Crossovers and SUVs might dominate news headlines and marketing, but compact cars remain one of the top sellers in the United States. Their affordable price ranges, excellent gas mileage, and convenience features make them an easy pick for plenty of drivers. Plus, they include the same safety features that crossovers and SUVs have.
As with all things, some compact cars are better than others. If you’re in the market for a smaller sedan then take note. After compiling all the data points that make these cars so lovable, here are the best compact cars 2021 has to offer.
5. Volkswagen Jetta
A long-time favorite, the Jetta is a larger model for its class. That comes with a roomy interior, making it excellent for small families or carting around your friends. For under $20,000 you’re also getting a small-displacement turbocharged engine that provides great gas mileage.
Full LED exterior lighting, 16-inch aluminum wheels, and Apple CarPLay all come with the package. You won’t find and active safety features on the standard model, but there’s always room for upgrades. There’s also an engine upgrade from 1.4 to 2.0L, cranking this sporty model’s performance to 228 horsepower.
4. Nissan Sentra
With a stylish makeover and some much-needed improvements, the 2021 Sentra is full upgrade from its predecessors. The interior design is elegant and packed with a modern infotainment system. You’ll also get active safety features, something to protect you from all the accidents caused by drunk drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area. It’s not as sporty as the Jetta, but it is a smooth ride.
3. Hyundai Elantra
A 147hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine combined with a continuously variable transmission provides an incredibly smooth ride. Jump up to the N-Line trim and you can get a 201hp turbocharged engine instead.
The Elantra boasts 54mpg combined fuel economy along with excellent infotainment on the entry-level price. That includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on an enormous touchscreen. Also standard are automated emergency braking, LED-accented headlights, and blind-spot monitoring.
2. Honda Civic
Another favorite in the compact category, the 2021 Civic evolves with sportier handling, a roomier interior, and plenty of customization if you’re willing to go beyond the standard trim level. You have the option of a turbocharged engine with quality fuel economy. Active safety features come standard, and there are plenty of options for the infotainment system.
1. Honda Insight
Building off the sporty, performance-driven nature of the Civic, the Insight goes above and beyond with a gas-electric powertrain and luxury-looking interior. You’ll also get more active safety features, though that does increase the base cost.
The infotainment system is wonderfully advanced and intuitive, as id the layout of the center console. The dash mirrors other more modern models in its digital display, and you can expect all the bells and whistles on the steering wheel. Like the Civic, you also have plenty of room for upgrades on this model if you feel like getting fancy.