The shift among car buyers from sedans to SUVs is adding a stream of larger vehicles to our roads, and while sport utilities are sound choices for many situations, here are 10 good reasons to look at buying a smaller vehicle, from saving money to versatility.
Small cars are among the most affordable vehicles to get on the road. Many new subcompact models come with sticker prices from $14,000 to $17,000, while some start even lower, such as the 2018 Nissan Versa at $12,110 and the 2018 Chevrolet Spark at $13,050. Whether you want to buy new or used, and whether you’re a first-time buyer or just want to keep potential car payments down, they’re often an inexpensive option.
Easy to park
Less car to park means you’ll be able to get into more spaces, particularly useful for city driving, side-streets and parking garages with designated compact spaces. A small car will also be a more comfortable fit for a garage at home and, if it’s a double, leave more room for two vehicles.
Better fuel economy
Compacts and subcompacts are some of the most fuel-efficient gas-powered vehicles, and with prices at the pump expected to rise from $2.41 a gallon last summer to $2.74 this year, a little car might provide even more of a saving. Overall, electric vehicles are more efficient than their conventional cousins and fill the Environmental Protection Agency’s top 10 list of fuel-sipping new models. They include a number of small cars, such as the Chevrolet Bolt EV, Volkswagen e-Golf and BMW i3.
Loaded with tech
Small cars are available with an array of modern features to improve comfort, safety and entertainment. Take the Chevrolet Spark, for example, winner of Kelley Blue Book’s five-year cost-to-own award for best subcompact car. “Buyers might be surprised and delighted by the Spark’s 7-inch touch screen audio system with built-in Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, a rearview camera and cutting-edge driver assists such as forward-collision alert and lane-departure warning,” says the car valuation and research site.
Fun to drive
Although having smaller engines, their petite size enables these cars to accelerate quickly, perform sharp turns and break efficiently, allowing drivers to feel in control behind the wheel. Opt for a sport version and you might double the fun.
A little luxurious
Gone are the days when small cars were basic boxes devoid of creature comforts. Today’s vehicles reflect the improvement in technology, quality and features that has taken place across the broader auto market over time, so you can still enjoy the driving experience. The highly rated Toyota Yaris iA, named a Consumer Guide Automotive “best buy,” comes with features such as automatic climate control, keyless entry with push-button start, as well as infotainment gadgetry including a touchscreen, voice recognition and hands-free Bluetooth, all as standard.
Safety has also moved on and small cars are safer than they’ve ever been, according to Edmunds. Rearview cameras, for example, are standard on all 2018 model-year vehicles. Many models also come with features like forward-collision warning, collision-mitigation braking systems, lane-departure alerts and adaptive cruise control.
Cars at the small end of the market have actually got bigger in recent years, which provides a bit more flexibility when you need to put baggage in the trunk or travel with passengers. The Honda Fit, in particular, is considered a relatively roomy option thanks to its airy cabin and foldable rear seats.
Available in a range of styles
Everyone has their own view of what a nice car looks like, and there is a range of styles – not to mention colors – to choose from in the compact and subcompact segments. They include hatchbacks and sedans, and distinctive vehicles like the tiny ForTwo, iconic VW Beetle and sporty Mini.
Cheaper running costs
Apart from potential savings on purchase price, you may save on maintenance costs, like oil and tire changes, and on parts for any repairs over the life of the car.
Although small cars are not perfect for everyone, there are some compelling reasons to consider one as you weigh the options for your next vehicle purchase. If you need information about financing a vehicle, learn more about car loans with RoadLoans.