyeing Opel Adam for U.S.

Buick Eyeing Opel Adam for U.S.
  Buick is looking to expand the bottom end of its lineup. “I’ve looked at the possibility of fast-tracking [the Opel Adam] into the Buick range sooner than later,” Duncan Aldred, U.S. vice president of Buick and GMC told Automotive News. “I think it would make a great Buick.” The Adam is a small three-door…

GM Halting Chevy Sonic, Buick Verano Production

GM Halting Chevy Sonic, Buick Verano Production
GM is shutting down one of its plants for two weeks to help trim inventory levels for two of its models. It is being reported that the American automaker will idle production at its Orion Assembly Plant in Orion Township the week of February 16 and April 6 as inventory levels for the Buick Verano…

Chevy Spark EV Sales Expand to Maryland

Chevy Spark EV Sales Expand to Maryland
The Chevrolet Spark EV is heading to the East Coast. The American automaker will start sales of its Spark EV this spring in Maryland, the third state that the electric compact will be sold in following launches in California and Oregon in 2013. Chevrolet says it is targeting Maryland for its “strong commuter market” as…

The Ford Focus RS will be Revealed on Feb. 3

The Ford Focus RS will be Revealed on Feb. 3
Excited about the new Ford Focus RS? You should be! The company just confirmed they’ll be revealing it on February 3, which is less than two weeks away. To whet our appetite for this ultra-high-performance small car the blue oval published a video showing it doing some nasty sliding on tarmac. This scalding-hot hatchback is…
More Compact Car News