2016's Top 5 Best-Priced and Stylish Subcompact Cars
Subcompact cars like the 2016 Mitsubishi Mirage G4, Chevy Spark, and Ford Fiesta might be cheap, but their looks match their price. The number one subcompact car with a low price and good looks is the 2016 Kia Rio for sale. After that, you’ll find the 2016 Chevy Sonic, 2016 Hyundai Accent, 2016 Honda Fit, and 2016 Scion iA — if you are willing to dish out a little extra cash. But in terms of style for a low price, nothing on the market is able to beat the Kia Rio four-door sedan.
#1: 2016 Kia Rio (Four-Door)
Starting at $14,165, the Rio four-door comes in at a very affordable price. More importantly, it’s a subcompact car that doesn’t have a subpar design. It doesn’t fall prey to what other subcompact cars do. What I’m talking about is the awkward proportions. Ever notice how subcompact cars typically come with weird and what appear to be unwarranted bulges? And, in general, are made up of a strange shape and size? Most of the time, it looks like someone crammed them into a mold that is two-sizes too small and tried to pass it off as a vehicle.
The 2016 Kia Rio doesn’t have that problem. On the contrary, it’s actually a surprisingly good design for a subcompact sedan. Instead of being crammed into a model that was too small, it looks like Kia has access to a shrink ray. The brand was able to create a subcompact sedan that is proportionally the same as a mid-size or even full-size sedan, just much smaller. Without suffering from the issue that plagues so many other subcompact vehicles, whether they are hatchback or sedan, the Rio actually looks normal.
It has your standard Kia-shaped grille, with large and swept-back headlights. Together, they provide the start of an aggressive and bold sedan design. The hood continues with the aggressive theme, and is defined by sharp lines that run over it. The windshield slopes up to an arching roofline, which aids with the car’s aerodynamics, and also helps promote its sleek look. The roof meets the back window, which sits at about the same angle as the windshield in order to carry the wind off the back. A small spoiler sits on the top of a rear-end that has wrap-around and forward sweeping taillights.
This is all done without any awkward angles or proportions, and creates a vehicle that has a rather sporty appearance. And even though the other vehicles made this list, the Rio is number one because the others can’t even come close to having a design that looks this good for this kind of price.
#2: 2016 Chevrolet Sonic (Sedan)
At $14,245, the 2016 Chevy Sonic takes the number two spot on the list. It almost beat the Rio in terms of look and price, seeing as it almost looks like a normal sedan. That awkward proportion I’ve mentioned, unfortunately, slipped into the front of this design. Instead of being properly tapered like the Rio’s front-end, the Sonic has a bulky and bulging front-fascia, with headlights that look way too big for the design.
Honestly, it’s disappointing because the rest of the design looks fine. It’s just the snub-nose on the front, which looks even more awkward on the hatchback variant.
#3: 2016 Hyundai Accent (Sedan)
The 2016 Hyundai Accent starts at $14,745, and the sedan model looks pretty close to the Rio. However, it too suffers from an awkward proportion. While it looks good from the front, it looks like someone took the back of the Accent off in one swift chop, and then just smoothed out what remained. This results in a long and sweeping hood and roofline that ends up meeting a rear-fascia that’s short and strange when the whole vehicle is viewed from the side.
The hatchback model doesn’t look too bad, but even then, the Rio still looks better and comes in at a lower price.
#4: 2016 Honda Fit
Unlike the Accent hatchback, however, the 2016 Honda Fit EV with a massive price (compared to the Rio) of $15,890 is a perfect example of the issue that pops up with subcompact hatchbacks and sedans. In general, hatchbacks already have a somewhat awkward shape. So when you try and make it even smaller, things are bound to get out of whack. The result is a vehicle that has a comically large front-fascia, relatively small headlights, and a hood that is too close to the same angle as the windshield.
This should be expected from a subcompact hatchback, since the only way to really make it smaller is by shrinking the front end — it’s not like there is much to work with in the back.
#5: 2016 Scion iA
The design might be outlandish, but it’s not proportionally awkward. The 2016 Scion iA simply looks like a shrunken crossover SUV. However, the fact that it is an outlandish-looking vehicle along with the high price of $17,595 is why it’s number five on this list.
The Scion iA is both aggressive and sophisticated, with undulating and muscular curves that run along the side of the hood, tapering off on the side, and eventually picking back up again just before the rear door handles — finally running over the taillights. The hood is long and sloping, and creates an obtuse angle when it meets the windshield, and the back-end has wrap-around taillights. But other than that, it’s relatively simple-looking.
It’s not the features on the design that are different, it’s simply the shape itself. But, it works. It looks like something a higher-end automaker would produce, not something for around $17,000. But again, that relatively cheap price is high compared to the price of the other subcompact vehicles on this list. Therefore, it’s ranking at number five.
Still Many Others
There are still many other subcompact vehicles out there, and whether they are a hatchback or sedan shape, most of them suffer from awkward proportions that cause them to look like clown cars. There might be cheaper ones out there than the Rio, but none of them look as good. So if you don’t care about a weird looking car and are solely concerned with saving money, then grab a Spark or other strangely shaped subcompact sedan (or hatchback) for around $10,000-$12,000.
If you are looking for one that offers the best looks for the best price, however, then the 2016 Kia Rio is your vehicle of choice.