The days of small cars being cheap, barely sufferable eco-boxes is long over, and some of today’s small cars exude a remarkable amount of style. To help you narrow down the field, here is a list of 10 Stylish Small Cars. This list includes a mix of sedans, coupes, and hatchbacks at a wide array of prices, so there should be a little bit of something for everyone. There are even hybrid and electric options if you prefer your style to be a bit more green.
10 Stylish Small Cars
Photo Credit: Hyundai
2018 Hyundai Elantra
The 2018 Hyundai Elantra is a good looking car with crisp, clean lines that are pleasing from just about every angle. It’s particularly stylish in the Sport trim, which includes 18-inch alloy wheels, a sport front grille and bumper fascia, sport side sill extensions and a rear fascia with a diffuser.
Inside, you get an attractive design with a cohesive dashboard with a sport instrument cluster and seats with leather surfaces. The Sport model starts at $21,800, though even the base version that starts at $16,950 is attractive enough to make our list.
Photo Credit: Chevrolet
2017 Chevrolet Cruze
Chevrolet’s small cars have been improving, and looking better, over the past few generations and the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze is no different. With a design that accents the short nose with bulging fenders, the Cruze is an attractive mix of angles and curves. From the side, we prefer the sedan (which starts at $17,850,) but from the rear, we really like the hatchback (starting at $22,115.) We prefer the look and ride of the standard 16-inch wheels over the flashy (and somewhat overpriced) optional 17-inch versions, but no matter which configuration you choose, the Cruze is an excellent choice.
Photo Credit: Volkswagen
2017 Volkswagen Beetle
The modern Volkswagen Beetle has been around for quite a while, so long in fact that it has gone out of style and is due to come back into fashion anytime now. The 2017 Volkswagen Beetle on this list is the $19,995 stripped down S version, keeping true to the Beetle’s roots (though we’d recommend adding the $895 Lighting package.) To complete the classic look, you can add a set of Volkswagen Heritage wheels, trim rings and center caps (all of which used to be an option on new Beetles, but now only seems to be available as extras from the parts department) as well as some white wall tires.
Photo Credit: Toyota
2018 Toyota Yaris iA
Photo Credit: Volkswagen
2017 Volkswagen Golf
If you want an affordable German car and need something that blends in a bit better than a Beetle, then look no further than the 2017 Volkswagen Golf. Like the Porsche 911, every new version of the Golf is incrementally better in terms of both style and substance, both inside and out. There’s nothing brash about the Golf, which gets its style from its simple yet elegant time-proven design. A base Golf starts at $19,895, and you can stick as closely as possible to that price with a basic car with a manual transmission, or you can go all out and get a GTI.
Photo Credit: Audi
2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron
Starting at $39,500 the 2018 Audi A3 Sportback e-tron is the only hybrid on our list, but that’s the only way you can get the attractive A3 hatchback in North America (and to many people the fact that it’s a hybrid will make it even more fashionable.) Like other Audis, the interior features clean styling and top-notch materials, which is important since you’ll probably spend more time admiring your car from the inside than out. We think it looks particularly good in Tango Red Metallic (a $575 option, but red is a color that always seems to look good on Audis,) a black interior and the standard 17-inch alloy wheels.
Photo Credit: BMW
2018 BMW M240i
The BMW 2 Series is one of the most attractive models the brand currently offers, with a long hood featuring a power bulge and a short trunk that work together to convince you that it’s an agile high-performance car. Inside the driver-focused interior are nice materials with well laid out features, but a bit busy. Our favorite version is the 2018 BMW M240i, which improves on the 230i’s sedate looks without going garishly aggressive like the full-on M2, and we like it in Estoril Blue Metallic with the Jet Black 18" M Double-spoke wheels and a black interior. Starting price for the 2 Series Coupe is $34,800 while an M240i will set you back at least $45,300.
Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG
2018 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45
A starting price of $50,400 for the 2018 Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 means it isn’t cheap, but it is the fastest car on our list and certainly stylish. Included with the CLA 45 is the AMG Aerodynamics package that includes a Gloss Black rear spoiler, a larger front splitter and front apron flics (also known as canards.) We’d choose either Cirrus White or Jupiter Red with the standard 18-inch AMG 10-spoke wheels, and opt for the Interior Package ($1,650) with its leather upholstery, topstitched MB-Tex trim and multicolor ambient cabin lighting. Even without the add-ons, however, the CLA-Class would still make our list.
Photo Credit: FIAT
2017 Fiat 500
Thanks to its retro Italian styling and compact dimensions it’s easy to imagine that you’re in 1950s or ‘60s Europe when you’re behind the wheel of the 2017 FIAT 500, but in reality, it’s thoroughly up to date. We prefer the looks of the base version over the Abarth, plus it’s more affordable with a starting price of only $14,995, and we think it looks best in Bianco (White) or Latte Menta paint with the Ivory (Avorio) interior. We’d skip the options list and just enjoy the countryside. For the ultimate in responsible style, the FIAT 500e is an all-electric version with all the same style starting at $32,995.
2018 MINI Hardtop
Starting at $25,200 the 2018 MINI Hardtop is the entry-level model in the MINI range, but it comes with just about all the style one could ever want. The best thing about the MINI Hardtop is the level of customization you have when configuring it. Want a Lapisluxury Blue body with a white roof, black bonnet stripes, and Union Jack mirror caps? No problem. We’d also add the 17" Silver Cosmos Spoke wheels, white turn signals, the Carbon Black Cross Punch Leather interior and Piano Black Interior Surface. There are enough options (over 10 million combinations according to the website,) that no matter what your taste you should be able to configure the MINI Hardtop into something that matches your style.