Would a small car make sense for you? Even if you’re not convinced that good things come in small packages, we’ve compiled our top reasons why a compact or subcompact car might deserve a spot in your driveway.
They’re Not ‘Econoboxes’ Anymore
While oversized land yachts may have symbolized status and luxury 40 years ago, you no longer need to spend big bucks and drive a huge car to get the comfort and convenience features found on high-end luxury cars. For example, small cars like the Kia Forte offer optional features like a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats and a ventilated driver’s seat. Small cars are competitive in offering the latest safety and driver assistance features, as well. Models such as the Mazda3 offer optional tech features that include blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning and lane departure warning systems.
Good Fuel Economy
While new cars are getting lighter and more fuel-efficient across the board, small cars are often at the top of the heap if you’re looking for good fuel economy, since they typically weigh less and can make do with smaller engines that use less fuel. As a result, you don’t necessarily need to look to hybrid and electric vehicles if you want to break 40 mpg. Small cars such as the Ford Fiesta, Dodge Dart, Nissan Versa, Toyota Corolla and the retro-styled Fiat 500 are all capable of getting at least 40 mpg on the highway, according to FuelEconomy.gov.
The Fun Factor
While your grandma’s full-size sedan isn’t without its positive attributes, it’s probably safe to say that maneuvering it down winding roads won’t necessarily bring a smile to your face. On the other hand, many of today’s small cars, such as the Ford Focus ST, offer lively handling that makes them fun to drive. Even if you’re not looking for a fast small car, models like the Chevrolet Sonic, Honda Fit and MINI Cooper have all earned praise for being practical small cars that are still fun to drive.
They Make Parking a Breeze
Anyone who’s forced to parallel park in urban areas knows that a large car can be tough to squeeze into a tight parking spot. Since small cars usually offer shorter overall lengths and smaller turning circles, they may make a lot of sense, even if you don’t do much city driving. While a congested parking lot with narrow parking spaces might be a hassle in a large SUV, a compact car can make the situation a lot easier.
Lower Ownership Costs
It’s no secret that small cars often have a lower base price than other vehicles in an automaker’s lineup, but they typically also carry lower ownership costs over time. Expenses like fuel, insurance, repairs and maintenance will all vary depending on the car you own, and in this regard, smaller cars typically have lower out-of-pocket costs. Cars like the Chevrolet Spark, Scion iQ, Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris are just a few of the models that can cost you less to own and maintain over the course of five years.
While they still offer strong fuel economy estimates and low ownership costs, buying a small car no longer means that you have to skimp on the latest tech features or fun driving dynamics.