2016 Sub-Compact Car Buyers Guide

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Budget-conscious transportation has never been better. No longer do consumers have to settle for a subcompact car. These tiny vehicles now offer features and amenities that used to be reserved for much larger cars. There are plenty of new choices in the sub-compact car segment and even more coming.

What’s New in Subcompact Cars for 2016?

2016 Scion iA Price

The Scion xA and xD never really caught on the way the brand would have liked them to, so for 2016, Scion is taking a different approach. Instead of another subcompact hatchback, the manufacturer has introduced a new small sedan called the Scion iA. But the real big news is that this is not a Toyota designed-and-built product, but rather a Mazda. Behind the Scion schnoz resides the mechanics and interior from a 2016 Mazda2. Since that Mazda is not coming to the U.S., this is the only way to purchase a new 2. Plus, it benefits from Toyota’s much larger dealer network.

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On sale soon, the 2016 MINI Cooper Clubman is a four-door MINI that is longer and larger than the actual MINI four-door. At more than 168 inches long, the new Clubman is longer than a Scion xB, which makes it not all that sub-compact. When the Clubman arrives, it will be powered by the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder and 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engines as found in other MINIs.

2016 Smart Fortwo Review

Two cars that reside on the smaller end of the sub-compact spectrum are also all new for 2016, the Chevrolet Spark and the smart fortwo. The Spark resides an all-new architecture with overall length decreasing slightly. A 98-hp 1.4-liter engine resides under a hood and the Spark has lost its funky anime looks in favor of a more conventional design.

2016 Subcompact Crossover Shootout

And speaking of convention, the smart fortwo is still anything but. The rear-engine, two-seat city car is new this year and features fresh styling that’s still easily recognizable as a smart car. A 89-hp 0.9-liter four-cylinder engine powers the new car and thankfully the single-clutch automatic transmission has been replaced by a dual-clutch unit.

What’s next in Subcompact Cars?

2016-Chevrolet-Spark-Side-02

Later this year, a pair of subcompact heavyweight players will get completely overhauled, the Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent. Details are scarce on both cars, but expect increased efficiency, refinement and safety from the pair.

Find Your Next Car

10 of 12 Sub-Compacts shown
2016 Nissan Versa
2016 Nissan Versa
view 5 trims
$11,990 - $17,140 26/35 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Chevrolet Spark
2016 Chevrolet Spark
view 6 trims
$12,660 - $17,285 30/39 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Nissan Versa Note
2016 Nissan Versa Note
view 5 trims
$14,230 - $18,710 27/36 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Chevrolet Sonic
2016 Chevrolet Sonic
view 14 trims
$14,345 - $21,495 24/33 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Ford Fiesta
2016 Ford Fiesta
view 7 trims
$14,580 - $21,460 26/33 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Smart fortwo
2016 Smart fortwo
view 4 trims
$14,650 - $18,480 32/39 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Toyota Yaris
2016 Toyota Yaris
view 7 trims
$14,895 - $17,670 30/36 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Scion iA
2016 Scion iA
view 2 trims
$15,700 - $16,800 31/41 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Honda Fit
2016 Honda Fit
view 6 trims
$15,890 - $21,165 29/37 mpg
0 reviews
2016 FIAT 500
2016 FIAT 500
view 7 trims
$16,995 - $22,575 28/34 mpg
0 reviews
2016 Toyota Prius c
2016 Toyota Prius c
view 5 trims
$19,560 - $24,495 53/46 mpg
0 reviews
2016 MINI Cooper Hardtop
2016 MINI Cooper Hardtop
view 3 trims
$20,700 - $30,600 23/31 mpg
0 reviews
10 of 12 Sub-Compacts shown

Sub-Compact Car Reviews

2015 Fiat 500 Turbo Review

2015 Fiat 500 Turbo Review
Starting with the 2015 model year, Fiat is offering the 500 Turbo with an automatic. Is it a tiny Italian you can’t ignore, or something to acknowledge with little more than a single “ciao?”

2016 Fiat 500X Review

2016 Fiat 500X Review
The Fiat 500X is a fashion forward cousin to the Jeep Renegade and the newest contender in the subcompact crossover segment. But does all that add up to a product worth paying for?

2015 Hyundai Accent Review

2015 Hyundai Accent Review
Hyundai impressed us with some of its bigger and better cars, but the freshly updated Accent shows they still know a thing or two about subcompacts.

2015 Toyota Yaris Review

2015 Toyota Yaris Review
The Toyota Yaris is refreshed for 2015, but it still trails the competition in features and technological advancement. Are those downsides enough to take your business elsewhere or is the Yaris still better than its competition?

2014 Nissan Versa Review

2014 Nissan Versa Review
At this year’s New York Auto Show, Nissan announced that the Versa would get a facelift for 2015, but that its starting price of $12,800 will remain unchanged — meaning it will retain its title as the least-expensive car sold in America.
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