Every year, U.S. News assembles a list of the Best Compact Cars for 2020. The ranking is based on the fuel economy, price, and standard features of the vehicle. Comfort is considered, but it’s not a major deciding factor as these types of cars are used mostly for commuting and not known for being high-performance vehicles. The 2020 Nissan Sentra is a popular choice for consumers in this segment, mainly because of affordability and advanced standard safety features.
Let’s take a look at several of the top-ranked compact cars that made the list this year, beating out the Sentra hands down.
2020 Nissan Sentra
The 2020 Nissan Sentra ranked dead last compared to other similar vehicles in the compact car class. While offering good value with a starting price of $19,090, the newly redesigned Nissan Sentra failed to deliver. U.S. News was not impressed with the engine performance, transmission capabilities, or poor acceleration.
They reported that the interior was uninspiring, the backseat lacked adequate headroom, and the infotainment system was cumbersome to operate. U.S. News felt that “apart from the Sentra’s value-based appeal, there are few reasons to consider it over nearly anything else.”
The 2020 Honda Civic – a top Nissan Sentra competitor
The 2020 Honda Civic ranked No. 2 on the U.S. News list, making it a much better option than the 2020 Nissan Sentra. Similarly priced, the car not only handles better, but it has a much nicer looking interior. The upscale feeling of this vehicle is accentuated by the great fuel economy it offers.
U.S. News gave it an 8.5 out of 10 score, and it’s considered to be an “outstanding combination of quality and value.” Other reviewers felt the redesigned 2020 Nissan Sentra offered a lot more than the Civic regarding improved torque, interior styling, and attention to detail. Consumers made the final decision, with Q1 sales for 2020 showing the Civic sold approximately 40,000 more units than the 2020 Nissan Sentra.
The 2020 Mazda3
The 2020 Mazda3 shares second place on the U.S. News list, not only because of the added safety features in this year’s model but because of the fun factor. Test drivers found this vehicle a “blast to drive.”
The roomy interior, the responsive engine, and upscale features make the Mazda3 a solid choice for a small car over the Nissan Sentra. Winner of the World Car Design of the Year, it’s worth checking out when considering a vehicle in this class.
The 2020 Kia Forte and the 2020 Hyundai Elantra
There’s plenty to love about the 2020 Kia Forte. Aside from ranking in the No. 4 spot for Best Compact Car, it also placed No. 1 as the U.S. News 2020 Best Compact Car for the Money. With an MSRP between $17,890 and $23,090, not only does the Forte offer great value, but it offers the best starting price compared to other similar vehicles. With great fuel economy and countless safety features typically found in higher-priced models, the 2020 Kia Forte is a great car at a great price.
The 2020 Hyundai Elantra falls right in the middle of the compact car pack. With an MSRP of $19,150, the Elantra combines comfort with quality. U.S. News reported that the Elantra received a good predicted reliability rating and is a “solid value in this competitive class.”
The 2020 Toyota Corolla
Ranking toward the bottom of the U.S. News list at No. 8 is the 2020 Toyota Corolla. It paled in comparison to other models because of the uninspiring base engine that just doesn’t seem to deliver. The Corolla offers a lot of great features and ranked first in its class for predicted reliability.
Despite a full redesign for 2020, U.S. News recommended looking at other higher ranking vehicles in the class because of the poor engine performance. Regardless of lackluster reviews, the Toyota Corolla continues to be a top-selling car throughout the world.