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Published February 04, 2022

The best compact cars of 2022

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If you’re looking for a new car for 2022 your choice has probably never been wider. And the compact cars available now are some of the most advanced that have ever been made. To help you narrow down the list we’ve taken a look at the best compact cars available and put together a list of the top 15.

Why buy a compact car?

It’s fair to say that the age of the gas guzzler is well and truly over. What drivers want today are cars that are cheaper to run and better for the environment too. Of course, there are many other advantages that the best compact cars will bring you such as:

  • They’re easy to park. The smaller the car, the simpler it is to zip into spaces that bigger models have to drive on past. Plus, many compacts even have parking sensors to guide you in too.
  • They’re affordable. Compact cars are smaller. That means fewer materials are used in their manufacture and the purchase cost is lower. They are also a little more basic than bigger saloons and SUVs which also keeps prices lower.
  • They’re reliable. The reliability of all cars has improved hugely over the years and this is especially true about compacts. The fact that some even come with a 10-year warranty should tell you all you need to know
  • They get great fuel economy. You’ll be making fewer visits to the gas station when you drive a compact – and fewer still if it’s a hybrid electric one. Some of these will even give you up to around 100 miles per gallon.
  • They offer better handling and performance. Compacts are light and that means that they will handle well and even relatively small engines will deliver plenty of power too.
Our 15 best compact cars
Honda Civic

Honda has a good reputation for being well designed and technologically advanced. The Civic is no exception with features as standard like a great infotainment system as well as plenty of driver assistance like rear parking sensors. The base engine might be a little underpowered but for only a little more money, the turbo-powered models have plenty of zip to them.

Shop Honda Civic

Kia Forte

The Kia Forte comes with a long list of safety features that include automatic emergency braking, lane-keep assist and highway-driving assist that also has adaptive speed control. These make it one of the safest cars in its class, and it’s also one of the most spacious with plenty of room for up to five passengers and generous cargo space too.

Shop Kia Forte

Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai offers a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty. This is all the more incredible considering the comparatively low new purchase price of the Elantra. There’s a wide range of engines to choose from, ranging from the economical to the outright sporty. It’s also been a regular at the top of many “best buy” rankings, including being Kelley Blue Book’s small car choice for 2021.

Shop Hyundai Elantra

Mitsubishi Mirage

The Mitsubishi Mirage comes to you with outstanding fuel economy – around 40 mpg on the highway and 36 mpg in the city. Its interior might not be quite as plush as some of the cars listed here, but it’s comfortable enough for short to medium-distance journeys. The addition in 2021 of both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto has helped to make an already good infotainment system even better.

Shop Mitsubishi Mirage

Nissan LEAF

At a time when more and more people are switching to hybrid cars, the Nissan LEAF is one of the more affordable choices available. One downside is that the range on the lower spec models can’t match up to the best in class. But if you can find one with S-Plus trim you’ll get a pretty good 226 mpg.

Shop Nissan LEAF

Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen has always been a strong contender in the compact class with the Golf being their flagship car. The latest models are probably the best yet with high-spec cabins and many tech features including a wi-fi hotspot as well as heated front seats fitted as standard. It also offers more cargo space than almost any other car in its class – over 52 cubic feet with the rear seats folded down.

Shop Volkswagen Golf

Subaru Impreza

Great handling is assured with the Subaru Impreza – that’s because it’s one of the relatively few compact cars that come with all-wheel drive. It’s sturdy and well built and holds its price well. If you want extra driver features, choose a model with automatic transmission even if it’s a little less economical than the manual.

Shop Subaru Impreza


Most reviewers agree on one thing about the Mazda 3 – it’s about as close as you’re going to get to a luxury sedan in a compact-class car. The combination of a smooth, composed ride and an interior that boasts high-quality materials could bring to mind a lower-end BMW or Audi. Precise handling comes from Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that minutely adjusts speed and braking as you head around corners.

Shop Mazda3

Nissan Sentra

Style and comfort are featured in equal measures in the Nissan Sentra. In the front, so-called Zero Gravity seats make even long journeys seem to pass by quickly and there is also plenty of legroom for back seat passengers, Even though there’s only one choice of engine, a 2.0-liter 149-bhp one, this gives all the power you need for most driving conditions.

Shop Nissan Sentra

Toyota Corolla

There’s a very good reason why the Toyota Corolla has been one of the world’s best-selling cars for some time now – it’s a good, reliable model that’s aimed squarely at a wide range of drivers. For the safety conscious, there’s a range of features like automatic emergency braking and for the economy minded, you’ll comfortably achieve around 40 mpg on the highway and 30 mpg in the city.

Shop Toyota Corolla

Chevrolet Spark

The Chevrolet Spark’s major selling point is just how cheap it is to buy. It even claims to be the cheapest compact currently on the market. So you can’t expect it to be brimming over with features, or even be a great highway car. But if you want a car that’s easy to park and perfect for trips to the mall, then it could be the ideal choice.

Shop Chevrolet Spark

Volkswagen Jetta

There’s a distinctly European feel to the Jetta, even though this version of the car has been designed specifically for the American market. The interior feels restrained and classy with plenty of soft-touch materials. There’s also a great deal of passenger room for a car of its size. The ride is very comfortable, if a little unexciting, but it more than makes up for this with economy figures of 40+ mpg on the highway.

Shop Volkswagen Jetta

Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is another car that delivers impressive fuel economy of around 40 mpg on the highway and 32 mpg in urban driving. It also comes with an excellent range of safety features that include a reversing camera, pedestrian detection and automatic high-beam headlights. Even the most basic S-level trim is comfortable, and performance, while not spine-tingling, is quite good enough for most drivers.

Shop Nissan Versa

Chevrolet Sonic

The Chevrolet Sonic offers a far sportier driving experience than many of its closest rivals thanks to its 1.4-liter four-cylinder turbocharged engine. This comes at the expense of fuel economy with only around 34 mpg in highway driving. But it’s pretty spacious inside for passengers, as well as having plenty of cargo space too.

Shop Chevrolet Sonic

Kia Rio

The Rio is one of the most fun to drive compact cars, thanks to its responsive powertrain and sharp handling, especially on winding roads. It also has a tight turning radius which is perfect for driving in the city. Available in two trims, the LX and the S, it’s the latter that you should go for as it won’t cost much more but boasts plenty of extra features.

Shop Kia Rio

Buy a compact car from EchoPark

The best compact cars at EchoPark are waiting for you. We have a great selection of models, so search for your compact with us.

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