The list of small cars available for the 2013 model year is a long one, thanks in part to growing momentum on the behalf of almost every automaker to develop fuel efficient vehicles that are more in step with the needs - and budgets - of modern drivers. We've put together a list of small cars for 2013 that doesn't necessarily highlight the best, or the cheapest, or the quickest, or the most frugal automobiles. Rather, this grouping of cars serves to demonstrate the depth and breadth of the compact and subcompact field.
Let's take a quick look at 10 small cars for 2013.
The 2013 Honda Insight is one of the smallest hybrid automobiles available. This subcompact hatchback might not offer the same upscale feel as the Toyota Prius, but it does come with 31.5 cubic feet of total storage space - half of which can be accessed with the rear row of seating still in place. The Honda Insight is notable for its strong fuel economy, checking in at 41-mpg city and 44-mpg highway thanks to a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that works together with a single electric motor in order to product a total of 98 horsepower and 123 lb-ft of torque. A continuously-variable automatic transmission is standard with the Insight.
The 2013 Chevrolet Cruze presents compact sedan shoppers with an interesting choice of powertrains. Its base 1.8-liter, four-cylinder mill develops 138 horses and 125 lb-ft of torque, while the next-step-up 1.4-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder is good for the same number of ponies but boosts torque to 148 lb-ft. Not only that, but fuel mileage for the more robust engine shows as 26-mpg city and 39-mpg highway when ordered with the Eco package. This represents an improvement of one and three miles per gallon over the most efficient edition of the standard motor. Six-speed automatic and manual transmissions are available with the Chevrolet Cruze.
The 2013 Nissan Sentra is an all-new compact sedan that significantly updates a model that was getting a bit long in the tooth. The new Nissan Sentra boasts styling that is within spitting distance of its larger Altima sibling, along with a 130 horsepower, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that also makes 128 lb-ft of torque. A continuously-variable automatic transmission is available across the lineup, although base models can be had with a six-speed manual gearbox. Fuel mileage for the CVT model is listed at 30-mpg around town and 40-mpg during highway cruising, which makes the Sentra a leader in its class.
Some small cars try to sell prospective buyers on value, but the 2013 Buick Verano adds luxury and comfort on top of its price appeal. The Buick Verano is almost as quiet inside as its larger cousins the LaCrosse and the Regal, and it features a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that provides entry-level buyers with 180 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. For those who are seeking performance to go with the compact sedan's premium ride a turbocharged, 2.0-liter mill is also offered with the Verano, and it churns out 250 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of twist. Transmission choices with the car include a six-speed manual and a six-speed automatic, and fuel economy tops out at 21-mpg in city driving and 32-mpg on the highway.
The 2013 Ford Focus is a versatile compact option that can be had in both sedan and hatchback body styles. The latter adds a very useful 44.8 cubic feet of total storage space to the equation. The Ford Focus provides a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder as its only gasoline-powered engine (160 horsepower, 146 lb-ft of torque), and transmission choices include either a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual. Fuel mileage is strong, showing as 28-mpg city and 40-mpg highway for XFE-package cars, but for those who are focused exclusively on eco-consciousness, the Focus Electric provides 143 horsepower of all-battery goodness, along with a range of roughly 76 miles on a single charge.
The 2013 Volkswagen Golf compact hatchback remains a strong choice for buyers seeking practicality (up to 46.4 cubic feet of cargo room), above-average interior fit and finish, and a buttoned-down ride. The Volkswagen Golf also offers both gasoline and diesel engine options. The vehicle's standard, 2.5-liter five-cylinder is rated at 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, while its 2.0-liter turbodiesel four-cylinder generates 140 horses and 236 lb-ft of torque. Fuel mileage for the diesel Golf shows as an exceptional 30-mpg city and 42-mpg highway, regardless of whether it is ordered with a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automated manual transmission. A five-speed manual or traditional six-speed automatic gearbox is available with the gas-powered five-cylinder.
The 2013 Hyundai Elantra GT is intended to inject a little spice into the Korean brand's entry-level lineup. The compact hatchback might bear the same name as the popular Elantra sedan, but the Hyundai Elantra GT sits on a smaller platform that makes use of a different suspension setup in order to give it better handling, The GT also benefits from 51 cubic feet of total cargo space with the rear seats folded forward. Underneath the hood, all versions of the Elantra GT feature a 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that can be paired with either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic transmission. Horsepower is listed at 145, torque comes in at 130 lb-ft, and fuel mileage is a respectable 28-mpg in city driving and 39-mpg on the highway.
The 2013 Honda Civic Coupe shakes up our list of small cars for 2013 by slicing off two doors and providing a sleek roofline for those who want to slip behind the wheel of a sporty-looking compact car. The Honda Civic Coupe comes with the same 140 horsepower, 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine as its sedan counterpart, and this unit is also good for 128 lb-ft of torque. Five-cylinder automatic and manual transmissions are the order of the day with the Civic Coupe, and the vehicle returns fuel efficiency figures of 28-mpg city and 36-mpg highway.
The 2013 Suzuki SX4 is an inexpensive subcompact car that features hatchback and sedan flavors matched with a long list of standard equipment. The Suzuki SX4 joins the Golf in topping the segment in terms of available interior cargo space, with the hatch providing 54 total cubic feet. A spirited 150 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque are delivered by the SX4's 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, and a six-speed manual and a continuously-variable automatic transmission coexist peacefully on the vehicle's options sheet. Fuel mileage for the Suzuki comes in at 25-mpg city and 32-mpg highway.
The 2013 Scion FR-S is the only rear-wheel drive model on this list of small cars for 2013, and it's also the most sporty. The Scion FR-S is a perfectly balanced two-door coupe that was designed to thrill on the track as well as deliver excellent on-road performance when the going gets twisty. The sharp-looking FR-S derives its motivation from a 2.0-liter, direct-injection four-cylinder engine that provides 200 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of twist. A six-speed manual is recommended with the car, although a six-speed automatic is available, and the Scion's fuel mileage is posted as 25-mpg around town and 34-mpg during highway cruising.