The small car market is one of the most fiercely contested – which means not only that there are stacks of models to choose from, but also that standards are incredibly high – great for us as consumers!
To have a chance of attracting us picky folk as buyers, a small car must be truly multi-purpose: as comfortable on the motorway as it is in the city. It must offer a decent amount of equipment, enough boot space for weekly shopping trips and an interior that’s practical enough to cope with the demands of families. And it must, of course, be competitively priced.
It’s the small car market that still makes up the majority of new car sales. The monthly figures reveal how British buyers love their downsized models, but buying one isn’t actually a step down – these cars do everything their big brothers do, and more besides. Think small car, and a supermini will spring to mind, but there’s far more on offer to the buyer who knows what to look for.
Cars like the Ford Fiesta, VW Polo and Vauxhall Corsa are always going to be top for someone looking for practicality in a small package, but there are plenty of alternative choices out there. The small crossover is on the rise fist with the Nissan Juke, but there are many more models that compete with it now, including the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008 and new models like the Suzuki Ignis. If you want an off-roader, then the Fiat Panda 4×4 is worth a look.
Cars like the Ford B-MAX and Hyundai ix20 offer versatility and lots of space, but they’re not a popular as they once were; and if you want as much space in a small package in the future, then you would have to consider a van-based MPV, like the Fiat Qubo.
The one class that really set the template for personalisation was the premium supermini sector. Cars like the MINI, DS 3 and Audi A1 let you tailor your car the way you want it, and whereas the MINI is one sporty supermini, and so is the Ford Fiesta ST – and with the Ford Fiesta still being the most popular UK small car, it’s hard to beat it.
Of course, if you’re downsizing to a small car, you may be doing it for financial reasons. Cars like the Peugeot 208 and Skoda Fabia can be had in frugal guises to save fuel and reduce running costs, while plumping for an electric Renault ZOE or VW e-up! means you can forget about road tax completely (see one of my previous blog posts for more information on electric cars).
Cheapest small cars on the market at the moment include:-
- Dacia Sandero (from just £6,175 new this car offers astonishing value for money)
- Suzuki Celerio from £8,380.55
- Skoda Citigo from £8,095
Obviously the list could go on (and on!) however frankly you’re going to find the Dacia or Suzuki hard to beat for the money.
Small cars – a lot of cars for a little money, what’s not to like!