Sport compacts are making a big comeback this year and, with so many excellent options on the table, it can be difficult to be sure you are making the right choice. With prices that are at an all-time low and increasing numbers of luxury options being offered standard, the time is better than ever to purchase a sport compact model.
Chief among the benefits of the sporty compacts are the often very low emissions and fuel economy advantages that their drivers enjoy. These vehicles offer a highly desirable combination between smoothness of handling and sports car power.
Top Five Sporty Compacts For This Year
• Ford Fiesta ST – The Ford Fiesta is a hatchback vehicle that has earned its place on nearly every top 10 list that matters in its short time on the U.S. market. The Fiesta combines a well-designed interior along with a nimble chassis that makes it ideal for city commuters in the new era of size-conscious driving.
This sporty compact offers a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine and a six-speed manual transmission that many happy drivers are very pleased with.
• Ford Focus ST – Another Ford that makes it to this list is the Focus. It is incredibly fun to drive and highly versatile as a quick get-around vehicle that should be on any person’s shortlist for a new car. The five-door hatchback offers just the right combination of features to make it ideal for a wide spectrum of the new car market.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offers 252 horsepower, along with 270 pounds-per-foot of torque. Quite surprising specs for a little car, but the power is there, although torque steer is a yet-unresolved issue.
• Audi A3 – This highly attractive agile sedan makes it to the list as an entry-level luxury car that offers all of the features of a sporty compact, but with the additional benefit of luxury features. The A3 is a great choice for anyone who is looking for a marriage between luxury and sport, and does a great job at combining the two fluidly.
A 170-horsepower, 1.8 liter turbo four cylinder engine comes standard with this car, but optional upgrades include a 220-horsepower and all-wheel drive.
• Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution – The Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution has a very clearly defined target: drivers who value speed and good handling above everything else. On this note, the Lancer delivers and does so with typical grace for the company.
The Lancer comes with a 291-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four cylinder engine which, combined with its light chassis and good steering, gives it an edge on the rest of this list.
• Volkswagen GTI – The seventh-generation GTI is one of the hottest hatchbacks on the market today. It comes with a horde of available options and some of the best design engineering to be found at this price range. Volkswagen has set the standard as perfectionists, and this car shows their talent.
The GTI comes in both three- and five-door versions, and offers a 210-horsepower 2.0-liter direct injected turbo four cylinder engine standard.