Compact cars are becoming increasingly trendy to buy for all drivers, but it wasn’t always this way. Where once the focus was clearly on the idea that size matters, the current generation are proving that it doesn’t. Some of our favourite designs of 2015 came from the compact car market, so we thought we’d throw together a tribute to the humble Class of ’15.
First of all, let’s define what sets the compact car apart from its bigger and meaner counterparts. It might not be the ‘wow’ factor or its need for speed. Rather, what has come to define the compact car, particularly this year, is the ingenuity of its functioning. Auto manufacturers know that they’re not going to gain any points for style, so they more than make up for it with substance. What you get out of that is a product that dares to be different. It’s forward thinking, knowing that the way we think about personal vehicles is changing.
Best of all? The compact car forces a tick next to all the boxes that, as far as we’re concerned, matter. Economically friendly? Check. Affordable? Check. Intricately designed? Check. And above all, fun? You betcha. If you’re in the market for a new car this year, here are the best compact car offerings of 2015. You’d be doing yourself a favour by checking them out in greater detail.
The Cruze had an awful lot of potential, but didn’t quite live up to it. Chevy’s economy car of 2015 was supposed to change the game, but didn’t make much more than a whimper. Where did it go wrong? High expectations. Too high. Let’s ignore that and talk about what makes the Cruze a pretty good car, by and large. The handling of the Chevrolet Cruze rivals any other on this list, and perhaps betters them all for style.
A long time criticism levelled at the Panda is its visual appeal. It looks more like a clown car than an innovative compact – which is exactly what it is. Which makes it such a shame when its aesthetic value doesn’t do it any justice. I urge you not to let the way it looks cloud your judgment – the 2015 Panda boasts some fairly impressive stats. If comfort is the one thing you value above all, this car is the one for you. And that’s what earns it a place on this list.
Is there a name more synonymous with economy class vehicles than Ford? In particular, the Fiesta celebrates its 40th birthday next year, but the celebrations came early. This year’s iteration was without a doubt the Fiesta’s best offering to date, and demonstrated why they’ve topped the market for so long. If there were to be one criticism levelled at it – it would be its luxuries leave a lot to be desired. Aesthetically, I found it to be uninspired. But where it matters? The performance could rival anything else in its class. It’s superior handling is what sets it apart from its competitors, and 2016 doesn’t look to be the year Ford will concede their place at the top.
I’m not even going to pretend to know as much about cars as one Jeremy Clarkson, but the Honda Jazz has my backing. But don’t just take my word for it; the disgraced host of Top Gear, too, has given it his seal of approval. The Jazz has a reputation for being something of a car for the elder generation, but, truthfully, it’s a great car. If anything, it deserves a better audience. To overlook the Honda Jazz would be a mistake, in my honest opinion. Its beauty is in the finer details.
If you’re speed merchant, you might want to look away now. The I20’s top speed doesn’t even break 100 miles per hour. There are many online that voiced their displeasure when the I20’s specs were released, and we can understand why. It just didn’t meet the expectations that Hyundai themselves have set in recent years. The truth is, the I20 is not going to get anybody too excited. What makes it worthy of this list, then, you ask? Its durability. I dare say that there is no other car on this list that fills me with the same confidence as the I20 in terms of safety. It’s the little engine that could – and it’ll keep on chugging along for a while longer yet.
On the market for just above ten grand, the second iteration Mazda cuts a confident figure on the market. It’s loaded with innovative technology to make your driving experience safer and easier. At the risk of sounding like an ad, its impressive list of features makes for mouth-watering reading. A top speed of 106 miles per hour certainly doesn’t do it a disservice, either. The Mazda 2 stormed onto the market earlier this year and proved without a doubt that small cars can dream big.
There probably isn’t any other name on this list that inspires the same confidence as Peugeot. Sometimes, it’s hard to believe they don’t aim for the higher executive market. Their cars, however, do an admirable job in impersonating them. And sure, for this price tag, you won’t be getting anything mind-blowing or revolutionary, but who cares? If you’re looking for a car that looks great and performs even better, you can’t look much further than the Peugeot 208. The car feels like a shift in momentum as Peugeot look’s to rediscover their swagger. This could prove to be the offering that ultimately leads down that road.
This poor car takes a little bit of a hammering in reviews. Suzuki’s economy offerings have long been treated as the inferior younger brother of the big boys. That isn’t entirely fair. While the Suzuki Swift isn’t the most complete compact car on the market, it does have its benefits. You only have to look at the price to see one major plus point. Above all, the Swift is simply fun to drive. The same can’t be said, however, for the passengers. You could be in for something of a bumpy ride, especially in the back seat.