Subcompact compacts are your everyday small and affordable car, great for busy city streetss. A good subcompact car nowdays comes with advanced features. Designers of a good subcompact also come up with creative solutions to make space (more leg room at back, boot space), and save space (store little space)
FYI: Subcompact hatxhbacks are about 2½ feet shorter and almost a half foot narrower than a normal midsized sedan.
The best subcompact hatchback: Honda Fit EX (roomy, great fuel economy, rearview camera, touch-screen audio system, sunroof, smart entry system, push-button start, and blind-spot display)
The best affordable subcompact hatchback: Honda Fit LX (roomy, flexible seating, great safety rating, and rearview camera)
The best feature-packed, fun to drive subcompact hatchback: Mini Cooper Hardtop 4-Door (good driving quality, pricey)
The best sporty subcompact hatchback: Ford Fiesta ST (very sharp cornering, strongest engine available in a subcompact, manual transmission only)
Car Features explained:
Automatic climate control: Lets you set a cabin temperature and then forget about it.
Automatic headlights: Headlights that turn on and off automatically based on ambient light.
Rearview camera: When in Reverse, displays the area in back of your car. (Standard on all cars built after May 1, 2018.)
Proximity key system: Senses when your key is near the car and lets you unlock or lock the doors without having to take the key out of your pocket or purse (also referred to as a smart entry or keyless entry system).
Push-button start: A button on the dash that lets you start the car with the key still in your pocket.
Wireless Bluetooth capability: Lets you conduct hands-free phone calls through, and stream audio content from a smartphone or portable music player to, the car’s speakers.
USB port and/or auxiliary input: Lets you plug in a phone or music player with a cord, so you can play audio through the car’s speakers. A USB port is better because it also lets you charge the device and, depending on the model and phone, control it through the car’s audio buttons or touch-screen.
Voice control: Lets you perform certain audio or phone functions by simply speaking commands. (It doesn’t always work perfectly, but today’s voice-control systems are much better than a few years ago.)
Integrated smartphone apps: By connecting a smartphone, via Bluetooth or a cord, these vehicles let you control selected apps, such as Pandora or Aha, through the car’s audio system without needing to pick up your smartphone. This makes them much easier to use while driving.
Satellite radio: Great for long trips because you have the same list of channels wherever you go, but there is a subscription fee.
Remote starter: Lets you start the car from, say, inside of your home in order to let the interior warm up or cool down before you climb in.
Safety features: Electronic stability control, antilock brakes, traction control, and at least six airbags–dual front bags, front side-impact bags, and side-curtain bags.
Advanced safety features: Rare in most sub compact cars
Forward collision warning: Monitors the distance between your car and the one immediately in front; based on your speed, warns you if you’re in danger of hitting that vehicle. According to the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI), forward-collision warning is effective in helping drivers avoid front-to-rear crashes. So far, only the Chevrolet Sonic offers this.
Lane-departure warning: Alerts you if your car begins to drift out of its lane, as could happen if you’re distracted or sleepy. As above, it’s currently available only on the Sonic.
Blind-spot display: When you activate the right-hand turn signal, this system displays an image on the dash screen of the area on that side of your car, letting you see if a car is in your blind spot before you change lanes. Only the Honda Fit currently offers the feature.