KBB’s List of the Best Compact Cars of 2022 Offers Plenty of Choices

The compact car segment offers lots of models from many manufacturers. There’s something for every type of driver; if you’re looking for luxury, fuel efficiency, electric options, or a sporty drive, there’s a compact car on offer for you. Kelley Blue Book took a look at the options for 2022 and named these eight models as the best compact cars of 2022:

1. 2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The 2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class luxury subcompact sedan in white
2019 Mercedes-Benz A-Class | MBUSA

MSRP: $35,000

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class takes the top spot on Kelley Blue Book’s (KBB) list of the best compact cars of 2022, thanks to providing the elegance and driving dynamics you can expect in a Mercedes-Benz but at an affordable price.

Under the hood, the new compact car’s 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder gives you 188 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. At 25 mpg in the city and 36 on the highway, it’s a fuel-efficient powertrain too. The A-Class offers all-wheel drive as an option as well.

Inside, you get an impressive list of standard features, including the Mercedes MBUX 7-inch infotainment system, a panoramic sunroof, and simulated leather seats. Though it is comfortable inside, reviewers note the ride is firm and the back seats are small for tall passengers.

2. 2022 Honda Civic

MSRP: $23,365

The 2022 Honda Civic marks the start of the 11th generation of the iconic sedan. That means a new look featuring a wider wheelbase – creating more room in the back seat – upgrades to the suspension, and the largest touchscreen in Civic history (at 7 inches).

The new Honda Civic has two engine options: a 2.0-liter inline 4-cylinder generating 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque and a 1.5-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder giving you 180 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque. With the Si model, those numbers get pushed to 200 and 192, respectively.

Unlike the A-Class, the Honda Civic gives you plenty of room for adults in the back seat and the trunk (14 cubic feet in the sedan). There is also a hatchback option. Additionally, a sportier and redesigned Type R model is coming later this year.

3. 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class

MSRP: $44,600

The A-Class’ bigger sibling, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class is available as a four-door sedan, two-door coupe, or a two-door convertible. It landed the third spot on KBB’s list of the best compact cars of 2022. 

The 2022 Mercedes-Benz C-Class marks the newest generation of the C-Class. Three different powertrains are available: a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder generating 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque; a 3.0-liter twin-turbo V6 making 385 horsepower and 384 lb-ft of torque; and a 4.0-liter twin-turbo V8 pushing 503 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. 

The MBUX infotainment and navigation system and an 11.9-inch vertical touchscreen are standard on C-Class models. Drivers can also enjoy heated front seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a leather-covered steering wheel, and a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication.

4. 2022 Hyundai Elantra

MSRP $20,995

The most affordable compact car on KBB’s list of the best compact cars of 2022, the 2022 Hyundai Elantra continues the seventh generation and was first released in 2019. There are four inline 4-cylinder powertrains on offer for the new Elantra: a 2.0-liter one generating 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque, a 1.6-liter hybrid pushing 139 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, a turbocharged 1.6-liter engine giving you 201 horsepower and 195 lb-ft of torque, and a 2.0-liter turbocharged pushing those numbers to 276 horsepower and 289 lb-ft of torque.

The interior gives you 113.6 cubic feet of space (compared to 99 in the Civic), but that does mean a slightly smaller trunk compared to its competitors. One of the best perks of the Elantra is the Hyundai Digital Key which lets you unlock and start your car with a smartphone.

5. 2022 Toyota Prius Prime

MSRP: $29,215

The Prius has been an iconic part of the hybrid compact car segment for decades. The Toyota Prius Prime model differs from the standard Prius in that it is a plug-in hybrid setup giving you 25 miles of all-electric range.

A 1.8-liter inline 4-cylinder combines with a magnet synchronous electric motor pushing 121 horsepower and 105 lb-ft of torque. In regular hybrid mode, the powertrain averages 54 combined mpg. Behind the wheel, reviewers note the comfortable suspension and cushioned seats make it easy to drive for short or long distances.  

The rear seats aren’t roomy, and the cargo space is smaller thanks to the bigger battery. Still, it’s hard to beat at the price point and efficiency.

6. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV

MSRP: $31,995

In the sixth spot on KBB’s list of the best compact cars of 2022 is the 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EV. The five-door electric hatchback Bolt has been fully redesigned for 2022. That includes a newly designed exterior and interior, but the powertrain carries over from the 2021 Chevrolet Bolt EV.

The fully-electric 65-kWh battery-powered engine gives you 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque. Chevrolet notes you can go 259 miles on a full charge. The company says that it can take just 7 hours with a 240-volt Level 2 charger at home.

Reviewers say the ride is quiet and quick around the city. Upfront drivers get plenty of room, but the legroom can be lacking in the back seat. New for the 2022 model is a 10.2-inch touchscreen and the Chevy Safety Assist system, which includes lane-departure warning, automatic emergency braking, forward-collision alert, lane-keeping assist, and a following distance indicator.

7. 2022 Chevrolet Bolt EUV

MSRP: $33,995

The Chevrolet Bolt EUV debuts in 2022 as a bigger version of the Bolt EV. It’s 6 inches longer, making the back seats much roomier for adults.

The Bolt EUV has the same electric motor as the Bolt EV, but the range is down to 247 miles because it is 90 pounds heavier. It recharges in the same amount of time, and Chevrolet estimates a 240-volt DC Fast Charger can supply 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes.

Inside, there’s slightly less cargo room (0.3 cubic feet) than the Bolt EV due to the increased space for seating. However, the Bolt EUV’s tuned suspension makes it a comfortable ride wherever you sit.

8. 2022 Audi A3

MSRP: $34,945

In the eighth spot on KBB’s list of the best compact cars of 2022 is the 2022 Audi A3. The 2022 model year brings significant updates for the Audi A3 too. It’s taller, wider, and longer and gets a boost in power. The 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder pushes out 201 horsepower and 221 lb-ft of torque. A mild-hybrid system also adds 12 horsepower and 37 lb-ft of torque to boost launch power and improve fuel economy. With the 2022 model, the combined fuel economy is 32 mpg.

Behind the wheel, the A3 is quiet and roomy for the compact class. It also gets the updated infotainment system – called MIB 3 – that is better and faster than the previous generation. You also get the 10.25-inch Virtual Cockpit digital driver information display standard on all models, with an upgrade to a 12.3-inch display on offer as well.

Which new car is the best compact car of 2022 for you?

Shopping for a new car can be overwhelming. Fortunately for those searching for a new compact car, KBB’s list of the best compact cars of 2022 offers plenty of options. Whether you opt for the 2022 Mercedes-Benz A-Class or the 2022 Toyota Prius Prime, these new compact cars have plenty to offer new car shoppers.

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