According to the Oxford Dictionary, "cute" is attractive in a pretty or endearing way. When it comes to this list of 10 cute cars for 2015, we think you’ll find the definition absolutely applies. We also think you’ll find no real surprises on this list. Each of these cars’ manufacturers specifically set out to place a car in this aspect of the marketplace.
While compiling this list, we noticed something else. By and large “cute” cars have a tendency to be quite affordable. With the exception of one, every car on this list can be had for less than $30,000. And yes, we know the term affordable is relative. Given the average transaction price of a new car is right around $32,000 these days, we’re calling anything south of $30,000 “affordable” for most people shopping in the new car universe.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Audi TT
A red-hot model at its introduction back in 2000, the Audi TT seems to have cooled off somewhat these days, but it remains a very cute car nonetheless. The TT is also highly distinctive; nothing else looks like the Audi. Usually when something this original comes along, copycats soon follow—but not this time. So, in addition to cuteness, the TT also delivers a strong measure of exclusivity. Among its attributes are all-wheel drive, a handsome and very upscale interior treatment, and reasonable fuel economy. Averaging 26 miles per gallon on the highway, the TT is also available in either coupe or convertible forms. Power comes from a 211 horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine producing 258 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed dual-clutch automated transmission routes power to the drive wheels. Pricing starts at $40,350.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Chevrolet Sonic
Spend any amount of time in a Chevrolet Sonic and you’ll see quite a bit of thought went into creating this small car. The Sonic might be cute, but it’s serious too. From its stellar performance in NHTSA’s crash testing (five stars overall) to its wealth of standard features (including Bluetooth and blind spot mirrors), as cute as it is, the Sonic is also a rational choice. Power comes from a choice of two engines, a normally aspirated 1.8-liter inline four with 138 horsepower and 125 ft-lbs of torque, or a 1.4-liter turbocharged four with 138 horsepower and 148 ft-lbs of torque. The turbo engine can be had with a choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic, while the normal engine gets a five-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. Fuel economy ranges from a low of 26 in the city to a high of 40 on the highway—depending upon the engine and transmission combination. Available in sedan and hatchback body styles, pricing starts at $14,170.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Fiat 500
The FIAT 500 delivers a generous helping of Italian style, personality, and fun in a diminutive package. In addition to its lovely, sweet, and appealing nature, the Fiat 500 delivers a very strong standard feature set; including full power accessories, air conditioning, and a six-speaker audio system. Available in both coupe and convertible, a 1.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 101 horsepower and 98 ft-lbs of torque powers the base model. Its output is routed to the front wheels by ether a five-speed manual, or a six-speed automatic transmission. The manual averages 34 miles per gallon overall, while the automatic returns 30. If performance is more your thing, there’s also the higher performing 135-horsepower Turbo and the 160-horsepower Abarth. Fiat 500 pricing starts at $16,445.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Honda Fit
Fun, frugal, and insanely commodious for its size, the Honda Fit proves a cute car can be a hard worker too. Blessed with all the traditional Honda values, including solid engineering, a delightful driving experience and exceptional reliability, the Fit is a strong competitor. The diminutive Honda also offers strong fuel economy numbers and reasonably sprightly performance. Power comes from a 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder engine making 130 horsepower and 114 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is the standard offering for routing power to the front wheels, although a continuously variable transmission is available as an option. Offering more rear seat legroom than its Accord big sister, the Fit’s interior is well conceived. Four full-size adults can comfortably, uh, fit. Fold the rear seat and the Honda will swallow 52.7 cubic feet of cargo. Estimated fuel economy averages 32 miles per gallon with the manual and 35 with the CVT. Pricing starts at $15,525.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Hyundai Veloster
Hyundai thinks so much of the Veloster it calls the model its “reverse halo car”. Now we’ll be the first to admit the Hyundai isn’t really capable of living up to the promise of its styling in terms of speed, but if you’re looking for something cool, with a very strong feature set, look no farther, the Veloster’s got features for days. Keyless entry and start, a rear-view camera, Bluetooth, and Satellite radio are all standard equipment. Power comes from a 138-horsepower 1.6-liter engine with 123 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels as standard equipment. The Veloster also offers an automated manual transmission, but power output drops to 132 horsepower and 120 ft-lbs when it is ordered. Fuel economy averages 30 miles per gallon with the manual and 31 with the automated manual. Pricing starts at $17,800.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Kia Soul
If you name a car Soul, you know it’s got to be funky—right? Now while the Kia doesn’t exactly approach James Brown-levels of soulfulness, the car definitely has lots of personality. It’s also Kia’s least pricey model. Despite this fact, the Soul comes packed with lots of good stuff as standard equipment. You’ll find Bluetooth, satellite radio, full power accessories, and a tilt and telescoping steering wheel with audio controls. Power for the base model comes from a 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine with 130 horsepower and 118 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard equipment, while a six-speed automatic can be had as an option. Fuel economy averages 26 miles per gallon with either transmission. If you need more power, the optional 2.0-liter inline four makes 164 horsepower and 151 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed automatic is the only transmission choice there though. Fuel economy with the 2.0-liter averages 27 miles per gallon combined city and highway. Pricing starts at $14,900.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Mazda MX-5
All cuteness aside, the Miata is also a well-tuned driver’s machine. With sharp steering, tight handling and a comfortable ride, the Mazda delivers miles and miles of smiles. Since its introduction back in 1989, the Miata has been on everybody’s list of best cars for one reason or another. Further, if you’re looking for a brand-new rear drive two-seat convertible with a lower price, you won’t find one anywhere. The Miata is it. Power comes from a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 176 horsepower and 140 ft-lbs of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. However, if you choose the six-speed automatic you’ll give up nine horsepower. Fuel economy averages 25 miles per gallon with the manual and 23 with the automatic. Pricing starts at $23,720.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Mini Coupe
The cutest member of a whole family of cute cars, the MINI Coupe is the two-seat version of Mini’s venerable Cooper lineup. Because this is a list of cute cars, the Cooper Coupe is the poster child here—but if you’re looking for a larger helping of practicality to go with its style, perhaps one of the other MINI models will suit you better. Still, we love the backwards baseball cap styling, the automatically deploying tail spoiler, and the general feistiness of the car. Power for the base model comes from a normally aspirated 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine producing 121 horsepower and 114 ft-lbs of torque. A six-speed manual transmission routes power to the front wheels as the standard offering, a six-speed automatic is optional. If you want more power, the coupe can be had with up to 208 horsepower and 192 ft-lbs of torque. Pricing starts at $22,000.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Scion iQ
OK, so let’s say you need something specifically for getting around in the city. You want to be able to park easily, run as economically as possible, bring two other people along from time to time and cute is a definite factor. If this describes your scenario, then the Scion iQ might well be the car for you. Power comes from a 1.3-liter four-cylinder with 94 horsepower and 89 ft-lbs of torque routed to the front wheels through a continuously variable transmission. Estimated fuel economy is 36 miles per gallon in the city, 37 on the highway, and 37 combined. Pricing starts at $16,420.
10 Cute Cars For 2015: Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
If we’re talking cute cars, any list without Volkswagen’s Beetle is incomplete. Here’s the thing though, VW redid the Beetle a few years ago in an effort to make it a bit more “manly”. Whether they were successful with the coupe is open to debate. However the convertible is another story altogether. Motoring doesn’t get any cuter than a droptop Beetle on a sunny day with moderate temperatures. Rounding out our list of 10 cute cars for 2015, the VW Beetle Convertible is the very epitome of the phrase. Power for the base model comes from a 170-horsepower, 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 184 ft-lbs of torque—paired with a six-speed automatic transmission. Fuel economy is rated at 24 miles per gallon in the city and 32 on the highway. Pricing starts at $25,170.