Compact in size and price, the grandly named ‘superminis’ are among the nation’s best sellers because they’re practical, easy-to-manoeuvre and affordable for many.
But that’s not to say all superminis are born equal. Car manufacturers are scrambling to get a slice of supermini pie and with that comes some great technology and fun features.
That’s why we’re here to help you find the perfect supermini. We’ve assembled a list of our six favourite superminis and explained what separates them from the rest. Read on to find out more.
What is a supermini?
Superminis, also known as subcompact cars, are smaller than hatchbacks but a little bigger than city cars. You’ll find most superminis come with three-doors (though this is changing with time as manufacturers squeeze in another 2 for practical reasons) and come with a compact rear. Popular examples of superminis include: Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, VW Polo, Peugeot 208, Toyota Yaris, and Vauxhall Corsa.
Superminis are among the best-selling cars in the UK. This makes sense as they can be cheaper to buy and run than most hatchbacks and SUVs, so they’re perfect for first-time buyers.
Thanks to their compact size and agility, they’re great for driving around towns and cities too. Unfortunately, they often compromise on boot space, which means a family may need to opt for a bigger size.
They’re also not as powerful as their bigger brethren either, so if you want a supermini that packs more punch, you’ll either have to opt for a bigger vehicle or dig a bit deeper into your pockets and splash out on a premium supermini.
Being an Audi, the A1 comes with a loftier price tag than other superminis out there, but if your budget allows, you’ll be getting a premium car in the category. The Audi A1 ditches the dainty-demeanour of a lot of superminis for a brawnier aesthetic and can pack a punchy two-litre engine, depending on the model you choose. If you’re after the gravitas associated with a luxury brand and the benefits that come with a supermini, the Audi A1 is a good bet.
The fourth-gen Honda Jazz is an efficient, safe, and pretty techy supermini that comes armed with some cool features. It also offers a lot of space inside if you want a supermini that pushes the boundaries for legroom and storage space. There are handy safety features too, such as lane keeping assistance and automatic emergency breaking – which probably helped it get those five stars from Euro NCAP. The price tag is higher than some other superminis out there, but it might all feel worthwhile when you’re chauffeured down the motorway as the adaptive cruise control kicks-in…
If you’re after attractive aesthetics, the latest Peugeot 208 is one of the leading superminis out there. Nippy and agile, while also being easy to handle, the Peugeot 208 has been a solid all-rounder since it entered the market back in 2012. If you have a lot of baggage (physical, not emotional) the Peugeot may not be for you as it offers limited storage space, even compared to other superminis out there. But if you want a fun ride that’ll help you navigate city roads with ease, the Peugeot 208 might just be the one for you.
The Vauxhall Corsa? It’s pretty much a household name at this point. You’ll probably spot one on the road every time you head out thanks to its competitive pricing and relatively low cost to insure. A veteran in the supermini world, evolving with each new generation, the fifth-gen Vauxhall Corsa is reliable in pretty-much every department and has lighter steering control compared to its ancestors. For those on a stricter budget looking to get from A to B with ease, the Vauxhall Corsa remains a solid purchase.
Hailing from Barcelona, you expect a little class from the Seat Ibiza - and boy does it deliver! The Ibiza provides the nimble agility of a supermini, while being more spacious than most inside to let you stretch your legs a little. The fifth generation Seat Ibiza comes with some great extras if you want them, such as climate control, cruise control and rain-sensing windscreen wipers, all of which make life that little bit easier when hitting the road. It also scored top marks in the Euro NCAP crash test, largely thanks to its automatic emergency braking system, to give you that extra peace of mind.
If you have a little extra in the budget and a yearning for classic British design and style, the Mini could be the one for you. Yes, it is more expensive than most superminis, but it’s known to hold its value over time and can come with low running costs too. The beauty of the mini is a little skin-deep as you’ll have to dig deeper into your pockets for added extras such as automatic emergency braking and read-end collision warning. However, one of the big attractions of the Mini is its tight and nimble handling, ensuring it always makes for a fun city drive.