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The all-new Honda Civic and the 2021 Toyota Corolla are definitely some of the best compact cars you can buy. However, these two popular models aren’t the only quality options. In fact, here are five good compact cars that aren’t a Civic or a Corolla.

A silver 2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition
2021 Toyota Corolla Apex Edition | Toyota

The all-new Honda Civic sedan starts at $21,700 according to Honda. Then there’s the ever-popular Toyota Corolla, which starts at $20,025 according to Toyota’s website. But here are some other options for a good compact car for those that want to see what else is out there besides these two leading contenders in the compact sedan class.   

Is the 2021 Subaru Impreza a good car? 

front grille view of a black Subaru Impreza on display at an auto show
Subaru Impreza | Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Yes, the 2021 Subaru Impreza is a good compact car. While it may not be a “best-in-class” choice, it’s the only car in its class with standard all-wheel drive (AWD). The 2021 Subaru Impreza starts at $18,795, according to U.S. News and World Report.

The 2021 Subaru Impreza earns praise for its “sporty handling.” It also boasts a spacious cabin and well-appreciated intuitive infotainment technology, but it doesn’t exactly earn any points for its punchy engine. The Impreza is not a Civic or a Corolla, but it is still a viable option in the compact sedan class. 

The 2021 Volkswagen Jetta is also a good compact car

A white 2021 Volkswagen Jetta driving in the city
2021 Volkswagen Jetta | Volkswagen

According to U.S. News and World Report, the 2021 Volkswagen Jetta starts at $18,995. This compact car just received a new infotainment system that critics call user-friendly. The base engine has good fuel economy (up to 40 mpg on the highway) and it has a roomy cabin that provides a comfortable ride to passengers. 

How much does the 2021 Kia Forte cost? 

This year’s Kia Forte model starts at $17,890. The 2021 Kia Forte is another good compact car that’s not the Honda Civic or the Toyota Corolla. In fact, the 2021 Kia Forte is No. 3 in the compact sedan class on U.S. News’ list. 

The 2021 Kia Forte earned the Best Compact Car for the Money award because of its “outstanding combination of quality and value.” This model has everything most compact car shoppers are looking for and, in the higher trim levels, more. 

What about the 2021 Hyundai Elantra? 

The 2021 Hyundai Elantra is another great compact car. Ranking consistently in the top half of the compact sedan class, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra starts at $19,650. This model offers an abundant list of standard features. In addition, the 2021 Hyundai Elantra has great fuel economy (up to 43 mpg on the highway) and it’s fresh off a full redesign. 

The Honda Civic and the 2021 Mazda Mazda3 tied for No. 1 compact car

A red 2021 Mazda3 Premium by a white-and-brown-wood house
2021 Mazda3 Premium | Mazda

According to U.S. News and World Report, the 2021 Mazda Mazda3 and the Honda Civic are tied for the No. 1 compact car in the compact sedan class. The 2021 Mazda Mazda3 has a satisfying powertrain, a long list of standard and available features, and a Premium trim interior that approaches luxury-level appointments. 

It’s called “sporty” and “fun-to-drive.” The 2021 Mazda Mazda3 is a good compact car that starts at $20,500. Overall, it is a great option among its competitors. However, its one major downfall is its tight rear seating. 

Good compact cars that aren’t a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic

a blue 2021 Honda Civic in action
Honda Civic | Honda

Although the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic are both popular and appealing, these other options in the compact sedan class are examples of what else is out there. While cars––in general––are dwindling in most classes, there are still plenty of models to choose from. While the Corolla and the Civic are great cars, they aren’t the only small car models on the market worth our attention.


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