The small car market is extremely competitive, with more and more people looking for a compact car that offers both functionality and style. It's no surprise that superminis and city cars are so popular in the UK, since they provide a cheap and practical solution to driving that is also easy on busy and congested roads.
Many smaller cars are just as practical as some larger family cars, with ample space and an impressive breadth of ability. Boasting flexibility, low running costs, efficient engines and lower fuel consumption, there's a huge range of smaller cars that can suit all budgets and tastes.
They do say the best things come in small packages. Small cars now need to appeal to families, with enough room for passengers and boots spacious enough to cope with a weekly shop, whilst also appealing to drivers who are passionate about their motor.
With that in mind, we've rounded up our top five best small cars of 2019, in no particular order; these cars provide a good balance of comfort, size, driving experience, economy and more. If you're looking for a small car that offers great value, a compact yet sporty shape or ultimate comfort, we have the car for you.
In the supermini class, the Ford Fiesta has been a UK bestseller for many years. Family-friendly and fun to drive, the Fiesta is available with both a petrol or diesel engine, and the 1.0-litre EcoBoost option will help to keep running costs down while still offering great performance.
Even as Ford have refreshed and updated this well-loved car, it has never lost the appeal of predecessors, with sleek interiors, soft-touch materials and a modern yet recognisable exterior. Slightly larger than some cars in the supermini class, the Fiesta feels solid and grown-up on the motorway, whilst the extra space makes this car comfortable for passengers both in the front and rear.
Modern and stylish with practical tech features, the Fiesta is a great place to spend your time from A to B and is also well-suited to longer car journeys. Overall, this model is a motoring icon in the UK, ticking all of the boxes whilst offering refined and practical features at great value for money.
Mini 3dr and 5dr
Providing a premium feel, the Mini is a great choice, with high-end interiors, technology, engine power and a quintessentially British feel. This small hatchback offers both three door and five door options, both with a central dial which houses a luxury infotainment screen.
Although not as small as it once was, the Mini is quite the contender in the best small car category since it's successful rebirth in 2000. More refined and packed full of high-quality features than ever before, the Mini made the relatively recent addition of a five-door model, making it ideal as a stylish family car.
The Mini can also be customised with a multitude of trim levels to make the car feel suited to your style and needs. With a classy look, a wide choice of colourways and all the technology you could want, this is the car for you if you want something recognisable, customisable and premium with a retro feel. There is also a range of petrol and diesel engines available, from the entry level for the everyday driver, to the Cooper S for those who crave a more powerful driving experience.
A comfortable, sleek and solid build, the VW Polo is an all-round supermini and a very good contender for the best small car. VW are well-known for producing quality vehicles, and the Polo is no exception.
Offering an economical 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the VW Polo can be an affordable car to run, while still feeling like a premium car in every sense. Although it may not be a powerhouse, it is a solid choice for many as the boost from the turbo is ideal for driving both around town and on the motorway. If you're looking to have more fun when driving, the Polo GTI with its 2.0-litre turbo engine is a good shout.
A lively mover with a broad mix of trim levels and engines, it's no surprise the VW Polo is well-loved by many. With comfortable interiors, quality materials and sophisticated tech, the VW Polo boasts exceptional build quality, with a grown-up exterior that is recognisable and sleek.
Spacious, stylish and great to drive, the Seat Ibiza hold its value well and is fun to drive with the 94bhp version of the 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This solidly built supermini is technically advanced and offers high-quality interiors and a sporty exterior that matches its impressive performance.
Setting a high standard in the supermini class, the most recent Ibiza is available with many hi-tech features you'd expect to find in a larger, more premium car such as auto braking, cruise control, wireless charging, pedestrian detection, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
All five-door hatchbacks with alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and taillights, metallic paint and a modern safety kit, the Seat Ibiza is perfect for passionate drivers and families alike. If you're looking for a comfortable, sporty yet quiet car, this may be the car for you.
Although the Audi A1 comes in pricier than other small cars on the market, it offers a comfortable driving experience and premium feel that wins over many drivers. As well as its classy looks, the A1 provides ample space and has quality touches and modern technology that make it a highly sought-after car.
Kicking off with a 94bhp 1.0-litre engine, the Audi A1 has a range of trims and engine sizes. With a keenness to perform, the A1 provides the controlled, smooth ride you would expect when driving on both motorways and around town. Light enough to steer around smaller streets, but with enough weight to pick up at higher speeds, this tidy car has a spirited pace that drivers enjoy.
As the A1 has been refreshed over the years, infotainment and tech has improved with an 8.8inch touchscreen coming as standard, including sat-nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. With soft-touch materials, quality switches and gloss trims, the interior of the A1 offers a more expensive and premium feel than many of its competitors in the supermini class.
If one of our best small cars of 2019 has caught your eye, or there's another make and model of small car you're looking for, why not browse our current used car stock quality vehicles at great prices?
Here at Carbase, we stock a huge range of used cars in the Bristol and Taunton area with budgets to suit everyone. As an RAC Approved car dealer, we sell meticulously prepared cars to meet the highest standards, as well as providing specialist used car finance packages.
We have a huge range of low-mileage, premium quality cars available, and our friendly team is ready to help find the perfect car for you! Whether you're looking for a small run-around, a family car or something to have fun with, when you buy with Carbase, you can buy with confidence.