Subcompact cars come with certain advantages. They're small (some are three feet shorter and a foot more narrow than a large SUV), obviously, which makes them accommodating companions on congested city streets. Many are also supremely fuel efficient, and this will save you money at the pump.
If you're shopping for a subcompact, a used car offers the best value. The fact that cars depreciate by as much 28 percent after just a year of ownership puts used car shoppers in a position to realize huge savings.
Though used car prices in general have been rising, the prices of used small cars have seen notable declines. In the subcompact segment, prices have dipped by an average of 6.3 percent year over year. This is clearly a function of the current preference for trucks and SUVs. America's ongoing romance with larger vehicles has also brought a broad array of used small cars to the market as many owners of subcompacts have been trading up into models that have more generous dimensions.
This means it's a great time to shop for used subcompacts, and the list below highlights 10 of the best picks on the market. All of the selections on our list have seen price declines over the past year and provide you with the chance to realize substantial savings.
It's essential for your car to be in sync with your budget, but we considered more than just pricing. We also looked at overall quality and performance when making our selections, so our choices will likely meet your needs in more ways than one.
The range of models we've chosen is diverse. You'll find the sporty Ford Fiesta, the fuel-sipping Toyota Prius C and the versatile Honda Fit.
We list our selections alphabetically by make and model. For each pick, our link highlights the most recent choice among the model years we've recommended.
Launched in 2012 and available as a sedan and a hatchback, the Chevrolet Sonic blends lively handling with strong fuel efficiency. A rearview camera, lane departure warning and forward collision warning became available in model year 2014, so choose a 2014 or newer model if these features are important to you.
The selling price of a used 2014 Chevrolet Sonic at dealerships dropped 19 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.
Introduced in 2011 and offered in sedan and hatchback configurations, the Fiesta brings sharp handling and a relatively high-end interior to the subcompact segment. If you're looking for performance, the ST trim provides the sportiest handling, and it was introduced for the 2014 model year.
The selling prices of used Ford Fiestas at dealerships dropped in double-digit percentages in 2016 from their 2015 prices, according to Edmunds transaction data. For example, a used 2015 Ford Fiesta dropped 17 percent.
The second generation of the Honda Fit hatchback hit dealerships in 2009, and it impressed buyers with its versatile cabin and agile handling. The current generation launched in the 2015 model year. Both generations are stellar, but the current generation provides increased interior space and a broader range of safety and technology features. If your budget allows you to purchase a newer used car, take a look at Fit hatchbacks from the 2015 model year.
The selling price of a used 2015 Honda Fit at dealerships dropped 8 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.
A 2012 redesign made the Hyundai Accent a genuine contender in the subcompact segment, gracing it with stylish sheet metal and a robust, fuel-efficient powertrain. Available as a sedan and a hatchback, the Accent offers impressive value.
The selling price of a used 2012 Hyundai Accent at dealerships dropped 20 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.
The Kia Soul melds distinctively boxy styling with a generous cabin and a long list of standard features. The second generation launched in 2014 and it offers a more refined interior.
The selling price of a used 2014 Kia Soul at dealerships dropped 13 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.
Launched in 2011 and discontinued in 2014, the Mazda 2 hatchback impressed with its engaging handling and upbeat exterior styling. Bluetooth connectivity and a navigation system weren't available before the 2014 model year, so pick a 2014 model if you want to enjoy these amenities.
The selling price of a used 2014 Mazda 2 at dealerships dropped 20 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.
The look of the Nissan Juke may be polarizing, but there's no denying its eager performance and responsive handling. This hatchback launched in 2011 and is available with all-wheel drive.
The selling price of a used 2011 Nissan Juke at dealerships dropped 14 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data. A 2015 used model dropped 18 percent.
The Scion xB offers ample rear legroom and crisp performance from its four-cylinder engine. The second generation of the wagon launched in 2008, offering more interior room and a stronger engine.
The selling price of a used 2008 Scion xB at dealerships dropped 17 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data. A 2014 used model dropped 11 percent.
Introduced for the 2012 model year, the Toyota Prius C takes the Prius' superlative hybrid frugality and places it in a smaller and more affordable package. Despite its small size, this Toyota provides a reasonably roomy cabin.
The selling price of a used 2012 Toyota Prius C at dealerships dropped 16 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data. A used 2015 Prius C dropped 15 percent.
Available as a convertible and a two-door hatchback, the iconic Volkswagen Beetle has robust turbocharged engines and a spacious cabin. The current generation launched in 2012, and it's longer and wider than its predecessor.
The selling price of a used 2012 Volkswagen Beetle at dealerships dropped 17 percent in 2016 from its 2015 price, according to Edmunds transaction data.