View the best compact cars to find the right car for you. Compact cars are meant to be more for commuting than comfort and performance. Reviewers typically look for compact cars that offer good legroom, a generous amount of standard features, and good fuel economy.

Read more
(Choose up to 3 cars)
Compare Cars
Ranking List | Sort by Scores
Compare
Chevrolet Bolt Image
  • MSRP: $36,620 - $40,905
  • MPG: N/A

#1
2017 Chevrolet Bolt

The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Bolt rewrites the electric car playbook, providing over 230 miles of driving range per charge and oodles of high-tech convenience ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.9
Critics' Rating:9.2
Performance:8.9
Interior:8.4
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_5
Compare
Kia Soul Image
  • MSRP: $16,100 - $35,950
  • MPG: 25 City / 30 Hwy

#1
2017 Kia Soul

The 2017 Kia Soul’s distinctive look will help you stand out from the crowded compact class. It’s not just about looks, though. The Soul ... Read full review»

Best Cars for the Money Winner

Best Cars for Families Winner

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.9
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.6
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_5
Compare
Honda Civic Image
  • MSRP: $18,740 - $28,300
  • MPG: 31 City / 40 Hwy

#3
2017 Honda Civic

The Honda Civic sets the standard for the compact car class. It is comfortable, well-equipped, elegantly styled, and has excellent safety ratings. The 2017 ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.7
Interior:8.3
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_5
Compare
Mazda Mazda3 Image
  • MSRP: $17,845 - $24,945
  • MPG: 27 City / 37 Hwy

#4
2017 Mazda Mazda3

You'll have lots of fun behind the wheel of a 2017 Mazda3. It's one of the best performing compact cars, with precise steering, strong ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.4
Performance:9.0
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Toyota Prius Image
  • MSRP: $24,685 - $30,015
  • MPG: 54 City / 50 Hwy

#4
2017 Toyota Prius

The Toyota Prius ranks highly in the crowded and competitive compact car class. Its phenomenal fuel economy has brought millions of buyers into showrooms ... Read full review»

Best Cars for the Money Winner

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:7.9
Interior:8.1
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_0
Compare
Volkswagen GTI Image
  • MSRP: $24,995 - $35,195
  • MPG: 24 City / 34 Hwy

#4
2017 Volkswagen GTI

The 2017 Volkswagen GTI ranks high on our list of best compact cars because of its ability to blur the line between small sports ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.5
Performance:8.9
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Chevrolet Volt Image
  • MSRP: $33,220 - $37,570
  • MPG: 43 (2016) City / 42 (2016) Hwy

#7
2017 Chevrolet Volt

The 2017 Chevrolet Volt charges into the second year of its generation with spry road manners that challenge the norm of the humdrum plug-in ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.0
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Compare
Hyundai Elantra Image
  • MSRP: $17,150 - $22,750
  • MPG: 29 City / 38 Hwy

#7
2017 Hyundai Elantra

If you’re in the market for a compact car and the 2017 Hyundai Elantra isn’t on your list, it should be. The Elantra offers ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:8.3
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.4
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_5
Compare
Volkswagen Golf Image
  • MSRP: $19,895 - $40,475
  • MPG: 25 City / 35 Hwy

#7
2017 Volkswagen Golf

The 2017 Volkswagen Golf strikes a great balance between fun and function. It’s a pleasure to drive and comes loaded with high-tech gadgets, but ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:9.3
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Chevrolet Cruze Image
  • MSRP: $16,975 - $25,395
  • MPG: 28 City / 39 Hwy

#10
2017 Chevrolet Cruze

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze checks off all the top requirements for what make a great compact car. The Cruze provides a comfortable interior, a ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.1
Reliability: 4_0
Compare
Ford Focus Image
  • MSRP: $16,775 - $36,120
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy

#10
2017 Ford Focus

The 2017 Ford Focus performs decently in our compact car rankings, but it’s getting on in age as other newer, updated competitors surpass it. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:9.0
Performance:8.5
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Hyundai Ioniq Image
  • MSRP: $22,200 - $32,500
  • MPG: 57 City / 59 Hwy

#10
2017 Hyundai Ioniq

The all-new 2017 Hyundai Ioniq – available as a hybrid, an electric vehicle, and soon as a plug-in hybrid – offers an attractive base ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:8.6
Interior:8.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_0
Compare
Kia Forte Image
  • MSRP: $16,600 - $26,000
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy

#10
2017 Kia Forte

The 2017 Kia Forte has more than you may expect from a compact car. There's nothing small about its passenger or cargo space, and ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:7.5
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_5
Compare
Subaru Impreza Image
  • MSRP: $18,395 - $24,595
  • MPG: 28 City / 38 Hwy

#10
2017 Subaru Impreza

Following a full redesign, the 2017 Subaru Impreza combines all-wheel-drive traction and a comfortable ride with a well-equipped and spacious cabin.  Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.5
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_0
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Compare
Toyota Prius Prime Image
  • MSRP: $27,100 - $33,100
  • MPG: N/A

#10
2017 Toyota Prius Prime

The 2017 Prius Prime is a new addition to Toyota's lineup. It's a plug-in hybrid that gets incredible fuel economy and provides plenty of ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.2
Performance:7.7
Interior:8.1
Safety:10.0
Reliability: N/A
Compare
Subaru WRX Image
  • MSRP: $26,695 - $39,995
  • MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy

#16
2017 Subaru WRX

Few compact cars can match the 2017 Subaru WRX's performance chops. It has exceptionally potent turbocharged engines that make more power than most competitors, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.6
Performance:9.1
Interior:7.4
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Buick Verano Image
  • MSRP: $21,065 - $26,555
  • MPG: 21 City / 31 Hwy

#17
2017 Buick Verano

The 2017 Buick Verano is a premium sedan replete with upscale materials and a relaxing, smooth ride. Its thirsty engine is a little too ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.1
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.4
Interior:7.9
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_0
Compare
Toyota Corolla Image
  • MSRP: $18,500 - $22,680
  • MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy

#18
2017 Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla has top-notch predicted reliability, advanced safety features that few other compact cars can match, good fuel economy, and a comfortable interior. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:8.0
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:7.0
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_5
Compare
Toyota Corolla iM Image
  • MSRP: $18,750 - $19,490
  • MPG: 28 City / 36 Hwy

#19
2017 Toyota Corolla iM

The 2017 Toyota Corolla iM isn't very quick or nimble, but it offers a comfortable ride, plenty of cargo space, and an impressive standard ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.9
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:7.0
Interior:7.3
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 4_0
Compare
Volkswagen Jetta Image
  • MSRP: $17,895 - $28,995
  • MPG: 28 City / 40 Hwy

#20
2017 Volkswagen Jetta

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta boasts a spacious cabin and plenty of engine choices. Whether you want a low-priced fuel sipper, a safe family four-door, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.8
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.2
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0
Compare
Nissan Sentra Image
  • MSRP: $16,990 - $24,990
  • MPG: 29 City / 37 Hwy

#21
2017 Nissan Sentra

Although the compact 2017 Nissan Sentra has midsize aspirations, its droning performance and aging design keep it from truly standing out in its class. ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:6.8
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_0
ADVERTISEMENT – CONTINUE READING BELOW
Compare
Nissan Leaf Image
  • MSRP: $30,680 - $36,790
  • MPG: N/A

#22
2017 Nissan Leaf

Anyone looking for an electric car for daily driving will find the 2017 Nissan Leaf offers decent range, a roomy interior, and a hushed, ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.3
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 3_0
Compare
Hyundai Veloster Image
  • MSRP: $18,100 - $23,800
  • MPG: 28 City / 35 Hwy

#23
2017 Hyundai Veloster

The 2017 Hyundai Veloster has a below-class-average price of $18,100 that includes a generous list of standard features. The Veloster falls short, however, with ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.2
Interior:7.5
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5
Compare
Mitsubishi Lancer Image
  • MSRP: $17,795 - $22,095
  • MPG: 27 City / 34 Hwy

#24
2017 Mitsubishi Lancer

The 2017 Mitsubishi Lancer trails most of its competitors when it comes to cargo space, features, and ride quality. Apart from its available all-wheel ... Read full review»

U.S. News Scores
Overall:6.6
Critics' Rating:6.5
Performance:7.1
Interior:5.9
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_5
(Choose up to 3 cars)
Compare Cars
Ranking List | Sort by Scores

More on Compact Cars

As their class name suggests, compact cars are best for those who don't need much seating or trunk space. Most compact cars have four-cylinder engines, and while they generate decent power for driving around the city, some can struggle to get up to highway speeds. Compact cars’ small size makes them great for parking in small cities and getting in and out of parking spots.

Most compact cars earn great fuel economy estimates, though there are also a number of hybrid and alternative fuel models available in the class. If you’re looking for the smallest cars available, view our rankings of the best subcompact cars.

Back to top

Coming Soon...

Our rankings are based on analysis of third party reviews. Sometimes, we are unable to find enough reviews to publish a definitive ranking. Please check back later, as we are constantly updating our reviews.

Safety scores should only be compared between vehicles of similar size and weight. Larger, heavier vehicles generally provide more protection than smaller, lighter ones.