So many choices makes picking a compact car hard… and fun

2016 Kia Forte

Compact cars are a dime a dozen.  There are a plethora of options on the auto market, but where do even begin to choose the one that is right for you?  Buying a new car is an often taxing process under normal circumstances, but when the market is flooded with good options it can become downright overwhelming.  Each commercial on the television or advertisement on the radio is shouting at you to go in ten different directions, and each one seems like the right path.  A new car is a very personal decision, but there are ways to narrow down your choices and find the perfect vehicle.

A compact car, by definition, are vehicles with a combination of 100 to 109 cubic feet worth of space in the interior and cargo area.  In layman’s terms, you’ll be able to stretch your legs without hitting the dashboard, in most cases, but it’s not big enough that you’ll be swimming in too much space.  New drivers tend to flock to the compact, as they tend to be easy to control but not so small that safety is a serious concern.  If you’ve got a big family, or are planning for one, the compact probably isn’t the best choice.  However, if you’re that driver that is looking for a less cumbersome car, both physically and financially, the compact may be just the right fit.

There is a tremendous amount of compact cars from which to choose, so where do you begin?  First, research is your number one choice.  There are lists upon lists of the best compacts on the market, and it will behoove you to read up on each and every one.  After the research process, put yourself in a couple of them.  Decide which car suits your needs, and go from there.  If all of this sounds like a monumental task, here’s a simple breakdown to get you started.

The Forte is the compact offering from what is quickly becoming an automotive giant, Kia.  Starting at just under $16,000, the Forte is offered in two ultra-stylish trim levels.  It comes with many of the bells and whistles that are important to drivers these days, but it doesn’t add lavish expensive accoutrements that are unnecessary and will drive up the price.  There are options for heated seats, the Kia Uvo Infotainment system, and an upgraded stereo system, but if these types of things aren’t important, the Forte remains a reasonably priced car.

Continuing on the auto-giant trend, Hyundai offers the Elantra.  Full of smooth lines and aerodynamic design, the Elantra is part of Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculture philosophy, as they attempt to incorporate some of the more fluid lines of nature with the curves of the car.  Starting at just over $17000, this little powerhouse of a compact is packed to the gills with awesome features, even at the base model level.  For this vehicle, Hyundai also offers a package to bundle some favorite features in their Popular Equipment Package for only $550.  This package adds a sunroof, push button start, heated seats, alloy wheels and so much more, making the Elantra better than the average compact.

For years, the Ford Focus has ranked quite highly on many of the important lists for being one of the best compacts on the market.  With a price tag starting around $17500, the Focus comes in eight different trim levels, each with its own set of specific upgrades.  It comes pre-loaded with a massive array of convenience option, while not adding superfluous features.  There are, of course, optional features to upgrade your Focus, but drivers will be perfectly content with the base model as well.  The car’s namesake is quite appropriate as it seems that Ford has focused a great deal of energy on making their compact seem like a luxury model.

Another major competitor in the compact game is the Toyota Corolla.  The Toyota nameplate signifies a commitment to quality products and the longevity of your vehicle.  Priced, affordably at $17,230, the Corolla was introduced in 1966, making it one of the longest running compact series, although it just became classified as a compact vehicle in 1991.  With 28 miles per gallon on the highway, the Corolla will certainly account for fewer stops between fill-ups.  While the base model is pretty bare bones, the next trim level up will only jump the price tag by about a thousand dollars.

If buying American is of major importance to you, the Chevrolet Cruze offers another compact alternative in the American market.  Available in ten different colors, the Cruze comes in at a price point nearly one thousand dollars lower than other compact models.  With Bluetooth, OnStar, and keyless entry, all of the important features are standard, while the others are considered optional and can be added by jumping up to the next trim level or by adding options.  Choosing the base model, however, is not a decision you will likely regret given the high quality Chevy craftsmanship.

When you’ve begun the search for a new car, there are specific items each and every driver is looking for that are considered deal breakers.  This is where the research portion of the search comes in, because if you do you research beforehand you will be able to easily narrow your choices.  Don’t allow yourself to become overwhelmed by the search, use the above listed cars as a jumping off point and go from there.  It won’t be as confusing or trying to your patience, as long as you take it slow and don’t make any rash decisions.

                  

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Lauren Galli

Pretty consistently trying to make a dollar outta fifteen cents. Learn more about me

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