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?
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.
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.
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 A 89-hp 0.9-liter four-cylinder engine powers the new car and thankfully the single-clutch automatic transmission has been replaced by a dual-clutch unit.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?
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.