Best Small Cars of 2022

While imposing, gas-guzzling road hogs are the most common choices for US driver’s, there are still some of us that do prefer the sprightliness and frugality of small cars. There are plenty of capable new small cars in the USA ideal for zipping around the tight city streets, and with our in-depth reviews, you can quickly find out what the best of them are. Small vehicles can be daunting to drive as streets throng with massive cruisers, but there are numerous upsides to owning one, too. Whether it’s a coupe, sedan, hatchback, or SUV, it’s sure to be high up in the rankings of our best compact cars list for 2022. 

Main Characteristics of the Top-Rated Compact Cars

  • Drivability - Because of their diminutive size and lightweight construction, these rides are relatively easy to pilot and maneuver around urban streets and poky parking lots. Though most are on the sedate side of things in terms of performance, little cars can also be really peppy, especially in city conditions. That punchiness, along with inherently nimble handling dynamics, leads to some seriously enjoyable driving experiences, most notable in the form of the revered hot-hatch. Furthermore, SUVs that slot into this class generally feature taut wheelbases that avail them with superior off-road capability as well.
  • Fuel Economy - Pint-sized autos are commonly equipped with thrifty low-displacement engines, which in some instances are also turbocharged for extra gusto and efficiency. These power plants, along with the class’ lightweight design formula, result in rides that return some of the best EPA figures than any of the larger classes. This means lower gas costs over time and more savings in the long run, something savvy spenders and those on a strict budget will appreciate. These powertrains also produce fewer emissions than high-displacement alternatives, so those with an affinity for the planet’s well-being will do well to browse our best small cars lists for a top compact car.
  • Affordability - Scanty motors require far fewer parts and materials to construct than the bigger ones do and are put together at a faster rate, too. Because of this, they’re produced at a significantly reduced cost as well, and manufacturers can put them into the market at really modest prices, making them highly accessible and the more budget-friendly option for shoppers. This segment is a great place for first-time owners and young families to peruse when seeking their first set of wheels, as relatively low MSRP’s make for a great entry point to mobility.
  • Value Packed - While the luxury and full-size class used to be the only way to get the most in features and technology, that is now no longer the case. With how competitive the industry is and with the progression and innovation that competition has spurred, just about all contemporary autos come comprehensively outfitted specs-wise. From creature comforts to advanced driver-assists and active safety systems, infotainment functionalities, and even optional extras and appearance packages, top compact cars supply plenty of customization and value.
  • Resale Value - There are always more people entering the market for wheels, whether for new or used models. And with how reasonably priced these already are, people will want to get the most out of their money by opting for a second-hand model. That means your mini commuter will always be in high demand and will perhaps sell a whole lot easier than any other type, if you do decide to upgrade to the newest small cars available, for yourself. 

Advantages and Disadvantages


  • Some are really fun to run about it
  • Easy to maneuver and park in cramped spots
  • Typically very fuel-efficient in all conditions
  • Relatively affordable to buy or to lease 


  • Most are relatively underpowered and slow
  • Larger forms of transport can be imposing around you
  • Considerably limited cabin and cargo room
  • Uncomfortable and impractical over long-distances

FAQs about New Small Cars

What is the most popular compact automobile ever?

While the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla may be the best-selling compact automobiles, the Volkswagen Golf has come to epitomize what the compact car should be and is considered one of the most iconic rides of all time. 

What compact vehicles return the best gas mileage figures?

The Tesla Model Y with its MPGe ratings of 129/112/121 is the most economical SUV within the class. As a truck, the Ford Ranger proves to lead with EPA estimates 21/26/23 mpg. The newest Hyundai Elantra, expected to debut for the 2021 model year, promises to be the most frugal sedan.

Are all small compact cars being discontinued in the USA?

While brands such as Ford, BMW, and General Motors have cleared their ranges of many of their scanty offerings, most Asian brands do plan on continuing production of all their familiar nameplates as usual. Some of those discontinued as of 2019 include the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus.



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