If there is one thing us Brits and fellow Europeans love, it’s a modern compact hatchback aka, a supermini. Whilst over the pond the Americans tend to gravitate to gigantic, 6-wheel trucks with 19 litre engines (or maybe less, but you get my point) and the like, we tend to remain on the more subtle side of car choices and tastes.
As the saying goes, size isn’t everything, and its what you do with it that counts.And on the note, here are our top 10 superminis.
The Mazda has an ever so slightly higher price tag than some of it’s supermini rivals, but due to the mild-hybrid engine tech and the list of standard kit that it comes with, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised when it comes to value-for-money from the Japanese manufacturer. It also comes with a nice, plush interior and an easy to navigate infotainment system, but it may struggle against its rivals which offer a more spacious, refined ride.
Forget about the toy car style plastic Airbumps (they are optional) stuck on the doors, the C3 actually looks good. It’s a bit different from its rivals and we like that in a car, not afraid to do things differently. The C3 is an agile, light supermini but is lacking in tech and doesn't offer much space in the back. On the plus side, they should hold their value well in the years to come.
What the Fabia lacks in trim levels, it most certainly makes up for in pricing. If you jump up from the base level to an SE, it has the tech and trim you’d expect. It has a relatively spacious interior and is a good, smooth drive, albeit the engines on offer lack a bit of.. oomph. All in all it is a low hassle option but will fit into any supermini budget with money to spare.
You know who excels at building small, lovely looking cars? The French, that’s who. The first gen e208 looks sculpted, sporty and with a strong dose of Franco dynamism. The e208 is nippy and it does a real world 211 miles on one charge, it also offers rapid a refill doing 80% in 30 mins, charger dependent. The tech is is up there and the 3D effect dials are a premium touch. Whilst the room may be lacking, the e208 really stands out and we think it will become a firm favourite in the supermini category for those who want electric.
A refreshed, good looking Mini that offers a never-ending list of potential personalisations with its Mini Yours Customised feature. It already has Union Jack lights (I’m not sure how they will go down with consumers in the EU) but it ticks all of the boxes you expect, and more. The cabin is of a high-class standard, with an elegant touch everywhere you look. A sophisticated drive that handles well and a style that still oozes the charm and character that endeared the latest gen Mini to the public in the first place.
As the iconic 1980s advert rhetorically suggested ‘You may be looking for a car that’s small and practical, but you still want a car that feels luxurious.’ Well, those traits are still what makes the Clio a Clio. It’s still perfectly formed too, carrying on the exterior aesthetic of its predecessor with a couple of small tweaks. With its new unfussy dashboard and good looking infotainment system, the solidly built Clio and its spacious interior would still please both Papa, and Nicole.
If you are looking for a fun supermini drive, something that’s a bit sexy whilst also decent value for money, then the Ibiza might be the one for you. It boasts great tech at all trim levels, is comparably economical against its rivals and has a remarkable 5-door amount of space to boot. It can most certainly stand toe-toe with the Peugeot 208, Renault Clio or Vauxhall Corsa and will appeal to it’s traditionally younger demographic with the selection of dynamic looking optional add-ons.
You’ll pay more for an A1 but with the price comes your cheapest route to Audi ownership, and also as you may expect, you get mostly upmarket specced interiors and styling that stand out in the supermini marketplace. To sum it up, its a desirable option, it is an Audi after all, and the level of trim and add-ons should you want to pay for them are enticing. The A1 is not the most responsive drive compared to its rivals but what it lacks in performance it makes up for in looks.
The price is at the higher end of the supermini scale but the new Polo has a lot going for it. It’s a bit like a smaller Golf, its practical, has more space than its predecessor, has decent, upgraded tech and the Polo drives well in all sorts of different scenarios. It is economical, handsome with its new sophisticated headlights, has a more than adequate selection of engines to choose from (the 2.0-litre GTI is fun), a nice new looking geometric rear-end and all in all, a sensible choice.
According to recent SMMT figures, the Fiesta remains the UK’s favourite car and has been the country's best-seller every year since 2009. Pretty impressive. The Fiesta is a decent looking supermini, the upgraded interior has become more refined and is way more aesthetically pleasing than its predecessor, it drives well and has great tech spec even at base level models. All in all, a worthy winner.