Out of 6 Subcompact Cars, Consumer Reports Likes 3, Hates 3

With gas prices what they are these days, subcompact cars are becoming increasingly enticing to customers who are hoping to save money on fuel. Subcompact cars not only offer excellent fuel economy but generally come with lower sticker prices. This is true whether you’re planning to buy a new or used vehicle.

Currently, Consumer Reports keeps track of six subcompact cars. The publication is evenly split between three that it gives the thumbs up and three that it criticizes more harshly. Which cars fall into which category?

Consumer Reports is a fan of these three subcompact cars

A sideshot of a green 2022 Hyundai Venue subcompact SUV model parked by the water with a skyline background
2022 Hyundai Venue | Hyundai Motor America

The Consumer Reports rankings of subcompact cars reveal that it recommends the Nissan Versa, Hyundai Accent, and Hyundai Venue. What makes these vehicles stand out from the competition? Let’s take a look. 

The Nissan Versa is a remarkably affordable car, taking the number one spot on Consumer Reports’ list. With an MSRP of $15,380, it’s also the least expensive of the subcompacts that Consumer Reports recommends. This subcompact can go from 0 to 60 mph in 9.7 seconds and gets an overall fuel economy of 32 mpg. 

The Hyundai Accent is slightly more expensive, with an MSRP of $16,645. Its acceleration capability is similar to that of the Nissan Versa in that it can reach 60 mph in 9.9 seconds. The Accent’s fuel economy doesn’t diverge much from that of the Versa, either, coming in at 33 mpg. 

Finally, there’s the Hyundai Venue, which is the most expensive of the bunch at $19,000. Splurging for this car will shave a second off your acceleration time compared with the Accent but give you a similar fuel economy at 32 mpg. 

These subcompact vehicles don’t make the grade

On the other end of the scale are three subcompacts that Consumer Reports declines to recommend. The first on that list is the Kia Rio, which has an MSRP of $16,450. While its basic specs are similar to those of the more recommended models, it gets low marks for predicted owner satisfaction, ride, and noise. 

The Chevrolet Spark, starting at $13,600, also gets low marks in predicted owner satisfaction and acceleration. It takes an excessive 12 seconds to reach 60 mph. This car also gets low marks for ride and noise as well.

Rounding out the bottom of the list is the Mitsubishi Mirage, which starts at $14,645. The Mirage is even slower than the Spark, taking 12.1 seconds to reach 60 mph. It scores especially badly in the categories of noise and interior fit and finish. 

The Hyundai Venue stands out in the crowd

Of all the vehicles on the Consumer Reports list, only one stands out from the rest. That’s the Hyundai Venue. Unlike the other cars, the Venue sports an SUV style. This gives it several advantages over the competition, the most important of which is its extra cargo space. 

Of course, as with most things in life, to get the advantages of the Venue, you’ll have to pay for them. Its starting price is around $2,500 higher than the next most expensive vehicle on the list. This price difference is significant given the relatively low costs of subcompact vehicles overall. 

Buying a subcompact car can be a logical response to rising gas prices. Just make sure you investigate carefully before putting your money into a model that could end up not giving you what you want. 

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