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5 Newest Compact Cars on the Market for 2019

When you buy a new vehicle, it’s important to keep in mind that automakers typically give their products a full redesign once every six or seven years. So while a car sitting on a dealer lot may technically be brand new, its design could have originated five, six or even seven or more years ago. Because newly redesigned cars typically feature modern technology like the latest connectivity ports and infotainment tech, more active safety features and greater overall refinement with regard to efficiency and driving dynamics, it’s worth taking a special interest in newly redesigned models in your vehicle search. To help with this, we’ve outlined five of the newest compact cars on the market here in 2019.

2020 Toyota Corolla

2020 Toyota Corolla

As far as the newest compact cars go, it’s hard to argue with the complete package offered by the Corolla, which has been fully redesigned for the 2020 model year. Three new models are technically available: a basic sedan, a hybrid sedan and a somewhat sporty hatchback that was actually launched as a 2019 model. While the basic sedan is offered with either a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 139 horsepower or a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that makes 169 hp, the hatchback comes exclusively with the 2.0-liter.

The hatch isn’t quite a “hot hatch,” but it is offered with a super smooth 6-speed manual transmission that has a unique rev-matching feature. It’s also more enjoyable to drive than any modern Corolla that came before it. The hatchback’s overall aesthetic is fun and youthful, especially in the available blue flame exterior color. The new Corolla Hybrid comes with a version of the 1.8-liter paired with a hybrid system and returns an impressive 53 miles per gallon in the city and 52 mpg on the highway. The 2019 Corolla also comes with a comprehensive array of active safety features, with lane-tracing assist, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, automatic high beams, road sign detection and full-range dynamic radar cruise control all standard. While it’s these standard safety features that really make the Corolla stand out, standard Apple CarPlay is a major plus as well. Find a Toyota Corolla for sale

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

2019 Volkswagen Jetta

Volkswagen has launched an all-new Jetta for 2019. The new model incorporates a sloping roof line for a coupelike profile, which is currently a popular design trend. Pricing for the new Jetta starts at around $20,000 and reaches about $29,000 for a loaded SEL Premium model or $31,000 if you factor in the performance-oriented Jetta GLI. The basic Jetta comes powered by a 1.4-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine that makes 147 hp and 184 lb-ft of torque. This allows for a fuel economy of 30 mpg city/40 mpg hwy — respectable figures. Transmission options are an 8-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual.

Like the Corolla, the Jetta is available with a good array of active safety features, but they don’t come standard. Overall, the Jetta is known for offering good driving dynamics and clever design elements, both of which are VW hallmarks. The manufacturer also recently introduced an excellent 6-year/72,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, which should serve to make up for some of the company’s shortcomings regarding long-term reliability. Find a Volkswagen Jetta for sale

2019 Mazda3

2019 Mazda3

In designing the all-new Mazda3, Mazda looked to blur the line between economy and luxury, and while the 3’s pricing was increased ever so slightly to reflect this, we still think the Mazda3 is a great value. This is largely because the new Mazda3 offers a level of refinement that is slightly above that of any other vehicle on this list in terms of both design and materials. Additionally, for the first time, the new Mazda3 is available with all-wheel drive.

Sedan and hatchback bodystyles are both offered, and pricing ranges from about $20,000 to $30,000. Under the hood is a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine that puts out 186 hp and 186 lb-ft of torque. Since this engine was also used in the outgoing second-gen Mazda3, we expect a new powerplant to be introduced in the coming years. Altogether, the new Mazda3 offers buyers just about everything they could want out of a compact sedan in a borderline luxurious package.Find a Mazda3 for sale

2019 Hyundai Veloster

2019 Hyundai Veloster

The quirky Veloster turned some heads when it was originally introduced back in 2012, and Hyundai has rolled out an all-new second-gen model for 2019. While it still wears the same basic shape as its predecessor and features the same unique one-on-the-driver-side, two-on-the-passenger-side door configuration, the new Veloster reflects several years of growth at Hyundai, a company which has quickly moved up the ranks in terms of quality and refinement. This shows in the new Veloster’s great interior and in the fact that Hyundai is offering a performance model for the first time in the new Veloster N, which was designed to compete with hot hatchbacks like the Volkswagen GTI.

Pricing for the Veloster starts at just over $19,000 and tops out at about $29,000 for a non-N model. Two powertrains are offered: a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that puts out 147 hp and pairs with a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic, and a 1.6-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder that makes 201 hp and pairs with a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic. In standard form, the Veloster N costs about $28k and comes with a 2.0-liter turbo four that makes 250 hp and pairs exclusively with a 6-speed manual with rev-matching technology. A Performance Package is available that increases the price by $2,100 and adds 25 hp, which brings the total up to 275. This version also includes a limited-slip differential, a variable exhaust system, ventilated brakes and 19-in wheels with Pirelli summer tires. Find a Hyundai Veloster for sale

2019 Kia Forte

2019 Kia Forte

The Forte was fully redesigned for the 2019 model year. While it offers few surprises around design and performance, the Forte offers good value. An 8.0-in infotainment system comes standard, as do Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and automatic climate control. Every 2019 Forte also comes with active safety features, like forward-collision warning, forward-collision avoidance, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist and monitoring for driver attention. Radar cruise control, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring with collision warning and rear cross-traffic alerting are also available.

The 2019 Forte also earns top scores in nearly every category of testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. As a result, it received a coveted Top Safety Pick+ designation, the Institute’s most prestigious award. Upper trims gain luxury-grade tech, like heated and ventilated front seats and a Harmon Kardon audio system. Kia also offers one of the industry’s best warranties, with a 5-year/60,000-mile version for basic coverage and a 10-year/100,000-mile offering for powertrain protection. Find a Kia Forte for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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