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View the best small cars to find the right car for your budget. With our rankings, you can find a great model that is fuel efficient, fun to drive, and reliable. Read detailed reviews, view photos, and compare prices to make sure you get a great price on your next car. 

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Honda Civic Image
  • MSRP: $18,640 - $26,500
  • MPG: 27 City / 40 Hwy

#1
2016 Honda Civic

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The Honda Civic has been a leader among compact cars for decades. In recent years, however, it hasn’t kept pace with competitors like the ... 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

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Mazda Mazda3 Image
  • MSRP: $17,845 - $26,495
  • MPG: 29 City / 41 Hwy

#2
2016 Mazda Mazda3

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There are 22 cars in our compact car rankings, and the 2016 Mazda3 comes in at No. 2 in this very competitive class. Our ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.9
Critics' Rating:9.6
Performance:9.3
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_0
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Honda Fit Image
  • MSRP: $15,890 - $21,165
  • MPG: 29 City / 37 Hwy

#3
2016 Honda Fit

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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

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Kia Soul Image
  • MSRP: $15,900 - $35,950
  • MPG: 24 City / 30 Hwy

#4
2016 Kia Soul

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The 2016 Kia Soul has a lot more going for it than a dancing hamster advertising campaign. For families on a budget, it is ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.7
Critics' Rating:8.9
Performance:7.3
Interior:8.5
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 4_0

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Hyundai Elantra Image
  • MSRP: $17,150 - $22,350
  • MPG: 26 City / 36 Hwy

#5
2017 Hyundai Elantra

Automotive journalists write that the redesigned 2017 Hyundai Elantra has roomy, comfortable seats and a long list of available features, although some class rivals ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.6
Critics' Rating:8.6
Performance:7.9
Interior:8.7
Safety:N/A
Reliability: NA
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Toyota Prius Image
  • MSRP: $24,200 - $30,000
  • MPG: 54 City / 50 Hwy

#5
2016 Toyota Prius

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The 2016 Toyota Prius offers some of the best fuel economy estimates in the compact car class, and our analysis of automotive reviews shows ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.6
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.2
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 4_0
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Volkswagen Golf Image
  • MSRP: N/A
  • MPG: 25 (Est) City / 37 (Est) Hwy

#5
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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.6
Critics' Rating:9.4
Performance:8.4
Interior:8.4
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 2_5
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Kia Forte Image
  • MSRP: $15,990 - $21,990
  • MPG: 25 City / 37 Hwy

#8
2016 Kia Forte

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The 2016 Kia Forte has a number of features you’ll probably like, most of them in the interior. There’s ample passenger and cargo room, ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.5
Critics' Rating:8.8
Performance:7.4
Interior:8.5
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 4_0
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Chevrolet Cruze Image
  • MSRP: $16,170 - $25,660
  • MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy

#9
2015 Chevrolet Cruze

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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
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Chevrolet Sonic Image
  • MSRP: $14,345 - $21,495
  • MPG: 26 City / 35 Hwy

#9
2016 Chevrolet Sonic

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Professional critics find a great deal to like about the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic, which explains in part why it sits near the top of ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:8.6
Performance:8.0
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.7
Reliability: 3_5
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Chevrolet Volt Image
  • MSRP: $33,170 - $37,520
  • MPG: 43 City / 42 Hwy

#9
2016 Chevrolet Volt

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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 ... 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
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Ford Fiesta Image
  • MSRP: $14,580 - $21,460
  • MPG: 28 City / 36 Hwy

#9
2016 Ford Fiesta

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Our analysis of the automotive data and reviews that drive our rankings finds that the 2016 Ford Fiesta is one of the sportiest-handling subcompact ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.4
Critics' Rating:9.0
Performance:8.8
Interior:8.2
Safety:8.7
Reliability: 2_5
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Ford Focus Image
  • MSRP: $17,225 - $35,900
  • MPG: 26 City / 36 Hwy

#13
2016 Ford Focus

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The 2016 Ford Focus has sharp steering and athletic handling that make it one of the best compact car performers, according to our analysis ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:9.1
Performance:8.5
Interior:7.8
Safety:9.4
Reliability: 2_0
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MINI Cooper Image
  • MSRP: $20,700 - $30,600
  • MPG: 28 City / 39 Hwy

#13
2016 MINI Cooper

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The 2016 Mini Cooper is all about fun. It has fun styling, it's fun to drive, and it comes in a myriad of fun ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.7
Performance:8.7
Interior:7.6
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_0
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Subaru WRX Image
  • MSRP: $26,595 - $39,995
  • MPG: 20 City / 27 Hwy

#13
2016 Subaru WRX

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Driving enthusiasts will love getting behind the wheel of the 2016 Subaru WRX and WRX STI because of their powerful turbocharged engines and dynamic ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.3
Critics' Rating:8.8
Performance:8.8
Interior:7.4
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 2_5
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Buick Verano Image
  • MSRP: $21,065 - $28,670
  • MPG: 21 City / 32 Hwy

#16
2016 Buick Verano

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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 ... 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
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Kia Rio Image
  • MSRP: $14,165 - $20,905
  • MPG: 27 City / 38 Hwy

#16
2016 Kia Rio

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:7.7
Interior:8.4
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 3_5
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Scion iA Image
  • MSRP: $15,700 - $16,800
  • MPG: 31 City / 41 Hwy

#16
2016 Scion iA

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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:8.2
Critics' Rating:8.5
Performance:8.2
Interior:7.8
Safety:10.0
Reliability: 3_0
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Hyundai Accent Image
  • MSRP: $14,745 - $17,495
  • MPG: 27 City / 38 Hwy

#19
2016 Hyundai Accent

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.1
Critics' Rating:8.3
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.7
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 4_0
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MINI Cooper Clubman Image
  • MSRP: $24,100 - $27,650
  • MPG: 25 (Est) City / 35 (Est) Hwy

#20
2016 MINI Cooper Clubman

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The 2016 Mini Cooper Clubman earns praise for its smooth, strong powertrain, composed ride and roomy cabin and cargo area. Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:8.0
Critics' Rating:8.3
Performance:8.8
Interior:8.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 2_5
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Toyota Corolla Image
  • MSRP: $17,300 - $23,125
  • MPG: 28 (Est) City / 37 (Est) Hwy

#21
2016 Toyota Corolla

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Based on the reviews and data that drive our rankings, the 2016 Toyota Corolla’s spacious and user-friendly cabin, strong gas mileage, excellent predicted reliability ... 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
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Scion iM Image
  • MSRP: $18,460 - $19,200
  • MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy

#22
2016 Scion iM

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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, ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.8
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.2
Safety:N/A
Reliability: 3_0
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Subaru Impreza Image
  • MSRP: $18,295 - $23,595
  • MPG: 25 City / 34 Hwy

#22
2016 Subaru Impreza

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The 2016 Subaru Impreza stands apart from the rest of the compact car class by offering standard all-wheel drive. It also has above-average passenger ... 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
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Dodge Dart Image
  • MSRP: $16,995 - $24,395
  • MPG: 25 City / 36 Hwy

#24
2016 Dodge Dart

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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 ... 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
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Nissan Leaf Image
  • MSRP: $29,010 - $36,790
  • MPG: N/A

#24
2016 Nissan Leaf

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If you're in the market for an all-electric car, the 2016 Nissan Leaf offers confident handling, a roomy interior and a long range on ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.7
Critics' Rating:8.0
Performance:7.5
Interior:7.7
Safety:8.2
Reliability: 3_0
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Volkswagen Jetta Image
  • MSRP: N/A
  • MPG: 28 City / 40 Hwy

#24
2016 Volkswagen Jetta

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If you're looking for a simple commuter car, the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta may be a good choice for you thanks to its smooth ride, ... 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
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Nissan Sentra Image
  • MSRP: $16,780 - $22,170
  • MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy

#27
2016 Nissan Sentra

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The refreshed 2016 Nissan Sentra is roomier than most compact sedans, auto writers say, and most models get above-average fuel economy. However, it has ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:6.8
Interior:8.0
Safety:9.3
Reliability: 3_0
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Toyota Prius c Image
  • MSRP: $19,560 - $24,495
  • MPG: 53 (Est) City / 46 (Est) Hwy

#27
2016 Toyota Prius c

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.6
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:6.5
Interior:6.8
Safety:8.9
Reliability: 3_5
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Honda CR-Z Image
  • MSRP: $20,295 - $25,090
  • MPG: 31 City / 38 Hwy

#29
2016 Honda CR-Z

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Reviewers praise the 2016 Honda CR-Z for its nimble handling, but its rear visibility is limited and it gets disappointing fuel economy for a ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.3
Performance:7.4
Interior:7.2
Safety:9.1
Reliability: 3_5
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Scion tC Image
  • MSRP: $19,385 - $20,535
  • MPG: 23 City / 31 Hwy

#29
2016 Scion tC

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.5
Critics' Rating:7.6
Performance:7.3
Interior:7.6
Safety:9.0
Reliability: 3_0
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Chevrolet Spark Image
  • MSRP: $12,270 - $25,560
  • MPG: 31 City / 39 Hwy

#31
2015 Chevrolet Spark

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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 ... 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
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MINI Cooper Paceman Image
  • MSRP: $23,550 - $35,600
  • MPG: 27 City / 32 Hwy

#31
2016 MINI Cooper Paceman

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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 ... 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
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Volkswagen Beetle Image
  • MSRP: N/A
  • MPG: 25 (Est) City / 34 (Est) Hwy

#31
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:7.4
Critics' Rating:7.8
Performance:7.3
Interior:7.4
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_5
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FIAT 500 Image
  • MSRP: $16,995 - $26,695
  • MPG: 31 City / 40 Hwy

#34
2016 FIAT 500

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The 2016 Fiat 500 has a striking design both inside and out. According to our analysis of automotive reviews, however, the cabin is constructed ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.6
Interior:6.5
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5
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Hyundai Veloster Image
  • MSRP: $18,000 - $23,950
  • MPG: 27 City / 35 Hwy

#34
2016 Hyundai Veloster

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The 2016 Hyundai Veloster doesn't have the athleticism you might expect given its sporty design. While it's not the slowest car on the road, ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.2
Critics' Rating:7.5
Performance:7.1
Interior:7.4
Safety:8.5
Reliability: 2_5
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Toyota Yaris Image
  • MSRP: $14,895 - $17,670
  • MPG: 30 City / 37 Hwy

#36
2016 Toyota Yaris

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:7.0
Critics' Rating:6.9
Performance:6.5
Interior:7.1
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 3_0
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Nissan Versa Image
  • MSRP: $11,990 - $18,710
  • MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy

#37
2016 Nissan Versa

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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 ... Read full review»

U.S.News Scores
Overall:6.8
Critics' Rating:6.9
Performance:6.4
Interior:7.0
Safety:8.0
Reliability: 3_0
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Mitsubishi Lancer Image
  • MSRP: $17,595 - $23,495
  • MPG: 24 City / 34 Hwy

#38
2016 Mitsubishi Lancer

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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:6.6
Critics' Rating:6.8
Performance:7.1
Interior:6.0
Safety:8.8
Reliability: 2_0
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More on Small Cars

Affordable small cars include compact and subcompact cars, typically sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks.  At its heart, this class is about small, inexpensive cars, though performance models can be more than $30,000 with options. Because of their light weight, many small cars offer nimble handling and great fuel economy. Their size also makes them great city cars that are easy to park and maneuver in tight spaces.

The best small cars also distinguish themselves on the inside. They may be small on the outside, but critics look for those with competitive cargo room and enough rear-seat space for adults.

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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.