Best city cars

Last updated: Nov 10, 2014

City cars are designed with narrow streets, small parking spaces and heavy traffic in mind, and are the smallest type of car you can realistically own. That doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice comfort, quality or driving enjoyment to own one though, as our list below proves.

There's plenty of choice in the city car segment, and all tick the boxes for low running costs, a comfortable ride and practical interiors. Some are, inevitably, better than others and all the choice can be confusing – read on for a clearer picture of the best city cars currently on the market with our comprehensive top 10.

Hyundai i10 hatchback

The new Hyundai i10 won Carbuyer Car of the Year for 2014, collecting the Best City Car award in the process, so naturally it tops our best city cars list. The 1.0-litre BlueDrive model returns 65.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 98g/km, making the car cheap to run and eligible for tax exemption. The interior is spacious and the boot is one of the biggest in class, plus the car is surprisingly good to drive. We think the i10 is one of the best-looking city cars too, and with a five-year warranty there should be little for owners to worry about. Read more.

Key points

5 / 5
Price 
£8,595 - £11,465

Skoda Citigo hatchback

The Skoda Citigo is only narrowly beaten into second place by the i10, as it is a very appealing alternative to the South Korean car. The GreenTech versions offer rock-bottom running costs, delivering 68.9mpg and emissions of 95g/km of CO2. The boot is a decent size, and the car is another example of Skoda’s excellent build quality and reliability. The interior is impressive and the Citigo is another city car that is plenty of fun to drive. Read more.

Key points

4.9 / 5
Price 
£8,210 - £11,045

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 
£8,195 - £11,345

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 
£8,765 - £13,465

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 
£9,095 - £13,795

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

4.2 / 5
Price 
£8,145 - £12,595

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 
£8,245 - £12,085

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

3.3 / 5
Price 
£8,345 - £12,495

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 
£8,595 - £12,395

Toyota iQ city car

If the Toyota iQ was slightly cheaper to buy, it’d be up there with the best in class, including the Skoda Citigo and VW up!. However, its prohibitive list price and cramped interior mean it slips to the bottom of this list. It feels like a higher quality product than the Aygo, and it gets the same five-year warranty. But the bouncy ride and compromised interior space, mean you’ll need a good reason to pick it over its more rounded brother. Read more.

Key points

3.2 / 5
Price 
£11,100 - £14,100

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