Be sensible.

Sure, SUVs and crossovers are all the rage right now. People rave about the higher driving position, the sleek styling, and the practicality. 

But do you really need one?

Your 25-minute commute is spent driving through towns and cities. Is AWD essential?

Bigger cars come with higher running costs and lower fuel economy. In a big car, it can also be a bit of a challenge to squeeze through notoriously narrow British roads. 

It seems silly to fixate on an unnecessarily large car when we're spoiled for choice when it comes to small cars!

Whether it's the best-selling Ford Fiesta, the stereotypically posher Polo, or the ultra-practical Honda Jazz, there's something for everyone. 

We're going to let you in on why you should think about leasing a small car, and the benefits of driving one. 

Afterwards, we'll give you our picks for the top 10 small cars of 2019! 

First though, you ought to ask...

Is a small car right for me? 

A small car doesn’t necessarily mean cramped rear seats and pitiful boot space. These days, small hatchbacks are surprisingly practical.

They’re also no slouches in the tech department. Most small cars in 2019 will tick the essential tech-boxes for the average person, with many models offering big-car features like reversing cameras, wireless charging, and privacy windows (if you’re feeling a bit posh). 

Here's a few more advantages of owning a small car: 

Fuel economy: Typically, the bigger the car, the lower the miles per gallon! Small cars are more efficient because they weigh considerably less.

Easier to park: There's a reason most big cars come with parking sensors these days. Trying to fit in a cramped spot, particularly if you live in a city, can be a nerve-wracking affair. 

Low insurance: A small car tends to have a lower insurance band than something like an SUV, which can save you hundreds per year! 

Of course, there’s a few cases where a small car probably isn’t a good option for you: 

You have a huge family: If you need to be able to cart around 5 kids and Grandpa, you probably don’t want a small car. Check out our best 7-seater cars (and good luck!)

You’re 7ft tall: Most small cars these days are perfectly comfortable for taller drivers and have decent legroom. If you are exceptionally tall, some of these models likely aren’t for you. Make sure you get a test drive to see if it’s comfortable enough for you.

You just don’t want one: A small car might serve you perfectly well, and get on well with your bank account… but logic be damned, you want a big car! There’s nothing wrong with that. Just make sure to check out our top 10 SUVs to make sure you get the perfect big car for you.

The Best Small Cars 

So you’re sold: a small car is the right choice for you. But what models should you look into? There’s an enormous number of cars in the small car market, so it can be overwhelming to know what to look at. 

To make it simpler for you, here’s our top 10 picks for the best small cars of 2019.

A British staple (from an American Manufacturer… go figure), the Ford Fiesta is actually the all-time best selling car in the UK. Notorious for being a seriously good car at a reasonable price-point, it’s no surprise that the Fiesta is so popular. 

The Fiesta has always been a people pleaser. It's got lots of space so it’s ideal as a small family car. It’s also fuel-efficient so it's great for the budget-conscious.

And we haven’t even mentioned yet how fun the Fiesta is to drive. With sporty models like the ST around, this car really does tick all the boxes (if you don't mind being one of many on the roads). 

Stand-out Features:

Pros: 

  • A blast to drive.
  • Interior design looks great - a far cry from the 'Nokia Phone Button' vibes of the dashboard on older models.

Cons:

  • Some core safety kit is optional. 
  • Top trims are overpriced. 
119 viewed this car Fiesta Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Ford Fiesta Hatchback

99 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £122.03 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,464.36 inc VAT
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The humble Jazz was once a car your friend's famously boring Dad had in his driveway for just shy of a decade. 

It didn't exactly ooze cool then, and we’re sad to say it probably never will.

Regardless, the 2019 Honda Jazz is still well worth considering, as it's actually a great small 5 door car!

The ‘weird’ tall body of the Jazz is designed like that for a reason - it's got huge interior space for a supermini and can fit 4 adults (plus you) in it with plenty of room to relax. Also, it sports a class-leading boot so is great for a small family. 

When you combine this with great fuel economy, Honda's great reliability record, and the great tech onboard, the Jazz is a fantastic small car. 

Stand-out Features: 

  • Rear view camera. 
  • Heated door mirrors. 

Pros: 

  • Class-leading space and boot. 
  • A breeze to drive. 

Cons: 

  • More expensive than it used to be - not as much of a bargain.
  • Too many competitors are more fun and stylish.
44 viewed this car Jazz Hatchback View Gallery
7.5

Honda Jazz Hatchback

14 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 1.2 - 1.5
  • Fuel: P, H
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 104 - 139g/km

From £135.24 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,217.16 inc VAT
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Since its first release in 1975 the Volkswagen Polo, along with its big brother the Golf, has been a mainstay on Britain's roads.

As of 2019, there are no more three-door versions so you’re stuck with the five-door -  if you listen closely, you can actually hear boy-racer Polo GTI owners across the UK weeping. 

So with the sleek and sporty look of the door version away, why wouldn’t you just scrap the Polo idea and go for a Golf? Isn’t it just a small Golf? Well, yes! But that’s not a bad thing.

For one, the Polo is quite a bit cheaper. It also has better fuel economy, and the engines are beefy enough to not feel a million miles away from the Golf.

If you don't need the extra space and you’re looking for a small car, you can't go wrong with a Volkswagen Polo! 

Stand-out Features: 

  • WiFi hotspot.
  • Park assist that steers and breaks for you.

Pros:

  • The tech on the higher trims is excellent, including Radar Cruise control and a great 8-inch infotainment screen.
  • Interior looks really upmarket. 

Cons: 

  • The basic trims aren't worth the lack of tech...
  • But the trims packed with tech are extortionate!
52 viewed this car Polo Hatchback View Gallery
7.5

Volkswagen Polo Hatchback

19 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £165.46 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,985.52 inc VAT
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As one of the most desirable car manufacturers in the UK, the A1 is the cheapest way you can get an Audi experience without selling a kidney. 

Audi has stated that their target market is a 'young, urban audience'. This might be a bit ambitious as while the A1 is the cheapest way to get an Audi, it's by no means cheap! 

So if you’ve just turned 18 and are slaving away in retail, you may have to politely bypass this car and stick with your ‘04 Fiat Punto.  

The badge and the reputation of class is a big deal for a lot of people. However, that’s not to say this isn’t a great car in it’s own right! The A1 is packed with big car tech and the interior is classy and great to sit in. 

Stand-out Features:

  • Highly customisable (different roof colours, lots of interior trim options etc). 
  • Keyless entry. 

Pros: 

  • Classy, high-quality interior and cabin. 
  • The touchscreen is fantastic.

Cons: 

  •  The engines are average for the price. 

 Handling isn't great and it's not as sporty a supermini as it looks.

85 viewed this car A1 Sportback View Gallery
7.2

Audi A1 Sportback

40 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £189.02 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,701.18 inc VAT
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The Ibiza is an excellent alternative to the likes of the Fiesta and Polo. Only being beaten on spaciousness by the Jazz, the Ibiza is an extremely practical car that still manages to have fun.

In recent years, SEAT has upped its game on the tech and style front. The interior is a classy affair, and can easily compete with the VW Polo’s upmarket vibe. Also, the engines are economical and pack a punch. 

SEAT has designed the 2019 Ibiza with the younger driver in mind, so it's packed with features like Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, and a huge 8-inch infotainment screen.

The Ibiza has attractive sleek styling and drives like a dream, so whether you're 18 or 68, you're guaranteed to enjoy owning this small car. 

Stand-out Features:

  • Wireless phone charger. 
  • Beats Audio System.

Pros: 

  • Tech is great for the price. 
  • Great space. 

Cons: 

  • Some of the plastics in the cabin feel a bit cheap. 
  • Not as sporty to drive as similarly priced competitors, like the Fiesta.
60 viewed this car Ibiza Hatchback View Gallery
7.3

Seat Ibiza Hatchback

26 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £139.97 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,679.64 inc VAT
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Small but mighty, the Hyundai i10 has taken the affordable small car market by storm in recent years. While it's the smallest car and the only ‘city car’ on this list, it still has a surprisingly spacious interior. 

Hyundai are renowned for great build quality, and they don’t compromise on the i10, so don’t fret about the car blowing over in high winds - it’s a lot tougher than it looks! 

While very similar to the Toyota Aygo and Citroën C1, we prefer the i10 due to it’s nicer interior and more exciting tech offerings.

The i10 is an easy car to live with. It's perfect for navigating through tight city streets and the fuel economy is great, netting you around 50 miles per gallon. 

Stand-out Features: 

  • 1.0 engine models are in insurance category 2, so the i10 is super cheap to insure.
  • Great tech on higher trims, like rear parking sensors, and a sliding sunroof.

Pros: 

  • The build quality is solid for such a small car. 
  • Well-designed interior. 

Cons:

  • Entry-level trims are just too basic (no DAB radio is inexcusable in 2019).
  • Not nearly as exciting to drive as other cars on this list (but it’s also a lot cheaper).
46 viewed this car I10 Hatchback View Gallery
7.4

Hyundai I10 Hatchback

10 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.2
  • Fuel: P
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 93 - 141g/km

From £121.45 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,457.40 inc VAT
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Perhaps the biggest turnaround in recent UK motoring history, Skoda has completely transformed its image. 

Skoda went from being considered poorly built and unreliable to being regarded as makers of genuinely great cars that are good value for money. 

The Fabia, Skoda's representative in the small car market, has won numerous awards over the years, and is a brilliant car for the price.  

While competitors like the Ibiza and Fiesta have had major re-vamps in recent years, the 2019 Fabia sticks with its guns and refines what's made it so good in the past.

If it's not broke, don't fix it! 

Stand-out Features  

  • Great looking trims - the styling on the Monte Carlo option is particularly nice.
  • Privacy glass. 

Pros: 

  • Seriously good value for money. 
  • 1.0-litre TSI engines run well and have great fuel economy.

Cons: 

  • Entry-level trims are a little too basic and not very desirable. 
  • There's not a 'sportier' model (e.g Fiesta ST, or VW Polo GTI).
33 viewed this car Fabia Hatchback View Gallery
7.6

Skoda Fabia Hatchback

8 derivatives available

  • Doors: 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 2.0
  • Fuel: P, D
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: 88 - 187g/km

From £130.31 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,172.79 inc VAT
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The old school Clio model will be nostalgic for many. A popular first car, the Clio has come a long way from its humble design and reputation as a ‘good starter car’. 

Now on it's 5th generation, the Clio is a seriously cool looking car, whether it’s your first or twenty-first car. The interior now has a really upmarket feel that makes it look a lot more expensive than it is. 

With decent tech on offer, a smooth driving experience and lots of trim options available, the Renault Clio is a fantastic small car.

Stand-out Features: 

  • Hybrid options available. 
  • BOSE Sound System.

Pros: 

  • Impressive safety features.
  • Interior is really nice. 

Cons: 

  • Loading lip on the boot is impractically high.
  • Can be noisy at high speeds. 
39 viewed this car Clio Hatchback View Gallery
7.2

Renault Clio Hatchback

2 derivatives available

  • Doors: 3 - 5
  • Engine: 0.9 - 3.0
  • Fuel: P, D, F
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £129.14 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,162.26 inc VAT
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Another classic 'first car', the Corsa is one of the most popular cars in the UK - not a month goes by where it isn’t amongst the top sellers. 

Vauxhall has capitalised on the young British driver’s affinity for the Corsa by getting on-board with some seriously cool tech, such as wireless hotspots and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. 

The Corsa has a fun and youthful look and is great to drive. Nippy around town and spacious inside, the Corsa is now not just a great small car, but a great car in general. 

Standout Features:  

  • Automatic climate control (with pollen filters for those hayfever sufferers).
  • Wide range of colours and interior trims. 

Pros:

  • Still affordable and even better value for money than it used to be.
  • You get a lot of tech for the price. 

Cons:

  • The engine is on the thirsty side.
  • Interior quality isn't the best. 
57 viewed this car Corsa Hatchback View Gallery
6.6

Vauxhall Corsa Hatchback

68 derivatives available

  • Doors: 2 - 5
  • Engine: 0.0 - 1.8
  • Fuel: P, D, B
  • Body: Hatchback
  • Drive: M, A
  • CO2: None

From £130.67 Per Month

Initial Rental: £1,568.04 inc VAT
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