Compact cars were originally built for cost-effective commuting, but the latest 2020 models are comfortable, stylish, and engaging to drive. We’ve also seen the emergence of compact SUVs which are popular among families and can even handle light off-road duties. If you’re in the market and considering a compact vehicle, these are 6 of the best that are currently available.
2020 Volkswagen GTI
Crowned the king of the compacts, there’s a lot to love about the 2020 Volkswagen GTI and virtually nothing to dislike. As a daily driver, it’s well-mannered and practical, but also comes with plenty of serious performance credibility. A turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivers a smooth torque curve at every point in the rev range, with peak torque beginning at just 1,500 rpm. Its sturdy chassis and responsive steering handle enthusiastic driving with ease, making the 2020 Volkswagen GTI one of the most fun compact cars out there.
On the inside, Volkswagen has kept up its theme of logical minimalism, but a few luxury options and varying trim levels allow you to customize your Golf GTI with your individual flair. Our pick of the bunch is the Autobahn model which adds 12-way power-adjustable, heated seats, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and low-speed cornering-illuminating fog lights.
2020 Toyota RAV4
As cars consistently get larger, the Toyota RAV4 is getting smaller with each release – so much so that the compact SUV has earned a place amongst our list of best compact cars. Despite its small stature, it still has enough interior space to go up against mid-sized competitors like the Honda CR-V and the Ford Escape.
When it comes to driving dynamics, the RAV4 lacks the fun factor that some people look for in a vehicle, but its easy driving characteristics, comfortable interior, and generous legroom suit daily commuting extremely well. If you want to improve your driving enjoyment, the Toyota Racing Division (TRD) model transforms the humble RAV4 into a rally-based SUV. It retains the same engine as the base model, but gains a Dynamic Torque Vectoring All-Wheel-Drive system and retuned suspension.
2020 Toyota Corolla
Not content with producing a car that is simply cheap and reliable, Toyota has transformed the 2020 Corolla into sporty and engaging vehicle with its own distinct flair. Into its twelfth generation, the Corolla gets a complete transformation from the ground up. Previous owners will feel at home in the cabin, but will also be pleasantly surprised by higher quality materials and soft touchpoints, as well as a roomier, and more airy interior.
Somehow Toyota has managed to pack even more technology into the 2020 Corolla, including a 7 or 8-inch touch screen with wireless charging. Driver safety has received a significant upgrade as well, and the 2020 Toyota Corolla can be optioned with daytime bicycle detection, adaptive headlights, and road sign assist.
2020 Ford Escape
The Ford Escape occupies a unique space in the market, designed to appeal to both car and SUV enthusiasts by offering the best characteristics from both vehicles. It was the SUV that kicked off the whole compact crossover trend, and Ford has been steadily refining the platform with every subsequent release. In 2020 there are three different models, each with its own distinct personality.
The 2020 Ford Escape wears a sleeker look than the traditionally boxy Toyota RAV4, and this has allowed Ford to put the 2020 Escape on a diet to cut weight and deliver impressive fuel economy. The turbocharged 1.5-liter engine sips 1 gallon of fuel for every 27 miles of city driving and 33 miles on the highway.
2020 Chevrolet Cruze
While the Chevrolet Cruze will probably never win any awards for speed, its 6-speed automatic transmission and crisp handling make it a joy to drive. A lot of work has gone into improving driving dynamics of the Cruze, and new drivers will appreciate the extra drivers assist features such as the transmission sensing when it’s on a hill and holding low gear.
The interior is a very pleasant place to be – it has a premium feel and is surprisingly roomy for a car of this size. The infotainment system has a well thought out, logical layout with endless connectivity and streaming options including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The 2020 Chevy Cruze is said to be release in the 3rd quarter of 2020.
2020 Mazda 3
The 2020 Mazda 3 is a vehicle that feels like it’s been carefully crafted rather than built, with a level of sophistication that puts it in a class above most other compact cars and SUVs. Its small proportions disguise just how comfortable the Mazda 3 is with sports car-grade seating, a leather wrapped steering wheel, and a wealth of advanced driver safety features that now come as standard. If money is no object, then the Premium trim is our choice. This top-level trim option comes with a Bose premium sound system, heads up display, leather upholstery, and adaptive LED headlights. Every model is full of the latest safety technology including adaptive blind spot monitoring and automated emergency braking.