Consumer Reports and MotorTrend Slightly Disagree on Subcompact Sedans

Consumer Reports is an excellent place for car shoppers to look for advice on what cars to consider, but so is MotorTrend. When it comes to subcompact sedans, Consumer Reports and MotorTrend slightly disagree over which cars are best. Here’s a look at what Consumer Reports and MotorTrend had to say about the top subcompact sedans on the market right now.

Consumer Reports and MotorTrend agree, for the most part

A red 2022 Nissan Versa, a subcompact sedan, parked in a drive in front of a white building with tall windows.
2022 Nissan Versa | Nissan Motor Corporation

The subcompact sedan segment is not the largest segment, but some options are still out there. When it comes to what Consumer Reports has to say about the top three subcompact sedans, it’s not that different than MotorTrend. Both car critics think the same three cars are in the top three in their top three subcompact sedans.

The big difference is the order. Both car critics disagree on which subcompact car is in first place. However, what they do agree on is second place. Both Consumer Reports and MotorTrend ranked the Hyundai Accent as the second-best subcompact car. Interestingly, first and third place are swapped between the two car critics.

A look at their picks for the top subcompact sedans

Consumer Reports narrowly gave the Nissan Versa first place in the segment. The Versa has an edge in the segment. It starts at a price tag of just over $15,000, making it one of the cheapest new cars on the market right now.

But, while the Versa is Consumer Reports’ top pick for the segment, it’s not that impressive of a car in terms of its specs. It has a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, and it gets 122 hp. This allows it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph at a sluggish 9.6 seconds. On top of that, it’s not the most comfortable car to be in. The seats aren’t comfortable, the cabin can get noisy, and its ride quality also isn’t great. It does have a good fuel economy of 32 mpg combined, though.

MotorTrend, on the other hand, has a different view. The Versa is ranked third, and it’s far below the Accent. In first place, however, is the Kia Rio. Consumer Reports gave the Rio third place. The Rio starts at $16,000, and it’s equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that gets 120 hp. It also takes the Rio 9.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph, and its fuel economy of 33 mpg overall is also good.

How these two car critics come to those conclusions

While both the Versa and the Rio are similar enough, the difference in opinion seems to lay in the reviews. Consumer Reports and MotorTrend review cars in a similar way. They both take cars out for testing and then write about their thoughts. Overall, both reviews have a lot of similarities, as both cars are similar on paper.

But, while Consumer Reports wrote negatively about the Rio’s ride quality, MotorTrend actually thought the Kia’s ride quality was fine. On top of that, MotorTrend enjoyed driving around in the Rio more than the Versa, but this wasn’t something that impressed Consumer Reports. Either way, while both car critics disagreed on the rankings, they both agree that the Rio, the Versa, and the Accent are top picks for the segment.

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