10) Mini Cooper Convertible
Originally produced by English auto makers British Motor Corporation (BMC) since 1959, the mini was meant to be an economy compact car, but soon became a pop culture icon.
The new mini convertible offers unlimited headroom. Uniquely in a convertible, the mini has a soft top with a half-open setting, which can be adjusted at any speed, just like a panoramic sunroof on a hardtop.
The Mini convertible is currently being offered in three variants priced between $25,950 and $35,600. All of these are two-door compacts. The base model has a 1.5 litre, three-cylinder, MINI TwinPower, turbocharged direct injection engine producing a peak output of 134 hp. The standard transmission is six-speed manual, while a six speed automatic gearbox with F1 style paddle shifters is offered as optional.
A mode shifter allows the car to be driven in ‘green’, ‘mid’ or ‘sport’ modes. The mini also boasts dynamic stability control and a performance suspension system.
[tps_title]Kia Forte Koup 2017[/tps_title]
9) Kia Forte Koup
Koup is Kia-speak for two-door coupe. With a US retail price starting at $19,890, the car comes with all the look and feel of a performance compact car. It packs a 173 hp engine under the hood, along with a six speed automatic gearbox.
On the inside, the car’s 4.3 inch LCD touch screen audio display provides easy access to multiple entertainment features. The rear camera display engages automatically when the car is put in reverse. Steering wheel mounted cruise controls are a standard feature of any driver’s car and the Koup is no exception. A 6-way adjustable seat ensures maximum comfort for the driver.
Audio and communications controls are also mounted on the wheel. The steering itself is adjustable to ‘standard’, ‘sport’ or ‘comfort’ settings. Keyless entry is standard and push button start is optional. Also optional is the dual zone automatic climate control with rear vents.
8) Hyundai Veloster
The Veloster seeks to combine the best qualities of a coupe and a sedan. The base model has been named the Veloster Turbo R-Spec. It has two doors, four seats and a twin scroll turbocharged 1.6 litre, four cylinder engine. 201 hp of peak power is transmitted to the 18 inch alloy wheels via the car’s six-speed manual transmission. The gearbox has a built-in B&M Racing sport shifter.
On the inside is a seven inch touchscreen that doubles as display for the rear view camera. Hyundai are offering a ‘style package’ for the Veloster, which includes fog lights, panoramic sunroof, black interior accents, a premium audio system and several other extras. There is also a ‘tech package’ for those who enjoy playing with extra gizmos in the car.
US retail prices for the base model of the car start from $18,000. The four available versions of the car are Veloster, Turbo R-Spec, Rally Edition, and Turbo.
7) Hyundai Elantra
Hyundai’s compact car, manufactured since 1990, is now in its sixth generation. The base model is the Elantra SE, which retails in the US starting from $17,150. Its inline four cylinder engine is a 2.0 litre DOHC, MPI gasoline motor producing a peak output of 147 hp. The car runs on a six-speed manual transmission and FWD. Auto transmission is only an option with the higher end variants of the car.
Standard safety features in the 2017 base model Elantra include TPMS, stability control, traction control, ABS with electronic brake force distribution and multiple airbags. Also standard are 6-way adjustable seats with height adjustment for both driver and passenger.
For the sixth gen, Hyundai have thankfully done away with the ‘fluidic’ design concept of previous models, making the car more reassuring to look at. Interior trims add to the creature comforts and are among the best in class. This reliable vehicle comes with a ten year warranty on the powertrain.
6) Ford Focus
The Focus was always targeted at younger drivers who would prefer a compact as their first car. The Focus was meant simply for getting around, rather than to make a statement of any sort. Despite this the car enjoyed much popularity from the very start. The third generation of the Focus compact sedan now retails in the US market starting at $18,175.
The standard Ford ecoboost gasoline engine with auto stop/start and a 6 speed manual transmission is a familiar feature of the vehicle. Another engine variant is the 2.0 litre Ti-VCT direct-injection motor, which can be had as an option.
The Focus sedan misses some of the cargo space of the hatch variant. Interior comforts include a six speaker audio system with mp3 compatibility, heated front seats, an ergonomic central console, and a power outlet in the rear. The car is also packed with all the updated safety features including multi stage airbags and side impact protection.
5) Dodge Dart
Dodge claims that the new Dart is the most technologically advanced car in its class. With features such as voice commands for hands free operation, an 8.4 inch touchscreen display, the powerful 506 watt, nine speaker Alpine sound system and a customizable digital cluster display, many would be inclined to agree.
Standard on the SE variant, the Dart’s 2.0 litre Tigershark, four cylinder engine features 16 valves and Variable Valve Timing (VVT). It delivers a maximum output of 160 hp and 148 lb ft of torque. Another engine variant meant to maximize fuel economy is the 1.4 litre intercooled turbo, fitted as standard on the Dart Aero. This engine can get up to 28 mpg while driving around in the city, as claimed by Dodge.
The standard transmission is six-speed manual and optional is the six-speed automatic. Retail prices in the US start from $16,995.
4) Chevrolet Cruze
The four door sedan variant of the 2017 Cruze is the longer and wider second generation model of a popular car manufactured since 2008 by Chevy. US retail prices start from $16,975.
The new Cruze is a compact sedan packed with safety features such as electronic stability control, rear cross traffic alert, a steel safety cage, automatic crash response and ten airbags. Under the hood is a 1.4 litre turbocharged engine producing a peak output of 153 hp.
Interior comforts include an updated entertainment system featuring advanced phone integration with apple car play and android auto compatibility, and available 4G Wi-Fi hotspot. There are also a range of available extras such as push button start, wireless charging docks and a high end audio system with nine speakers.
Not least of the Cruze’s appeal is its fuel economy. Despite the powerful engine the car gets a highway fuel economy of 42 mpg, as claimed by Chevy.
3) Volkswagen Golf
The new VW Golf is peppy, practical, customizable and very well connected. It now has a 1.8 litre turbocharged, lightweight engine delivering 170 hp at peak performance. On the inside, the dash-mounted touchscreen supports streaming music, mobile maps, messaging and other apps.
Exterior extras include a dashing rear spoiler, which is primarily for looks, since the car’s aerodynamics are already great, and a panoramic sunroof. 60/40 split folding rear seats create as much as 52.7 cubic feet of cargo space, impressive even for a hatch.
This popular car now comes with a gamut of safety features. The Golf has seven stability-enhancing systems including electronic brake-pressure distribution (EBD) and electronic stability control (ESC). The car’s forward collision warning system has sensors in the front to help monitor traffic and alert the driver of a potential collision with the vehicle in front. Autonomous emergency braking can help avoid collisions.
The Golf now also has an intelligent crash response system (ICRS). Protective features include the car’s rigid safety cage along with front and rear crumple zones. As a result of these measures the national highway traffic safety administration (NHTSA) has given the Golf a 5-star overall safety rating.
2) Mazda Mazda 3
The 2017 Mazda3 four door sedan retails in the US starting from $17,845 for the Sport model. It has the same engine as the hatchback variant, which is the 2.0 litre DOHC, 155 bhp power plant. The six speed automatic gearbox is also standard.
The sedan has a slightly better drag coefficient than the hatchback. Halogen headlights, stability control, traction control and multiple passenger safety features make it a great car all round. Cruise control and audio function buttons have been provided on the wheel. The car’s 60/40 split fold down rear seats make for customizable space.
The Mazda3 has won a number of accolades for safety and performance. It has been designed to be an excellent city car. Useful connectivity features such as text message auto delivery and voice reply, and internet radio integration in the Mazda3 may well become precursors for all other cars to follow.
1) Honda Civic
The Honda Civic’s sedan variant retails starting from $18,740 in the US. That’s cheaper than both the hatchback and the coupe models of the car.
The exterior styling is still meant to be aggressive, although tones lower than its cousins. LED headlights are now standard. The interior cockpit design proclaims the Civic as a driver’s car. The instrument panel has a single level design centric display and the electronic parking brake is a one touch operation.
Front seats are heated and the driver’s seat is 8-way power adjustable. The storage console is designed to hold a tablet. The EX-L and Touring variants of the car now also feature rich leather trim. Tech specs include a fully independent suspension and two choices of transmission. The 158 hp, 2.0 litre turbocharged naturally aspirated engine and a rigid, lightweight construction make the Civic handle more or less like a sports sedan.