7 Best Small Cars in Canada in 2024

7 Best Small Cars in Canada in 2024

Are you in search of the best small cars in Canada? Urban area living becomes challenging when driving a big car. However, small compact cars offer the convenience of moving from one point to another.

A small car generally measures up to 13.8 feet long and weighs between 2600 to 3300 pounds or less. These cars are convenient for urban area driving as their length allows easy navigation of narrow and busy streets.

They are also fuel efficient, translating to higher savings on the pump. Examples include the Honda Civic, Volkswagen Jetta, Toyota Prius, and Hyundai Elantra.

This post addresses the advantages, considerations, and the seven best small cars in Canada. Read on to learn more.

Advantages of a Small Car

1. Fuel Efficient

A small car boasts a small engine and a body that reduces drag. You will save on fuel costs in the long run than when driving a big crossover or SUV.

2. Convenient Driving

Small cars are the best for city driving. They are small enough to slip through tight spaces and parking lots.

3. Environmentally Friendly

The best small cars in Canada emit fewer carbon dioxide and greenhouse gases. So, if you are environmentally conscious, a small compact car is the best choice to drive.

4. Easier Financing

The best compact cars in Canada are cheaper than SUV crossovers and other bigger cars. You will likely get financing quicker if you have a low credit score when buying a small car.

5. Cheaper to Maintain

Compact cars are easier to maintain than bigger ones. You save on your mechanic trips and the spare parts as they are readily available.

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What to Consider in a Cheap Small Car

1. Interior Space

When going for a small compact car, you forego the luxury of space a bigger car offers. So, in your selection, check whether the room will still offer the comfort you need.

Check whether the cargo space will meet your luggage needs and if the back seats are retractable.

2. Driving Technology

Modern small electric cars have sophisticated driving assist technologies. You want your small car to have the necessary technology to enhance your driving experience, such as:

  • Lane-following assistance
  • Automatic high beams
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Blindspot warning
  • Automatic Emergency braking
  • Automatic Crash warning

3. Reliability

Besides road convenience, the best compact car in Canada should offer top reliability.

You can check the car’s reputation and rating by visiting the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations (MVSR).

7 Best Small Cars in Canada

A small car typically measures 3.8 to 4.1 meters in length, as evident in Mitsubishi Mirage. On the other hand, most compact cars fall under 4.1 to 4.3 meters, as evident in Honda Civics.

 Here is a list of the ten top small cars to enhance your city driving.

Hyundai Elantra Hybrid - comparewise

1. 2023 Hyundai Elantra Essential

Starting at a base price of $21,765, the 2023 Hyundai Elantra Essential is one of the best small cars in Canada. It boasts a well-designed interior, excellent handling, and fuel economy.

The Elantra SE, SEL, and Limited models come equipped with safety features like:

  • Emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  • Auto high beam headlamps
  • Lane-keeping assist

These models feature a standard 2.0-litre engine with 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft of torque. The car also features two engine options: a Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission (CVT) or a six-speed manual transmission.

Hyundai offers a 5-year 100,000-kilometer comprehensive limited, powertrain, and emission warranty. The fuel consumption rate averages 6.4 km/l, and it is named one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in Canada.

You will also enjoy the spacious legroom in the backseat, ideal for children and a toddler’s seat, and the sufficient 14.2 cubic feet of cargo space.

Toyota Prius- comparewise

2. 2023 Toyota Prius

According to a press release by the Toyota Group vice president and general manager, Dave Christ, “the company set its sights on a future Prius and its engineers delivered.”

At the event held in November 2022 in Los Angeles, the company unveiled the release of two small Toyota cars, the Prius Prime and the Prius.

The 2023 Toyota Prius model offers a new interior design with an intuitive 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen console. Its redesigned odometer is above the steering wheel but beneath the windshield, as evident in the new Toyota’s fully electric crossover, BZ4X.

The vehicle features a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder which pumps out 194 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque in the front wheel model. However, the horsepower is 196 in the four-wheel version.

The front-wheel version averages 57 miles per gallon of fuel consumption in the city and 56 on the highway. This changes on the all-wheel drive version as it averages 54 mpg on the highway and 53 mpg in the city.

These cars come standard with driver assist technology, including:

  • Automatic high beams
  • Lane-keeping assist and departure warning
  • Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection

Toyota offers a three-year limited warranty and a five-year powertrain warranty with two-year complimentary maintenance. According to Kelly Blue Book, the starting price for this car is $27,450 and upwards of $33,000+ for higher-end trims.

Toyota Corolla Hybrid- comparewise

3.  2023 Toyota Corolla

The all-new 2023 Toyota Corolla comes in two body styles: a hatchback and a sedan. The hatchback model is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder CVT engine that produces 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.

Its twin, the sedan, comes equipped with a 1.8-litre CVT engine that produces 139 horsepower and 126 lb-ft of torque.

According to FuelEconomy.gov, the Toyota Corolla sedan averages 32 miles per gallon in the city and 42 on the highway. The hatchback does the same, with 42 mpg on the highway and 32 in the city.

Both feature a push-to-start button, heated front seats, and dual-zone climate adjustments. Consider the sedan variant if you want a family or passenger car because the hatchback’s back seat is cramped.

However, the hatchback offers more cargo space, with 18 cubic feet or the enhanced 23 cubic feet option, than the sedan’s 13 cubic feet.

With the Toyota Corolla lineup, you can expect safety features like:

  • Lane-keeping assist and departure warning
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Forward collision warning

You get the same warranty coverage as the Toyota Prius, with three and five-year options and a complimentary two-year maintenance cover. According to Car and Driver, the hatchback model starts at $22,010, and the sedan’s base price is $27,610.

Kia Forte - comparewise

4. 2023 Kia Forte

Another vehicle gracing our best small cars in Canada is the Kia Forte. This is a suitable vehicle if you want a car that won’t break the bank since its base model comes at around $20,000.

The Kia Forte shares similar features with Hyundai’s Elantra as they are both Korean. It has a 2.0-litre CVT engine producing 147 horsepower and 132 lb-ft on the front wheels.

Apart from the CVT, Kia also offers a six-speed manual transmission on its LX trim and a turbocharged 1.6-litre dual-clutch automatic transmission on its GT model.

The car offers a minimalistic interior design with basic features to enhance your driving experience. You get a standard 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen console, spacious back seat legroom, and a larger cargo space. The safety features included in the Kia Forte include:

  • Lane-keeping assistance and warning departure
  • Adaptive cruise control coupled with lane-following assist
  • Front-collision warning pared with automatic emergency braking

Kia Forte has a five-year limited warranty, ten years for the powertrain, and non-scheduled complimentary maintenance. The 2023 base Kia model starts at $20,395 and goes up depending on the trim you want.

Honda Civic - comparewise

5. 2023 Honda Civic

Another Canadian household vehicle gracing our best small cars in Canada list is the Honda Civic. The wide popularity is because the Civics are assembled in Alliston, Ontario.

The car features a simplistic cockpit interior design with a mesh on the passenger side that hides the air vents. It has a 7.0-inch infotainment console, and you can choose an optional 9.0-inch screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The base models have a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a CVT, producing 158 horsepower and 138 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels.

In the upper Civic trims, you get a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine that produces 180 horsepower. The hatchback model has a six-speed manual transmission option.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Civic’s fuel consumption averages 31 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. It comes equipped with driver assistance features like:

  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Automatic emergency braking
  • Lane-keeping assist and departure warning
  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Rear and front parking sensor

Honda offers a three-year limited warranty, five years for the powertrain, and a two-year complimentary scheduled maintenance. The pricing for the 2023 base model starts at $25,000, according to Car and Driver.

Mazda 3 - comparewise

6. 2023 Mazda 3

The Mazda 3 is another vehicle in our best small cars in Canada list. It comes with two body style options: a sedan and a hatchback.

You get a 2.5-litre four-cylinder naturally aspirated engine, producing 191 horsepower. This comes standard for the front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive carbon edition, and premium trims.

The 2023 Mazda 3 also offers a 2.5-litre turbocharged 250 horsepower, with manual and automatic options on both engines.

The sedan averages a fuel consumption of 37 mpg on the highway and 28 in the city. On the other hand, the hatchback does 31 mpg on the highway and 28 in the city. Its driver assistance technology features include:

  • Automatic high beams
  • Adaptive cruise control
  • Rain-sensing windshield wipers
  • Blindspot monitoring
  • Heads up display
  • Automated high beams

Mazda offers a three-year or 36,000 miles limited warranty, a five-year or 50,000 miles for the powertrain, and no complimentary scheduled maintenance. The base model starts at $21,900, surpassing $30,000 for the higher trims.

Volkswagen Jetta - comparewise

7. 2023 Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta is another one of our best small cars in Canada option worth checking out. The base model comes with a 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 158 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.

You also get an optional eight-speed automatic or the standard six-speed manual transmission.

The Jetta offers 14.1 cubic feet of cargo space and sufficient legroom for your passengers. It also comes with retractable back seats to add the available cargo space.

The cockpit features an intuitive gesture-enabled touchscreen infotainment console with traditional knobs.

According to the EPA, its fuel consumption averages 41 mpg on the highway and 31 in the city. These ratings drop lower in the higher trim models, with SEL, SE, and Jetta Sport averaging 40 on the highway and 29 in the city.

The Volkswagen Jetta’s driver assistance technology features:

  • Rain-sensing wipers
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Automated high-beam headlights
  • Rear-view camera
  • Pedestrian detection
  • Forward collision warning

You get 50,000 miles or a four-year limited warranty, a four-year or 50,000 miles powertrain warranty, and a 20,000-mile or two complimentary maintenance. The Volkswagen Jetta base model starts at $23,295 and goes up to $29,000 for premium trims.

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Best small cars in Canada conclusion

The Canadian market offers many small cars for daily driving usage. These cars prove much more fuel efficient, low maintenance, and agile than bigger vehicles.

The above list of the best small cars in Canada is worth checking out. Besides, we have listed various manufacturers’ small car models and their features so you can make an informed decision.

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FAQs about the best small cars in Canada

How much does a small car weigh?

The average good small car weighs between 2600 to 3300 pounds. On the other hand, a few select ones weigh less.

Are smaller cars more dangerous?

Smaller cars can be dangerous in case of collision accidents. However, the best small cars in Canada have tons of safety features to avoid accidents.

What are the standard safety features of small cars?

The standard safety features in modern small cars include lane keeping and departure warnings, adaptive cruise, and automated emergency braking. Each vehicle has unique specifications, so ask the dealer beforehand.

Which is the smallest car in Canada?

The Chevrolet Spark is the smallest car in Canada. It measures 3.635 meters long, 1.595 in width, and 1.483 meters high.

Can small cars tow a trailer?

Small cars can tow a small trailer, but it is advisable to check the manufacturer’s manual on the car’s towing capacity.


April 9, 2023
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