Best city cars

Last updated: May 24, 2016

Intended for nipping around tight streets, into tiny spaces and through rush hour traffic, city cars are about the smallest type of car you can practically own. Despite their size, they can still provide comfort, impressive interior quality and driving fun – the cars on our list below are a testament to that.

If you’re looking for a city car, you’re spoilt for choice. There are plenty of very competent cars to choose from, most of which are cheap to run, comfortable and practical. Naturally some are more accomplished than others; we’ve compiled a comprehensive top 10 to help you select from the best city cars currently available to buy.

Hyundai i10 hatchback

The Hyundai i10 has long been a favourite here at Carbuyer, winning several awards over the years including Carbuyer Car of the Year for 2014, so it’s no shock that it’s our first place car in this list. The 1.0-litre petrol BlueDrive model claims official economy figures of 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 98g/km, so it costs nothing to tax. Given the car’s size, the interior is impressively spacious and the boot is one of largest in the class. Not only is the i10 practical but it’s also good fun to drive and pretty smart to look at in our opinion. Hyundai gives an excellent five-year warranty with all of its new cars, so the i10 comes with plenty of peace of mind too. Read more.

Key points

4.9 / 5
Price 
£8,995 - £13,045

Skoda Citigo hatchback

It’s very tight at the top, with the Skoda Citigo only just losing out to the Hyundai i10 for first place in our list of the top ten city cars. GreenTech versions return great economy, with official figures of 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 95g/km meaning no VED (road tax) to pay. The Skoda feels very well built and the Citigo should prove very reliable if you decide to buy one. With an impressive interior and fun driving characteristics, the Citigo is one of the very best city cars on the market. Read more.

Key points

4.9 / 5
Price 
£8,275 - £11,120

SEAT Mii hatchback

The Seat Mii belongs to a trio of city cars produced by the Volkswagen Group, which also includes the Skoda Citigo and Volkswagen up! The Mii is the one with the sportiest styling and is available with a 1.0-litre petrol engine with 59bhp or 74bhp. It’s nippy around town, has a deceptively spacious interior and is cheaper than many of its rivals, so is definitely worth considering. Ecomotive models can even match the excellent economy figures of the Citigo. Read more.

Key points

4.8 / 5
Price 
£8,440 - £11,995

Volkswagen up! hatchback

The Volkswagen up! has a more premium image than the Citigo and the Mii and it’s arguably the most stylish of the three cars too. The car features some quality parts brought from the Volkswagen Golf and the car feels responsive and lively to drive. Running costs are low and the car is reliable, as well as comfortable and roomy inside. Read more.

Key points

4.7 / 5
Price 
£8,975 - £13,725

Renault Twingo hatchback

With its engine in the boot, the Renault Twingo provides a new twist on four-door city cars. The engine's position means the Twingo has a small turning circle, and its boxy styling means it's easy to park and squeeze through traffic. There's plenty of scope for customisation, with stickers and different coloured interior trims all on the options list. A 1.0-litre engine is available, but it's smaller yet more powerful 0.9-litre engine that we prefer. Sadly it's only available on the most expensive trim, but if you're planning on taking your Twingo out of the city, it's well worth considering. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£9,495 - £13,445

Fiat Panda hatchback

The Fiat Panda offers something a little different to city car buyers, as it feels taller and more upright than the other cars on our list. It has large windows for good visibility and an airy cabin that has lots of useful storage spaces. The TwinAir petrol model is capable of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions low enough that mean you don’t pay road tax. The car comes with a city steering function that optimises the steering for tight maneuvering. Read more.

Key points

4.2 / 5
Price 
£9,510 - £15,110

Kia Picanto hatchback

The seven-year/100,000 mile warranty that comes with the Picanto will be enough on its own to tempt some buyers but the car is worth a look for other reasons too, not least because of a generously equipped cabin, and the upmarket feel and look of the car. The car is comfortable and refined, as well as cheap to run. Read more.

Key points

3.7 / 5
Price 
£8,345 - £12,795

Citroen C1 hatchback

The Citroen C1 is ideally suited to life in town thanks to its economical engines and small dimensions. As with the old Citroen C1, it shares parts with the Peugeot 108 and Toyota Aygo, meaning it is essentially the same car. Buyers can pick from two engines that return fuel economy of between 65.7 and 74.3mpg. All models are also free from paying road tax. Buyers can choose to fit a rollback fabric roof and there is also a range of personalisable options to choose from. Read more.

Key points

3.3 / 5
Price 
£8,495 - £12,550

Peugeot 108 hatchback

Choosing between the Peugeot 108, Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo could well come down to personal preference, although it is worth scouring the internet for any deals on offer. As with the Citroen and the Toyota, the Peugeot lags behind the Volkswagen up! for motorway refinement, but it’s an excellent city car thanks to its cheap running costs and small size. The Peugeot shares its cool dashboard design with the rest of the trio and can also be had with three or five doors. Read more.

Key points

3.4 / 5
Price 
£8,495 - £12,910

Toyota Aygo city car

The Toyota Aygo shares parts with the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108, but of the three models it is the Toyota that has the most striking looks. That comes thanks to its X-style design at the front. The Toyota can be fitted with the same equipment as the Citroen and the Peugeot, so you can fit options such as sat-nav, a rollback fabric roof, and even a leather interior. Running costs are just as affordable as in the Peugeot and Citroen, but the Toyotas’ five-year/100,000-mile warranty betters the three-year cover offered by the other two. Read more.

Key points

3.2 / 5
Price 
£8,945 - £14,570