Consumer Reports: Best Used Cars for the City

City life can be fantastic. There’s nightlife aplenty, great restaurants and city views can be some of the most incredible out there. Unfortunately, there are some downsides, like high rent and car ownership. Consumer Reports knows this, and put together a list of the best cars for the city. There’s a lot to choose from, so we’ve nailed down a few top picks of our own. If the high rent doesn’t scare you off, these are the best cars to own alongside that expensive apartment.

The 2016 Mazda3 is a strong contender

The red 2016 Mazda3 rolls down the road with trees passing in a blur in the background
2016 Mazda3 | Mazda

Size is king in the city. Space is at a premium and parking spots are tight. Thankfully, the Mazda3 takes care of that. This little red sedan or hatchback has a roomy interior with a negligible footprint, making it one of the easier cars on the list to park. Transmissions are offered in either automatic or manual for the 2016 model year, but the auto is probably the choice for city traffic.

Talking of traffic, Consumer Reports states the Mazda3 will do 23 mpg just about anywhere. Reliability for the Mazda is strong, but not as strong as the next contender. However, the Mazda3 does boast a nice tight turn radius, despite its front or all-wheel-drive layout. Manual or automatic, sedan or hatchback, the Mazda3 is a solid choice for a city car, and can be had for around $15,000.

So is the 2015 Honda Civic

A blue 2015 Honda Civic, Consumer Reports pick for a great city car, rolls up a canyon road
2015 Honda Civic | MotorTrend

Honda is city car royalty. They even made a car called the “City” for a while that came with a moped in the trunk. While this 2015 Civic doesn’t come with a moped, it does come with some great features at its roughly $15,000 price point. Some higher trims like the EX have push-button start, but city-friendly features like blind-spot monitoring and backup cameras can be found in lower trims too.

There’s something here for the enthusiasts too, as the Civic can be had in Si spec, complete with manual transmission. Gas expenses will surely be higher due to premium fuel, but nearly any Civic from this model year should be able to manage both 30 mpg and tight city streets with equal ease. Honda is a byword for reliability, and the 2015 Civic is no different, according to Consumer Reports. With low maintenance costs offsetting your gas expenses, maybe having the Si version isn’t the worst way to get a little more fun out of city life.

Consumer Reports pick: 2016 Toyota Prius

A red Toyota Prius sits in an all-white photo booth
2016 Toyota Prius | Toyota

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If all-out economy is what you desire, Toyota has the car for you. Just as Honda is a byword for reliability, Prius is a byword for fuel economy. The original hybrid does this best, managing 52 mpg for around $17,000. It seems you get what you pay for when it comes to fuel economy. Of course, the Prius is also small and has some great cargo space to boot. Higher specced Priuses, or Pri-i, depending on your preference, also come with pedestrian detection as a bonus. Regardless of your pick, any of these cars would make an excellent city companion, but the Prius has our heart. It’s great packaging and cargo space make it an excellent car for the city.