2011 Chevrolet Aveo (RS Concept, 2010 Detroit Auto Show)Enlarge Photo
Everyone wants the cream of the crop, especially when it comes down to buying a new car. Of course, when you want the best you start to ask what the best is. Well, have no fear we have the top five small cars your money can buy and the reviews to back them up. What’s more is that we have cars in the line up for every lifestyle and budget.
2010 Chevrolet AveoEnlarge Photo
2010 Chevrolet Aveo: The smallest car in the Chevrolet line-up in the U.S. and also the least expensive at a base MSRP of $11,965. The Aveo is available in a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback, both of which ride on a 97.6” wheelbase. The technical business aside, the Chevrolet Aveo is praised by our editors at TheCarConnection.com for having good build quality, performance that gets people’s attention (especially with the manual) and versatile lifestyle options with both the Aveo5 hatchback and Aveo sedan. The downsides? Crash-test performance that causes reviewers to ask some questions, awkward interior controls and the ride at cruising speed isn’t as smooth as others in its class.
Angular Front Exterior View - 2010 MINI Cooper Hardtop 2-door Coupe SEnlarge Photo
2010 Toyota Yaris: Keeping in the small and affordable theme, the Toyota Yaris fits the bill perfectly with a base MSRP of $12,605. Why pick the Toyota Yaris? This particular car is praised for its excellent fuel economy of 29/36-mpg city/highway (with the manual transmission). Like other cars in its class the 2010 Toyota Yaris comes in both a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. An extra-added bonus is the three-door hatchback. The Yaris is attractive due to the reliable reputation of the Toyota brand (despite recent events with some of their vehicles) and the “playful” and “funky styling of the exterior. The editors at TheCarConnection.com praise it for its good ride, safety features and fuel economy and note its shortcomings as including poor handling, “gimmicky” centrally mounted gauges and sub-par front seats.
2011 Ford Fiesta: The Fiesta has made is return to the U.S. market and it has done so in a big way. It is more than just the fun paint colors or the appearances on American Idol, it is a car that is changing the way people view small cars in America. The Fiesta not only starts a reasonable base MSRP of $13,320, it also comes with many class-leading features like SYNC and “PowerShift” direct-shift gearbox, as well as, fun options like the LED “mood lighting” that illuminates cup holders, footwells and other parts of the Fiesta. Package that all together with both four-door hatchback and sedan options and expected gas mileage in the 40s for highway, the Fiesta is a hard vehicle to pass up.
2010 Smart ForTwo: For most people the Smart ForTwo is probably one of those cars that sounds great, but not for them. The truth is, if you are looking for decent standard features, super small footprint and the cute disposition that is the Smart family of cars, then you might give a ForTwo or ForTwo Convertible a try. The base MSRP for these little runabouts comes in at $11,990 and will get you a car that rides on a 73.5” wheelbase and is less than nine feet in total length. What about economy you say? The Smart ForTwo manages 33 mpg in the city and 41 mpg out on the highway. That said, the biggest complaint from people on the Smart is its road handling on the freeway. It is a combination of a short wheelbase, small tires and a 70-horsepower, 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. All in all, it is most at home in the city where you can park it nose in to the curb due to its diminutive size.