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Best Compact Cars for 2020

The compact car segment is one of the most competitive classes in the automotive world. Small sedans and hatchbacks are great for practical, efficient transportation and usually offer drivers a great bang for their buck. Here are the best compact cars for 2020, ranked.

1. 2020 Honda Civic — 4.6/5

2020 Honda Civic front left side

Starting Price: $19,850

The Honda Civic has been a leader in the compact car segment for decades. Its excellence continues in 2020 with a roomy, upscale cabin, strong and efficient engines and a fun-to-drive factor that few rivals can match. It’s the only compact that’s still available as a sedan, coupe or hatchback. Read our 2020 Honda Civic review. Find a Honda Civic for sale

2. 2020 Nissan Sentra — 4.6/5

2020 Nissan Sentra

Starting Price: $19,090

The Nissan Sentra is all-new for 2020 with a new look, an efficient new engine and a much-improved interior that’s packed with modern technology. The new Sentra is also seriously competitive on price, even in the top SR trim, making it a great value in compact cars. Read our 2020 Nissan Sentra review. Find a Nissan Sentra for sale

3. 2020 Toyota Corolla — 4.6/5

2020 Toyota Corolla

Starting Price: $19,600

The Toyota Corolla is all-new for 2020 and sits toward the top of its class with a sharp new look and a ton of standard safety tech. For the first time ever, a superefficient Corolla Hybrid is available. The hatchback variant offers a fun driving experience that may surprise you. Read our 2020 Toyota Corolla review. Find a Toyota Corolla for sale

4. 2020 Kia Forte — 4.5/5

2020 Kia Forte

Starting Price: $17,890

The Kia Forte is a competitive compact sedan with a very competitive price. It offers a good value with a nice interior with generous standard infotainment tech, and it can get really nice on the high end without breaking the bank. Read our 2020 Kia Forte review. Find a Kia Forte for sale

5. 2020 Hyundai Elantra — 4.5/5

2020 Hyundai Elantra

Starting Price: $19,150

The Hyundai Elantra has an all-new generation on the way for 2021, but the 2020 model is still a very competitive compact. It offers a smooth ride, a generous standard features list and a more premium interior than you might expect at this price point. Read our 2020 Hyundai Elantra review. Find a Hyundai Elantra for sale

6. 2020 Mazda3 — 4.4/5

2020 Mazda3

Starting Price: $21,500

The Mazda3 follows the Mazda formula of being a car that seamlessly blends sharp design, a premium interior and an exciting driving experience, all at an affordable price. Available as a sedan or a hatchback, the Mazda3 is big on both fun and practicality. Read our 2020 Mazda3 review. Find a Mazda3 for sale

7. 2020 Hyundai Veloster — 4.4/5

2020 Hyundai Veloster

Starting Price: $18,800

The Hyundai Veloster has always been a bit of an off-beat compact, and that’s no different in 2020. With a standout look and an exciting turbocharged engine, the Veloster is a fun, practical hatchback for drivers looking for something a little different. Read our 2020 Hyundai Veloster review. Find a Hyundai Veloster for sale

8. 2020 Volkswagen Jetta — 4.4/5

2020 Volkswagen Jetta

Starting Price: $18,895

The Volkswagen Jetta got a full redesign in 2019 and, for better or worse, it’s more like a normal compact car than a quirky VW. It’s a nice compact that offers good value, and we love the sporty GLI model, but we’re a little worried about reliability, and it gets a worse warranty for 2020. Read our 2020 Volkswagen Jetta review. Find a Volkswagen Jetta for sale

9. 2020 Subaru WRX — 4.3/5

2020 Subaru WRX

Starting Price: $27,495

The Subaru WRX (and its hotter STI variant) is a high-performance version of the Impreza sedan. Inspired by rally racing, the WRX is a blast to drive and we like the standard all-wheel drive, but it’s not as modern as some other sport compacts. Read our 2020 Subaru WRX review. Find a Subaru WRX for sale

10. 2020 Subaru Impreza — 4.3/5

2020 Subaru Impreza

Starting Price: $18,695

Subaru has been doing a great job revamping its lineup lately, but one that’s been left behind is the Subaru Impreza. It’s still a good compact available as a sedan or hatchback with standard AWD, but it’s getting a little stale compared to its more modern competitors. Read our 2020 Subaru Impreza review. Find a Subaru Impreza for sale

11. 2020 Volkswagen Golf — 4.2/5

2020 Volkswagen Golf

Starting Price: $23,195

The Volkswagen Golf is a solid compact hatchback, but it’s a little overdue for an update. It only comes in one trim for 2020 with your choice of an automatic or manual transmission, which means there isn’t a lot of variety or available high-end features in the Golf model range. Read our 2020 Volkswagen Golf review. Find a Volkswagen Golf for sale

12. 2020 Volkswagen GTI — 4.1/5

2020 Volkswagen Golf GTI

Starting Price: $28,595

Like the Golf it’s based on, the Volkswagen GTI is a compact hatchback that is good but showing its age. You’ll never be bored behind the wheel of the sporty GTI, but there are more modern sport compacts available. The GTI also has questionable value in the expensive Autobahn trim. Read our 2020 Volkswagen GTI review. Find a Volkswagen GTI for sale

Our editors are here to make car buying easier. We’ve driven, reviewed and compared thousands of cars. We’ve bought and sold more than our fair share, too. And as part of the sprawling Cox Automotive group of companies, we have exclusive access to a range of valuable data and insights. Whether you’re looking for the best car, the best deal or the best buying advice, you can trust... Read More about Autotrader

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