The Best Subcompact Cars of 2023

There are now just three subcompact cars left in Canada, and The Car Guide will tell you right here which one is the best money can buy.  

Unsurprisingly, it happens to be the same exact model that we gave our Best Buy award to for the past three years.

1. Kia Rio

Photo: Kia

That’s right: for the fourth year in a row, the Kia Rio stands tall at the top of the segment. Korea’s smallest car has aged well and remains an attractive proposition for budget-minded customers.

Fairly spacious given its diminutive size, the Rio comes exclusively in a practical, five-door hatchback configuration. It also proves safe and pleasant to drive, which can’t be said about all small cars. Performance is decent, while fuel consumption is modest.

2. Nissan Versa

Photo: Nissan

Nissan brought back the Versa two years ago, but only as a four-door sedan. Curious move. Similar to the Rio, the Versa offers adequate interior space, and performance isn’t too shabby. However, the drive lacks emotion and feedback.

The biggest problem with this model is the price combined with high financing rates. The larger Sentra is sportier, roomier and just more interesting overall for only a bit more money.

3. Mitsubishi Mirage

Photo: Antoine Joubert

The Mitsubishi Mirage ranks last among subcompact cars for 2023. A lower base price and financing rates along with a longer 10-year/160,000 km powertrain warranty make it a sensible purchase, but you must know that several owners have had to replace the triple-cylinder engine under warranty due to limited oil supply.

On the road, the Mirage is not particularly bad, but it just can’t keep up with the other two contenders. If the Chevrolet Spark had still been around, we would have downgraded the Mirage to fourth place.

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