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Each new model year brings so many small cars that it can be tricky to keep them all straight. Auto manufacturers take the compact car class really seriously, hoping that budget oriented shoppers, young drivers, or other first time buyers will become attracted to a specific model and eventually become lifelong brand loyalists. That might seem like kind of a long shot, but earning a spot among the top 10 compact cars goes a long way toward developing a devoted following.  If a manufacturer can truly impress a customer with the smallest, simplest and generally least expensive offering in its model range, that’s a job very well done. 

Designing compact cars is a tricky task. There’s no space to spare, so every decision must be well thought out and every feature must be purposeful. And small car buyers tend to be on a budget, and thrifty customers always want to save on energy costs, so fuel efficiency always plays a big role in this class, too. The top 10 small cars are not always intended to be on the inexpensive side, but those that are designed for bigger budgets might be somewhat at a disadvantage. Aesthetics are important, here, too. Coupes, perhaps more than any other class of vehicle, tend to get slapped with the “cute” descriptor. Depending on the audience, that might not be such a problem. But coupes and small cars must still reflect the brand’s overall styling across the entire model range. A small car with a modest sticker price certainly isn’t going to be graced with the expensive lighting, lightweight wheels, and premium paints that are signatures of the brand’s most expensive cars… but it still has to look like part of the family. The entries on the top 10 coupes list are excellent examples of the most comprehensive small cars.