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Find out which Compact Car is No.1 in each category
   Compact Car ranked by  Invoice
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2012 Kia Rio
“The light weight of the car and the healthy output of its engine in conjunction with the rigid feel of the Rio's chassis, and a suspension tuned slightly to the firm end of the spectrum, give the Rio a sporty feel.” — Canadian Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Ford Fiesta
“While appearing not unlike a shrunken three-door Focus, the Fiesta has reasonably engaging lines, making for a fun, youthful image.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
2012 Hyundai Accent
“...this doesn't feel like an economy car on the inside. Its interior is typical of Hyundai's current cars, with ritzy materials throughout.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Mazda Mazda2
“The low-inertia motor and tuning of the electric power steering made it just about the best unit we've experienced in a front-wheel-drive car in terms of feel and precision.” — Popular Mechanics   See More Reviews
2012 Nissan Versa
“The cabin is comfortable and offers a good number of conveniences. In short, the Nissan Versa is a roomy, practical small car. ” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Scion iQ
“Sensitive to American drivers' worries about safety in small cars, Scion squeezes 11 airbags into the tiny cabin, including the first-ever rear-window airbag. ” — Popular Mechanics   See More Reviews
2012 Honda Civic
“It has a sleek new aerodynamic body with a sweeping roofline, rakish windshield angle and low, wide stance. Interiors are blessed with more style and function.” — MSN Autos   See More Reviews
2012 Scion xD
“The xD is comfortable, without wallowing in a way that makes the driver think the car is floating around underneath.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Hyundai Elantra
“The Hyundai Elantra combines a roomy cabin, lots of equipment, impressive fuel economy, and a low price. ” — Consumer Reports   See More Reviews
2012 Toyota Yaris
“The dashboard is pleasing, and Toyota has moved the speedometer to in front of the driver where it belongs.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Chevrolet Cruze
“The Cruze takes to the curves ably, with a competent suspension and good body control. ” —   See More Reviews
2012 Chevrolet Sonic
“Placement of buttons and controls in the Sonic's interior is logical, and they're easy to reach.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
2012 Kia Forte Koup
“In transforming the handsome new Forte sedan into a positively stylish coupe the company's first two-door Kia seems to be now fully realizing the benefits of wooing away Audi designer Peter Schreyer...” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Suzuki SX4
“ The nimble and utilitarian SX4 not only drives well compared to other cars like it, its interior is high-quality, the cabin is quiet and the seats are supportive.” —   See More Reviews
2012 smart fortwo
“It is the smallest car curious Americans will likely ever get into, and the seeming vulnerability of its golf-cart dimensions, riding on little 15-inch donuts, may frighten off a lot of buyers. But it's very easy to get into and out of; it's not at all cramped inside-in fact, it has about the same legroom, and close to the headroom, of a Cadillac Escalade. The seats are exceptionally comfortable, the materials inside are first-rate, and the view out the windshield is panoramic. And the fortwo comes with an odd feeling when one notices that each of the doors runs almost the entire length of the car.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Honda Fit
“In true Honda form, it's as if Honda has created a 100-point check list and targeted an improvement for every item.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
2012 Hyundai Veloster
“It's a rare occurrence when bold design is married to a car that is accessible to shoppers on a budget. The Hyundai Veloster is that rarity among hatchbacks, with evocative styling, a unique asymmetrical three-door layout and respectable performance.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Toyota Corolla
“No matter the model, the Toyota Corolla is a hop-in-and-go kind of car. ” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Dodge Caliber
2012 Subaru Impreza
“Get inside and you'll find excellent sightlines, roominess and improved quality. Look at the specifications and you'll see impressive mileage for a car in the compact class - especially for one with Subaru's signature standard all-wheel drive....” —   See More Reviews
2012 Ford Focus
“The engineers and designers felt able to make the Focus sportier (by lowering its seating position and overall height) due to the upcoming C-Max'a tall-roof, five- or seven-seat derivative off this platform--that fulfills the family-car mission.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Nissan Sentra
“With its 140-hp four-banger and CVT, the Sentra 2.0SL is quite quiet and subdued... ” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Scion xB
“Scion xB is unabashedly boxy, and while to some that's what makes it such a stylish, fashionable urban device it's what makes it, to others, look a little too much like a delivery truck - or a refrigerator.” — The Car Connection   See More Reviews
2012 Mitsubishi Lancer Sportback
“With an overall length slightly longer than the sedan's, the Sportback offers up to 52.7 cubic feet of load space when the 60/40 split folding second row is laid flat.” — Road & Track   See More Reviews
2012 Scion tC
“The tC cuts a tight, concise path through corners and resists your palm motions with more manly weighting than in your typical Toyota.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Toyota Matrix
“Turn-in precision is impressive: Being a front-wheel-drive car, the Matrix tends to understeer during hard cornering, but I was surprised by how well it held the line. ” —   See More Reviews
2012 Nissan Cube
“Nissan's Cube offers a surprising amount of space and practicality in a small and highly styled packaged. People shopping small sport utility vehicles, and outgoing folk looking for something beyond the ordinary subcompact universe should give Nissan's personality infused little box a look.” — Consumer Guide   See More Reviews
2012 Toyota Prius c
“Doing our eco best on a 15-mile loop, we managed an indicated 55 mpg. ” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 FIAT 500c
“The NVH gurus have done their job to keep the noise down - the cabin remains quiet even on the highway with heavy rain pelting the fabric top.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Hyundai Elantra Touring
2012 Kia Forte
“With the smaller engine and the automatic gearbox, the Forte didn't invite aggressive driving, but that's all the better to enjoy the spacious and well-appointed interior and airy greenhouse. The ride is relatively supple, and the car welcomes simply sliding it into drive and cruising.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Kia Soul
“It's the rear seat that is truly impressive, though, with what feels like more legroom than should be available in a car with a 100-inch wheelbase.” — Canadian Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Mazda Mazda5
“All the controls and responses are in harmony, making it easy (and fun) to wring the most out of the Mazda 5. ” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Mitsubishi Lancer
“Whether you just want a car that looks and handles sharper than the average econobox or you need something speedy enough to embarrass genuine sports cars, the Lancer lineup likely has something with your name on it. ” —   See More Reviews
2012 Volkswagen Golf
“On long journeys it will eat up the Interstates with ease, driver and occupants barely noticing the distance traveled.” — Road & Track   See More Reviews
2012 Honda Insight
“The Insight is the car your accountant would recommend-and maybe demand after reading that disastrous 401K statement of yours. Imagine paying $24 for a fill-up that gives you a 435-mile driving range.” — Motor Trend   See More Reviews
2012 Honda CR-Z
“On the plus side, the CR-Z is packed with technology and standard equipment for a very competitive price.” — Canadian Driver   See More Reviews
2012 FIAT 500
“It's fuel-efficient, easy to toss around and can be parked without aid of cameras or warnings.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Mazda Mazda3
“engine and transmission do offer a very serene and comfortable highway cruise, as noise is minimal.” — Canadian Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Honda Civic Hybrid
“While the standard, ninth-generation Honda Civic goes down the road with almost no fervor, the iconic small car has become more comfortable, more advanced, and easier to live with as it matures.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 MINI Clubman
“Responses to driver inputs are quick, and the Cooper sucks its driver into the experience, delivering lots of feedback through the steering wheel, driver seat and pedals.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
“Impressive, solid, soft-touch materials abound, worthy of cars costing thousands more.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Volkswagen Beetle
“With the rear seat folded it's nearly 30 cubic feet, and the high-swinging hatchback enables giant things to fit inside, making the Beetle handy for hauling. ” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Buick Verano
“Our test-driver called the Buick's steering "crystal clear" thanks to its ample response and precision.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Volkswagen Jetta
“The interior is clean, stylish and comfortable, while being smart, accommodating, and functional.” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 MINI Hardtop
“The toggle switches and the stalk switches for the headlights and turn signals are pleasing to look at and offer a satisfying feel in use, clearly benefiting from the BMW touch. ” — New Car Test Drive   See More Reviews
2012 Audi A3
“...fluid, elastic acceleration....Strikes a nice balance between performance and ride comfort.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Mitsubishi i-MiEV
“As with most electric powertrains, acceleration is very good as peak torque is available on command from a dead stop. ” — Automobile   See More Reviews
2012 Subaru Impreza WRX
“Get inside and you'll find excellent sightlines, roominess and improved quality. Look at the specifications and you'll see impressive mileage for a car in the compact class - especially for one with Subaru's signature standard all-wheel drive....” —   See More Reviews
2012 Nissan LEAF
“Trips to lunch and nearby errands are easy and even occasionally pleasant, given the serenity of the low-noise propulsion system and the no-shift, always-on power delivery. ” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
2012 Ford Focus Electric
“Its electric motor and direct-drive transmission result in a smooth power delivery. Acceleration is impressive at low speeds.” —   See More Reviews
2012 Chevrolet Volt
“Acceleration is one continuous ooze of thrust - sort-of CVT-like, only without the engine drone.” — Car and Driver   See More Reviews
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How are models ranked? 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: 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: 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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