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Find out which Compact Car is No.1 in each category
Performance
   Compact Car ranked by  Performance
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1
2004 Dodge SRT4
“You'd expect the interiors of these economy-based cars to be simple. The SRT-4's is, and there's nothing wrong with that. Simple doesn't interfere with driving. The switchgear is pretty much standard Neon stuff, and works just fine. Plus, it has the important extras we need: supremely bolstered seats, a turbo boost gauge in easy view, large white-faced gauges and a thick-rimmed leather-wrapped steering wheel, though one size too large in diameter. ” — Road & Track   See More Reviews
5.0 
1
TIE
2004 Subaru Impreza WRX
“The seats are very comfortable and offer a wide range of adjustment for the driver.” — Woman Motorist   See More Reviews
5.0 
2
2004 Dodge Neon
“Upgrades to the Neon's interior give the [R/T package] the feel of a small luxury sedan.” — Road & Track   See More Reviews
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 Hyundai Elantra
“Ride and handling are quite good.” — Automobile   See More Reviews
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 MINI Hardtop
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 Subaru Impreza Outback Sport
“The seats are very comfortable and offer a wide range of adjustment for the driver.” — Woman Motorist   See More Reviews
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 Volkswagen Golf
“With its hatchback design, the Golf can carry an enormous amount of cargo.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 Volkswagen Jetta
“The Volkswagen Jetta is beautifully wrought inside and out.” — Automobile   See More Reviews
4.5 
2
TIE
2004 Volkswagen New Beetle
“Large doors and forward-flipping bucket seats make rear ingress/egress quite manageable.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
4.5 
3
2004 Ford Focus
“Excellent head and legroom, even in back.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Hyundai Accent
“Relatively quiet inside the cabin.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Kia Spectra
“The suspension is impressive for this class of car. Lotus Engineering, creator of exotic, world-class sports cars, tuned the Spectra's suspension to optimize handling and ride quality.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Mazda Mazda3
“With its distinctive snout, smooth flanks and shapely rear end, it looks more like a downsized European-bred machine than a Japanese car that starts well under $20,000.” — Edmunds.com   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Nissan Sentra
“[The SE-R] is just plain fun to drive...a sporty car you can deal with every day.” — Road & Track   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Pontiac Sunfire
“The Sunfire comes equipped with a twin-cam 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower, so it's a decent performer, and it returns up to 33 miles per gallon on the highway, according to the EPA.” — Cars.com   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Pontiac Vibe
“On the road, we found the base model pleasant and comfortable with a hatchback's cargo-hauling versatility. The GT offers more driving excitement.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Saturn ION
“Another fixture on Saturn's new small coupe is abbreviated rear doors. Like those on the S-Series coupe, they work like a clamshell and make it so much easier to reach items stored in the back seat.” — MSN Autos   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Scion xA
“The driving position is comfortable; the seats are competent, although anything more than a long commute might uncover some of the unavoidable consequences of the xA's affordability.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Scion xB
“Standard equipment includes ABS, antiskid/traction control, air conditioning, CD stereo, power windows/locks/mirrors, and split folding rear seat.” — Consumer Guide   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Subaru Impreza
“The seats are very comfortable and offer a wide range of adjustment for the driver.” — Woman Motorist   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Suzuki Aerio
“The Aerio is a swift, gutsy, exceptionally agile little wagon -- an urban street fighter if ever there was one.” — Cars.com   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Suzuki Aerio SX
“The Aerio is a swift, gutsy, exceptionally agile little wagon -- an urban street fighter if ever there was one.” — Cars.com   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Suzuki Forenza
“Standard on all Forenzas are air conditioning, heated power mirrors, power windows and locks, tilt steering wheel, CD/cassette stereo with steering-wheel controls, and 15-inch wheels.” — Consumer Guide   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Toyota Corolla
“There was nothing flashy about the cabin's design, but materials quality was very high for this class of car. There was ample room in the backseat, but the driving position was awkward.” — Edmunds.com   See More Reviews
4.0 
3
TIE
2004 Toyota Matrix
“Steering is precise and even if the center of gravity is relatively high there is little body roll.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
4.0 
4
2004 Chevrolet Aveo
“The Aveo interior is better than you might expect for such a low-cost car. The seats offer a solid fit and are quite comfortable, with high-density foam under the LS's deluxe cloth in a tweedy pattern.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
3.5 
4
TIE
2004 Honda Insight
“It drives like a normal small car, yet it is one of the most fuel-efficient and cleanest gasoline-powered cars in the world.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
3.5 
4
TIE
2004 Kia Rio
“The chassis felt tight. Hit a bump and the expected rattles weren't there.” — USA Today   See More Reviews
3.5 
4
TIE
2004 Mitsubishi Lancer
“Lancer Ralliart is a solid little performer. Though not as quick as the Lancer Evolution, Ralliart provides a satisfying sports-sedan experience for real-world driving chores as well as back-road jaunts.” — Cars.com   See More Reviews
3.5 
4
TIE
2004 Toyota Echo
“Base price is appealing.” — Chicago Tribune   See More Reviews
3.5 
5
2004 Chevrolet Cavalier
“If there's anything great about the Cavalier, it's the powertrain.” — Edmunds.com   See More Reviews
3.0 
5
TIE
2004 Honda Civic
“If you're looking for a practical and refined car with a little sporty flair, this one is very hard to beat.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
3.0 
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How are models ranked?

Autos.com editors have compiled the most extensive rating database on the internet, drawing upon $20 million of automotive research from CarsDirect and Autodata, and summarizing expert opinion from an extensive group of the leading third party sources. Here is a brief overview of how we do it:

Professional Reviews Ranking: Autos.com editors analyze car reviews from a range of magazines and websites, distill each down to a quantifiable ranking and then average those rankings to arrive at the Professional Review Rank.

Other Rankings: Autos.com also ranks vehicles based on criteria such as fuel efficiency, cargo capacity, and comfort and convenience features. You can see some of the data that we have used to rate each vehicle in any given category by expanding the category header on the vehicle detail page. For example, click on the arrow next to "Passenger Space" on the Honda Civic detail page to see the actual measurements for that vehicle's interior. These measurements were stacked up against the interior measurements of all the other vehicles in the compact car segment in order to calculate the Honda Civic's rating in the Passenger Space category. That rating is then used to determine the Honda Civic's overall ranking in the compact car category.


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