This is the definitive ranking of the best and worst small cars on sale in the UK.
How can we make such a bold claim? Because this list isn’t just based on our opinion. We’ve compiled and analysed more than 7,500 new car reviews from 25 of the top motoring websites in the UK to produce our Expert Rating scores. Why rely on one person’s opinion when you can have all of the top reviews gathered together in one place?
Despite the explosion in SUV sales over the last few years, small hatchbacks are still the best-selling cars in the UK. Small cars can be divided into two categories, known as city cars and superminis. City cars are smaller and (usually) cheaper, and will often be three-door hatchbacks. Superminis are larger and are usually five-door hatchbacks.
Despite all of the publicity about SUVs and crossovers, UK car buyers still choose more small hatchbacks than any other type of car.
The battle for the title of best-selling UK car has long been strictly Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa territory, with the Fiesta having claimed the title for 12 straight years. Other superminis such as the ever-fashionable Mini hatch consistently feature in the best-seller top ten.
Small cars are divided into two basic types – the smallest, such as the Toyota Aygo, Kia Picanto and Peugeot 108 are known as city cars. Often available with only three doors, they are the cheapest cars on the market and a popular choice for first-time drivers with the money to buy new.
Superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Volkswagen Polo or SEAT Ibiza are slightly larger than city cars. While three-door superminis were for many years offered as budget options they’ve now virtually died out – these days five doors are standard on almost all of the wide choice of models around.
Petrol engines dominate in both the city car and supermini markets. You won’t find a worthwhile city car fitted with a diesel engine, while diesel options in superminis are declining rapidly. Electric variants such as the Peugeot e-208 and Vauxhall Corsa-e are starting to go on sale but they remain the option to the petrol rule.