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View the best small cars generally priced under $20,000. Compare small car reviews, specs and features for your top small cars. Learn more about our rankings.

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#1
2016 Honda Civic

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$18,640 - $26,500
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Critics say the redesigned 2016 Honda Civic is among the best compact cars you can buy, with responsive handling, an upscale cabin and generous passenger and cargo ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:9.2
Critics' Rating:9.5
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.2
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 4_5

#2
2016 Honda Fit

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$15,890 - $21,165
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The 2016 Honda Fit surpasses rivals with its flexible cargo hold, roomy interior and great fuel economy, test drivers report.  Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.3
Performance:7.9
Interior:8.6
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 3_5

#2
2016 Mazda Mazda3

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$17,845 - $26,495
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Reviewers say the 2016 Mazda3 offers sportier handling, better fuel economy estimates and a more upscale cabin than most cars in the class.  Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.8
Critics' Rating:9.6
Performance:9.3
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 2_5

#4
2016 Volkswagen Golf

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The 2016 Volkswagen Golf has deft handling, a generous cargo area and a high-quality interior, critics write, making it among the leading hatchbacks in the class, but ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:9.3
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.4
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0

#5
2016 Kia Soul

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$15,800 - $35,950
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The 2016 Kia Soul has a roomy, comfortable and nicely equipped cabin, according to critics, which helps make it a stylish and versatile hatchback. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:7.3
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_5

#5
2016 Subaru WRX

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$26,595 - $39,995
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The 2016 Subaru WRX has a strong base engine, nimble handling and the reassuring traction of standard all-wheel drive, critics say, though rivals have nicer interiors. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:8.9
Interior:7.4
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_0

#7
2015 Chevrolet Cruze

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$16,170 - $25,660
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With its powerful optional diesel engine, spacious trunk, comfortable ride and confident handling, the 2015 Chevrolet Cruze earns reviewers' praise. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.2
Safety:9.2
Reliability: 3_0

#7
2016 Chevrolet Volt

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$33,170 - $37,520
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The redesigned 2016 Chevrolet Volt has improved in almost every way, critics say, with an excellent all-electric range, lively performance and a quiet, user-friendly cabin. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.8
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.4
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_0

#7
2016 Scion iA

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$15,700 - $16,800
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The all-new 2016 Scion iA gets outstanding fuel economy, and most reviewers say it has engaging performance, but could use more engine power. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:8.2
Interior:7.8
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_5

#7
2016 Toyota Prius

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$24,200 - $30,000
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The redesigned 2016 Toyota Prius offers exceptional fuel economy, and critics note that handling improvements make it more enjoyable to drive than the old model. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_5

#11
2016 Ford Fiesta

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$14,580 - $21,460
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The 2016 Ford Fiesta earns praise for its nimble handling, great fuel economy and intuitive infotainment system, though critics wish the hatchback models offered more cargo space. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:9.0
Performance:8.8
Interior:8.2
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5

#11
2016 Kia Forte

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$15,990 - $21,990
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Reviewers are impressed with the 2016 Kia Forte's long list of features, user-friendly infotainment system and generous interior space, but they wish its handling were more agile. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.8
Performance:7.4
Interior:8.5
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 3_5

#13
2016 Buick Verano

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$21,065 - $28,670
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Reviewers write that the 2016 Buick Verano has an interior that feels high end thanks to its solid construction, and while it delivers a pleasant, largely noiseless ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.1
Performance:7.5
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_0

#13
2016 Ford Focus

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$17,225 - $35,730
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Reviewers praise the 2016 Ford Focus for its superb handling and top-notch cabin materials, but they find its back seats to be cramped.  Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.5
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_0

#13
2016 Kia Rio

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$14,165 - $20,905
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The 2016 Kia Rio has one of the strongest engines in the class and a roomy cabin, but some might be put off by its harsh ride, ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.7
Interior:8.3
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 3_5

#13
2016 MINI Cooper

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$20,700 - $30,600
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The 2016 Mini Cooper's fun driving dynamics and premium cabin materials appeal to reviewers, though they note that it has a stiff ride and a small interior. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:8.8
Interior:7.6
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 2_5

#17
2016 Chevrolet Sonic

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$14,345 - $21,495
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Automotive journalists are impressed by the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic's large back seat, generous cargo area and numerous optional features, they also say it's exciting to drive. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.1
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.9
Interior:7.9
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 2_5

#17
2016 Hyundai Accent

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$14,745 - $17,495
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Test drivers agree that the 2016 Hyundai Accent hatchback and sedan have a smooth, quiet ride, though some rivals offer better fuel economy and more available features. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.1
Critics' Rating:8.4
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.7
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 4_0

#19
2016 Hyundai Elantra

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$17,250 - $21,700
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Reviewers say the 2016 Hyundai Elantra has a roomy interior and it gets above-average fuel economy, though they report the base engine isn't very strong and the ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.0
Critics' Rating:8.1
Performance:7.2
Interior:7.9
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_5

#20
2016 Nissan Leaf

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$29,010 - $36,790
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Reviewers appreciate the 2016 Nissan Leaf's spacious interior, composed handling and new, available battery that extends the car’s range, though they note that highway acceleration is weak. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.9
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.6
Interior:7.7
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 4_0

#20
2016 Scion iM

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$18,460 - $19,200
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The new 2016 Scion iM offers a lot of standard features for its price, but critics say it is unremarkable by most other measures, including performance and ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.9
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_5

#20
2016 Toyota Corolla

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$17,230 - $23,055
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Reviewers say the 2016 Toyota Corolla's satisfactory engine power and composed handling make it a great option for daily driving, but rivals offer a more engaging drive. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.9
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.1
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.2
Reliability: 4_5

#23
2016 Subaru Impreza

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$18,295 - $23,595
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The 2016 Subaru Impreza is one of the only cars in its class with all-wheel drive, and reviewers praise its roomy cabin, but say its engine can ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.8
Critics' Rating:8.3
Performance:7.6
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.6
Reliability: 2_0

#24
2016 Dodge Dart

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$16,995 - $24,395
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The 2016 Dodge Dart has spry handling, a smooth ride and a straightforward infotainment system, but its base engine doesn’t provide much power, reviewers agree.  Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:7.9
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_5

#24
2016 Volkswagen Jetta

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The 2016 Volkswagen Jetta has ample passenger space, a large trunk and strong engine options, critics say, but they add that some competitors have higher-quality interiors and ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:7.9
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.1
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5

#26
2016 Toyota Prius c

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$19,560 - $24,495
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Critics say the 2016 Toyota Prius c is a decent choice if you want top fuel economy at a relatively low price. Otherwise, they prefer its rivals, ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:6.5
Interior:6.8
Safety:9.5
Reliability: 3_5

#26
2015 Volkswagen Eos

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$36,145 - $42,745
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Although reviewers like the 2015 Volkswagen Eos' innovative convertible top and high-quality interior materials, they don't like its small trunk and tight back seat.  Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.7
Performance:7.7
Interior:7.9
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5

#28
2015 Ford Focus Electric

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$29,170 - $29,170
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The 2015 Ford Focus Electric has an upscale interior and agile handling for an EV, but its confusing infotainment system and reduced cargo capacity may limit its ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:7.8
Interior:8.1
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_0

#28
2015 Honda CR-Z

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$20,145 - $24,140
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The two-seat 2015 Honda CR-Z impresses test drivers with its agility, though they note that the interior layout is somewhat awkward. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.4
Performance:7.3
Interior:7.3
Safety:9.1
Reliability: 3_5

#28
2016 Scion tC

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$19,385 - $20,535
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The 2016 Scion tC can't match the performance or interior quality of some rivals, auto writers say, but its spacious seats and user-friendly dashboard controls make it ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:7.2
Interior:7.6
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_0

#31
2015 Chevrolet Spark

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$12,270 - $25,560
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Test drivers say the 2015 Chevrolet Spark is a great choice for driving in the city, with a contemporary cabin design and a low base price, though ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.4
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:6.6
Interior:7.1
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_0

#31
2016 MINI Cooper Paceman

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$23,550 - $35,600

The 2016 Mini Cooper Paceman's agile handling makes it fun to drive, critics say, but they add that you'll have to deal with a harsh ride and ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.4
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:8.1
Interior:6.7
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5

#31
2015 Nissan Sentra

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$16,530 - $20,720
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While critics like the 2015 Nissan Sentra's roomy cabin and good fuel economy, they're less impressed by its uninspiring driving dynamics and underpowered engine. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.4
Critics' Rating:7.4
Performance:6.4
Interior:7.7
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0

#34
2016 Volkswagen Beetle

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Reviewers say the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle has a stylish interior and strong engines, but it uses more fuel than most rivals. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.3
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:7.3
Interior:7.3
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_0

#35
2016 Hyundai Veloster

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$18,000 - $23,950
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Automotive writers praise the 2016 Hyundai Veloster for its modern interior and user-friendly tech features, but they wish it offered a smoother ride and more powerful engine ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.2
Interior:7.4
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5

#35
2016 Toyota Yaris

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$14,895 - $17,670
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While critics say the 2016 Toyota Yaris has a well-made interior with spacious seats, they note that it has little cargo space and an outdated transmission. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:6.9
Performance:6.4
Interior:7.1
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 4_0

#37
2016 FIAT 500

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$16,995 - $22,575
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The 2016 Fiat 500 has an underwhelming base engine, low-cost cabin materials and little trunk space, but it earns good fuel economy and has poised handling around ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.1
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.6
Interior:6.5
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_0

#38
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer

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$17,595 - $23,495
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Reviewers say that, aside from its athletic handling, the 2016 Mitsubishi Lancer offers few benefits over most cars in the class. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:6.8
Critics' Rating:6.8
Performance:7.1
Interior:6.0
Safety:9.5
Reliability: 2_5

#39
2016 Nissan Versa

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$11,990 - $18,710
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Test drivers are impressed with the spaciousness and fuel economy of the 2016 Nissan Versa, especially for its low price, but they dislike its cheap interior and ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:6.6
Critics' Rating:6.9
Performance:6.4
Interior:7.0
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 2_0
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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.