Finest Compact Vehicles (2023 Shopper’s Information)

As crossovers, SUVs, and different derivatives entered the fray within the late ’90s and early 2000s, the compact sedan progressively light into obscurity, overshadowed by car-based contenders just like the CR-V, RAV4, and Forester, to call a couple of. That’s all properly and good, however generally, you simply want a dependable and simple small automobile.

The very best compact automobiles in the marketplace, outlined beneath, are proof that the everlasting “three-box design” nonetheless has the products to win over the hearts of pragmatic consumers. Here’s what we advocate in case you are out there for a smaller set of wheels.

2023 Honda Civic

The eleventh-gen Civic is Honda’s renaissance automobile, and the Japanese automaker was positive to cowl all of the bases for its perennial compact sedan. The Civic was all-new for the 2022 mannequin yr, and the 2023 variant marks the entrant of the Civic Sort R, the most recent iteration of Honda’s pocket rocket with a 315-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged engine.

The Honda Civic is on the market as a sedan or hatchback, and the latter is configurable with a handbook gearbox. Furthermore, the Civic Si has a 200-horsepower 1.5-liter turbo engine and a six-speed handbook, nice for Civic followers craving for the glory days.


  • Enjoyable & Sporty
  • Wonderful Gas Economic system
  • Passenger & Cargo House


  • No entrance lumbar help
  • Freeway Driving Traits

Powertrain & Gas Economic system

The bottom Honda Civic Sport has a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft. of torque. The sedan has a regular CVT automated and front-wheel drivetrain, however the hatchback has an optionally available six-speed handbook. The EPA charges the CVT-equipped Civic sedan at a sterling 31 within the metropolis, 40 on the freeway, and 35 mixed.

In the meantime, the Civic EX (sedan) and EX-L (hatchback) have a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine that generates 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft. of torque. This engine is barely out there with a CVT, nevertheless it achieves higher gas mileage at 33/42 metropolis/freeway and 36 mixed.

Inside Format & Cargo House

The 2023 Honda Civic sedan has a 1.4-inch longer wheelbase and a wider rear monitor than earlier than. The previous unlocks extra rear legroom, whereas the latter improves the car’s stance and dealing with. Because of this, it affords as much as 99 cubic ft of passenger area and 14.8 cubic ft of cargo room within the trunk, making it among the many roomiest and most sensible within the compact class.

The 2023 Civic Hatchback affords 24.5 cubic ft of cargo area behind the rear seats, with a 1.6-inch wider hatch opening to raised accommodate cumbersome gadgets. Dropping the rear seats will provide you with extra room but contained in the Civic Hatchback.

The bottom Honda Civic has 18-inch wheels, LED headlights, keyless entry, automated local weather management, a seven-inch touchscreen, an eight-speaker audio system, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Different trim variants obtain a sunroof, dual-zone local weather management, heated seats, an even bigger nine-inch touchscreen, and a 12-speaker Bose audio system, to call a couple of.

Honda Civic Security Rankings & Options

The IIHS named the Honda Civic a Prime Security Choose+, whereas NHTSA gave it a five-star general score for security. Credit score goes to Honda’s Advanced Compatibility Engineering (ACE) structure that improves crash security with stiffer chassis elements. Furthermore, each Civic comes commonplace with Honda Sensing superior driver aids like automated excessive beams, adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, and extra.

Honda Civic Guarantee

The Honda Civic has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Our complete information on Honda prolonged warranties is an efficient place to begin if you happen to drive extra miles than the common individual.

2023 Honda Civic Beginning MSRP

The 2023 Honda Civic sedan is on the market in 4 trims: Sport ($26,145), EX ($27,545), Touring ($31,145), and Si ($30,690). In the meantime, the Civic Hatchback is on the market in Sport M/T ($26,545), Sport CVT ($26,545), EX-L ($28,845), and Sport Touring ($31,645). All costs are inclusive of the $1,095 vacation spot cost.

2023 Toyota Corolla

Unsurprisingly, the 2023 Toyota Corolla is close to the highest of our greatest compact automobiles record regardless of not being as thrilling or sporty as a Civic or Mazda3. Nonetheless, Toyota’s popularity for sturdiness and components availability has made the Corolla a fail-safe alternative within the compact phase. It’s additionally the best-looking Corolla but!

The 2023 Toyota Corolla is on the market in a number of flavors like sedan, hatchback, hybrid, or the hotrod GR Corolla and its punchy 300-horsepower 1.6-liter three-cylinder lump.


  • Gas Economic system
  • Refined Styling
  • Spacious Cabin
  • Moderately Priced


  • Noisy Freeway Trip
  • Bland Engine Efficiency

Powertrain & Gas Economic system

The 2023 Toyota Corolla sedan and hatchback can be found with a single engine: a 2.0-liter naturally-aspirated four-cylinder mated to a CVT automated transmission. It has 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft. of torque, higher than the outgoing variant’s lifeless 1.8-liter mill.

The bigger 2.0-liter engine is extra environment friendly, sipping gas at an EPA-rated 32 within the metropolis, 41 on the freeway, and 35 mixed. As well as, the Corolla Hatchback shares the identical CVT transmission and front-wheel drivetrain because the sedan, enabling it to attain related efficiency and gas financial system numbers.

Inside Format & Cargo House

The 2023 Toyota Corolla shouldn’t be as spacious because the 2023 Honda Civic and affords much less trunk area, however not by a lot. It affords 88.6 cubic ft of room within the cabin and 13.1 cubic ft of trunk area, sufficient to stay aggressive within the phase. If you would like a Corolla however want an even bigger trunk, the Corolla Hatchback obliges with 17.8 cubic ft of cargo area, with extra room out there with the rear seats folded.

The bottom Toyota Corolla LE has an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen, wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, 16-inch metal wheels, and automated local weather management. The range-topping Corolla XSE has LED headlights, fake leather-based upholstery, a sunroof, heated entrance seats, and extra.

Toyota Corolla Security Rankings & Options

The 2023 Toyota Corolla was an IIHS Prime Security Choose+ and has earned a five-star rating from NHTSA. Moreover, all Corollas come commonplace with Toyota Security Sense 3.0, a driving help bundle with up to date security aids like automated excessive beams, lane tracing help, dynamic radar cruise management, lane departure warning, and a backup digicam.

Toyota Corolla Guarantee

All Toyota Corollas depart the manufacturing facility with a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee, and a 60,000-mile corrosion and perforation guarantee with no mileage limits.

Moreover, the Corolla Hatchback affords two years or 25,000 miles of factory-scheduled upkeep and 24-hour roadside help for 2 years/limitless mileage. Our information to Toyota prolonged warranties will present choices to guard your Corolla for longer.

2023 Toyota Corolla Beginning MSRP

The 2023 Toyota Corolla Sedan is on the market in three trims: LE ($22,645), SE ($25,045), and XSE ($27,795). In the meantime, the Corolla Hatchback begins at $24,060 (SE) and $27,525 for the top-of-the-line XSE trim, together with the $1,095 vacation spot cost.

2023 Mazda3

The Mazda3 is the compact automobile to beat if styling and on-road refinement are prime priorities. Mazda removed the bottom 2.0-liter engine for the 2023 mannequin yr and gave the usual 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder 5 extra horsepower for a peppier experience. And regardless of its luxurious options and premium-feeling supplies, the Mazda3 continues to be inexpensive, making it a shoo-in for our greatest compact automobiles record.


  • Posh Inside
  • Crisp Dealing with
  • Obtainable AWD


  • Tight Rear Legroom
  • Smaller Trunk House
2023 Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback (2023 best compact cars shoppers guide).
2023 Mazda3 Sedan and Hatchback.

Powertrain & Gas Economic system

The bottom Mazda3 2.5 S has a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter four-banger that generates 191 horsepower and 186 lb-ft. of torque on a weight loss program of standard 87 or premium 93 octane fuel. It now has 5 extra horsepower than the outgoing 2.5 S mannequin, and Mazda tinkered with the engine’s cylinder deactivation expertise to enhance the gas financial system.

Because of this, it achieves an EPA-estimated 28 within the metropolis, 37 on the freeway, and a mixed 31 mpg, stellar numbers for what’s conceivably probably the most potent base engine on this record. Entrance-wheel drive and a six-speed automated are commonplace, however an all-wheel drivetrain is on the market within the 2.5 S Carbon Version trim. Moreover, the two.5 S Premium Package deal FWD has a six-speed handbook gearbox.

In the meantime, the Mazda3 2.5 Turbo has a blown 2.5-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder with 250 horsepower and 320 lb-ft. of torque on 93 octane gas. However with 87 octane fuel, it nonetheless musters 227 horsepower and 310 lb-ft. of torque. The turbo engine comes completely with an all-wheel drivetrain and a six-speed automated. Furthermore, it sips gas at EPA-estimated 23/32 metropolis/freeway.

Inside Format & Cargo House

The 2023 Mazda3 is on the market in sedan or hatchback physique types, however neither is best-in-class for inside and cargo room. The sedan affords 13.2 cubic ft of area contained in the trunk, which festivals poorly towards the Civic and Corolla. Nevertheless, the Mazda 3 hatchback has a good 20.1 cubic ft of cargo room, and folding the rear seats reveals a good 47.1 cubic ft.

Regardless of not being the roomiest compact automobile, the Mazda3’s crowning glory is its posh cabin, making it really feel like a dearer car. The bottom 2.5 S has an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, push-button begin, an eight-speaker audio system, a rearview digicam, and black fabric seats. Turbo variants obtain a leather-based and heated steering wheel, leatherette seats, 18-inch alloy wheels, and extra.

Mazda3 Security Rankings & Options

The 2022 Mazda3 sedan was an IIHS Prime Security Choose+ with a five-star rating from NHTSA (the 2023 mannequin has not but been rated on the time of this writing). All Mazda3s include i-Activesense, a bundle that features radar cruise management, lane departure warning, driver consideration alert, good brake help, and extra. Larger trim variants obtain extra security aids like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and rear cross-traffic braking.

Mazda3 Guarantee

The 2023 Mazda3 has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Our Mazda prolonged guarantee information exhibits further protection choices for as much as 9 years or 100,000 miles.

2023 Mazda3 Beginning MSRP

The 2023 Mazda3 2.5 S begins at $23,615 (sedan) and $24,615 (hatchback). The two.5 S can be out there with the Choose, Most popular, Carbon Version, and Premium Package deal. The Turbo variant with commonplace AWD begins at $32,450, whereas the two.5 Turbo Premium Plus begins at $35,065 (sedan) and $36,365 (hatchback). These figures embrace the $1,065 vacation spot cost.

2023 Hyundai Elantra

Nonetheless on strong momentum from its prestigious 2021 North American Car of the Year award, the Hyundai Elantra lands on our record of the most effective compact automobiles for its quirky styling, considerable commonplace options, roomy cabin, and inexpensive base value. Moreover, Hyundai has the high-performance Elantra N, a direct rival to the VW Golf R and Honda Civic Sort R with a 276-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder.

Like Honda with the Civic, Hyundai covers all of the bases with its Elantra sedan. It’s out there as an N-Line variant with a six-speed handbook or eight-speed dual-clutch automated or as a hybrid that achieves a mixed 54 mpg.


  • Spacious Inside
  • Good Gas Economic system
  • Refined Driving Manners


  • Base Engine
  • Plasticky Cabin
  • No AWD Possibility

Powertrain & Gas Economic system

The bottom Hyundai Elantra has a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder fuel engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft. of torque. It has a front-wheel drivetrain and a regular CVT automated transmission, enabling it to return an EPA-estimated 33 within the metropolis, 43 on the freeway, and 37 mixed. The Elantra has the weakest base engine by way of horsepower amongst its friends, however the wonderful gas financial system is value contemplating.

The Elantra N-Line may oblige with its 201-horsepower 1.6-liter turbo four-cylinder engine if efficiency is a priority. The bundle features a front-wheel drivetrain, a six-speed handbook, or a seven-speed dual-clutch automated.

For those who’re seeking to seek out Civic Sort Rs, the Elantra N is a worthy decide with its turbo four-cylinder engine. The N badge features a six-speed handbook or an eight-speed moist dual-clutch transmission. The EPA charges the Elantra N automated at 20/30 metropolis/freeway and 23 mixed. The handbook fares higher at 22 within the metropolis, 31 on the freeway, and 25 mixed.

Probably the most environment friendly Elantra is, in fact, the hybrid variant. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder fuel engine, an electrical motor, a lithium-ion polymer battery, and a six-speed dual-clutch automated to return an EPA-estimated 53/56 metropolis/freeway and 54 mixed.

Inside Format & Cargo House

The 2023 Hyundai Elantra is larger when in comparison with prior generations, boasting an inside quantity of 113.6 cubic ft, among the many greatest within the phase. It additionally has a beneficiant trunk with 14.2 cubic ft of area to swallow up groceries, sports activities gear, or pet provides.

The bottom Hyundai Elantra has an eight-inch infotainment touchscreen with wi-fi Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Different trim variants embrace keyless entry, dual-zone automated local weather management, satellite tv for pc radio, real cowhide upholstery, and a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen, amongst different options.

Hyundai Elantra Security Rankings & Options

The seventh-generation Hyundai Elantra is an IIHS Prime Security Choose with a five-star overall rating from NHTSA. All Hyundai Elantras have a protracted record of superior driving aids like ahead collision mitigation, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance, protected exit warning, and automated rear braking, to call a couple of.

Hyundai Elantra Guarantee

Hyundai affords the most effective guarantee on this record, with the Elantra having a five-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Furthermore, hybrid Elantras obtain an extra 10-year/100,000-mile hybrid guarantee. Regardless of wonderful protection from the manufacturing facility, some Hyundai house owners should profit from an prolonged guarantee. 

2023 Hyundai Elantra Beginning MSRP

The Hyundai Elantra is on the market in SE ($22,065), SEL ($23,315), Restricted ($27,915), N-Line ($28,615), and Elantra N ($34,015), all of which embrace the $1,115 vacation spot cost. In the meantime, the Elantra Hybrid is on the market in Blue ($25,665) and Restricted ($27,915) trims.

2024 Subaru Impreza

Whereas the 2023 Subaru Impreza is among the many greatest compact automobiles, the Japanese automaker already hit the bottom operating with updates for the 2024 mannequin yr. That stated, we’ll give attention to the 2024 mannequin right here because it’s the most recent Impreza on the time of this writing. 

Now in its sixth technology, the present Impreza is much from its iconic predecessors, with turbocharged Boxer engines and a rallying pedigree to match. Nevertheless, the 2024 Impreza has Subaru’s Symmetrical AWD system as commonplace and a sporty new RS trim as an possibility.


  • Confirmed AWD System
  • Inexpensive Beginning MSRP
  • Beneficiant Normal Tools


  • Common Gas Economic system
  • Lackluster Base Engine

Powertrain & Gas Economic system

The 2024 Subaru Impreza is barely out there in a hatchback physique fashion, however the automaker gave it a ten p.c stiffer chassis to sharpen the automobile’s dealing with and cornering prowess. The bottom engine is a naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter Boxer 4 with 152 horsepower and 145 lb-ft. of torque. In the meantime, the Impreza RS has an even bigger 2.5-liter naturally-aspirated Boxer engine with 182 horsepower and 178 lb-ft. of torque. All Imprezas have a CVT gearbox and AWD, however the Sport and RS trims have an upgraded eight-speed CVT with paddle shifters.

The two.0-liter Boxer 4 returns an EPA-rated 27 within the metropolis, 34 on the freeway, and 30 mixed. The bigger 2.5-liter Boxer is rated at 26 within the metropolis, 33 on the freeway, and 29 mixed. When you have your eye on the RS trim with the two.5-liter Boxer engine, you gained’t lose a lot in gas effectivity regardless of having a pleasant energy bump.

Inside Format & Cargo House

The Impreza’s inside shouldn’t be as posh because the Mazda3, nevertheless it has a fantastic lineup of normal options. The bottom Impreza has steering-responsive headlights, dual-zone automated air-conditioning, and twin seven-inch infotainment screens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s a sensible hatchback that gives 20.8 cubic ft of cargo room behind the rear seats. For those who want extra, folding the again chairs reveals 55.3 cubic ft of storage room, among the many greatest within the compact phase.

Subaru Impreza Security Rankings & Options

The 2023 Subaru Impreza was an IIHS Prime Security Choose with a five-star rating from NHTSA, and we might anticipate related scores for the 2024 mannequin yr. As well as, all Imprezas depart the manufacturing facility with EyeSight, a bundle that features adaptive cruise management, pre-collision braking, lane-keeping help, and extra. The Impreza RS has extra security aids like blind-spot detection and automated emergency braking.

Subaru Impreza Guarantee

The 2024 Subaru Impreza has a three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper guarantee and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain guarantee. Choices can be found to increase the guarantee on any Subaru car, together with the Impreza.

2024 Subaru Impreza Beginning MSRP

The 2024 Subaru Impreza hatchback is on the market in three trim variants: Base ($24,085), Sport ($26,085), and RS ($28,975). The costs are inclusive of the $1,090 vacation spot cost.

Finest Compact Vehicles: Conclusion

The very best compact automobiles will serve consumers prioritizing affordability, gas financial system, and practicality with out sacrificing fashion and the fun-to-drive issue. And with the choice of all-wheel drive for some fashions (commonplace for others), the standard compact automobile can carry out in varied climate situations minus the heft and better prices related to crossovers or SUVs.

Alvin Reyes is an Automoblog characteristic columnist and an professional in sports activities and efficiency automobiles. He studied civil aviation, aeronautics, and accountancy in his youthful years and continues to be very a lot smitten to his former Lancer GSR and Galant SS. He additionally likes fried rooster, music, and natural medication.