Compact cars are meant to be small, fuel efficient, generally boring to drive and get you from point A to point B without too much hassle. We’d say that in terms of what the public needs right now, first and foremost would be compact SUVs designed to get through your family, and right below that would be those so-called compact cars.
With such demand, automakers are sure to seize the opportunity to evolve these little city cars into ridiculously fast little racers, and they did. They’re usually called hot hatches, and a good example would be something like the Toyota GR Corolla. Some brands like Hyundai have even extended their expertise to subcompact SUVs, as with the Kona N.
Despite that, we’re not here to talk about hot hatches today, we’re here to talk about some compact cars that cost way more than they should. Whether you’re looking to buy a reliable small commuter car, or maybe even your first, look away when shortlisting your options…unless you’re okay with paying too much.
ten Mercedes-Benz A-Class ($35,000)
Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with the world of luxury and flamboyance, but their entry-level car, the A-Class, doesn’t quite live up to all of those attributes. In 2022, a new A220 costs $35,000 on point, and in return you’ll get a 2.0-liter turbo-four that makes 188 hp and 221 lb-ft of torque, a swanky exterior, and what appears to be a interior worthy of the three-pointed star.
But upon closer inspection, you’ll realize that all is not as it seems. As standard, you only get the 8-inch infotainment system, a cabin filled with squeaks and rattles, and a trunk with just 9 cubic feet of space. For $35,000, we think you’re better off saving your money or buying another cooler car instead, for less money.
9 Mini Cooper ($23,400)
It used to be that minis were fun, affordable little sedans that fit anyone’s driving style, and thanks to the vast customization options, they can fit anyone’s personality too. Again, the Cooper is by no means a bad car, it’s actually exceptionally exciting to drive, especially if you get behind the wheel of a JCW, but in terms of value the Mini is a daytime steal.
For just over $23,000, the base Hardtop model comes with a disappointing 134-hp 1.5-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine, a rather impressive 8.8-inch touchscreen, but lacks any form of navigation. , and only Apple CarPlay is available – albeit an extra one. In terms of styling, the Cooper is cute, yet sophisticated, but its lack of power, lack of features and high price tag are too limiting for an average buyer.
8 Electric Mini Cooper ($29,900)
Now hold your horses, no, the Electric Cooper isn’t the same as the base model Cooper – it’s faster, looks cooler and, of course, has an electric motor and some features you would have paid for as a standard extra.
Let’s talk about the motor first: For about $5,000 more than the gas-powered Cooper base model, you get a 181 hp, 199 lb-ft of torque electric motor that will get you from 0-60 in just 6 .1 seconds. So where is the downfall? You see, this little electric car can go as far as a professional cyclist in a day’s sleep…110 miles. At least the battery can be charged to 80% in as little as 45 minutes with the right fast charger, but it still screams range anxiety.
seven BMW i3 ($44,450)
Look at this. Look at the. Fortunately, the BMW i3 will be discontinued in 2023 because we can’t stand it anymore, especially when its design is compared to other Bavarian-built electric vehicles… oh wait, scratch that. On the face of it, you can’t buy a brand new i3 in the US anymore, but elsewhere they’re still on sale, and the used market is rife with these ugly little robots.
The i3 is powered by a 170 horsepower electric motor that takes it from standstill to 60 mph in just 6.6 seconds, but just like the Mini, its range is laughable. On a single charge, the BMW i3 can simply travel 153 miles. That being said, there are trim levels that offer longer range coupled with gas engines, but of course that’s only going to happen if you tip the dealership at least $4,000.
6 Audi A1 ($33,200)
To finish our green German cars on the list, we have the Audi A1. It might be slightly cheaper than the aforementioned Class A, but in some cases it’s not as quick on its feet. The base model of the 2022 A1 is powered by a tiny 1.0-liter turbo-three engine that only puts out about 90 hp, and since the A1 weighs nearly 2,500 pounds, it can’t go from 0 to 60 mph only after 10 and a half seconds. .
So it’s not fast, but at least it offers more luxury, right? Well, yes and no. Audis are generally very well built and feature high-end technology, but this one still has some cheap plastics used in its cabin. So, due to its sluggish acceleration and small inconvenience inside, we can’t justify that $33,200 price tag.
5 Buick Encore ($25,795)
Yes, that’s right, Buick is still making cars in 2022. That being said, they’re all SUVs at the moment. The Encore is Buick’s attempt at creating a crossover, and for the most part, it’s not a bad one. For a droplet under $26,000, you get a 153-hp turbocharged inline-four engine, and overall that’s not bad either. So what’s the problem ?
Well, it all comes down to the lack of safety features… Lots of options like lane departure warning, forward collision warning, as well as blind spot monitoring are standard on much cheaper alternatives at the Encore, like the cheaper, faster, and better-looking Mazda CX-30, but Buick didn’t include a single one we just mentioned in its base model.
4 Ford EcoSport ($23,335)
Ford excelled at creating small, fuel-efficient vehicles, take a look at the Ford Fiesta ST for example, but one model they royally screwed up was the EcoSport. We don’t know if the EcoSport was rushed into production, but in many ways it’s just a bad car.
For example, its cabin is cramped and can barely fit four people to get groceries, and its majority is covered in cheap rubbers and plastics, unlike other models. But worst of all, the standard EcoSport doesn’t come with Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, its only way to connect your phone to the base infotainment display is via good old-fashioned Bluetooth. .
3 Mitsubishi Mirage ($16,125)
At just over $16,000, the Mirage is the cheapest car on our list and is actually the second cheapest new car you can buy. So why do we say it’s too expensive, you might ask? Let’s talk about the positives first, it has a 10-year powertrain warranty, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, and… well, that’s it. Other than that, these are just weak points.
The Mirage is a recycler’s dream with scratched-up plastics everywhere you look, and thin, uncomfortable cloth seats too, under its hood is a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine that produces conservative torque. 78 hp and 74 lb-ft. In summary, the Mirage needs almost 11 seconds to hit 100 km/h, and on your long journey you’ll hear a fearless engine squealing like a toddler, while clutching a rubber steering wheel.
2 Toyota CH-R ($25,345)
When you look at the Toyota CH-R, there’s no denying that it’s an attractive car, especially with its sharp body lines, but in the real world, it’s all for aesthetic purposes since the CH-R needs more 11 seconds to reach 60 mph when moving from a stop. Not only is it slow and expensive, but Toyota has also seriously neglected its interior.
With far from enough headroom for kids over 10, the CH-R can’t be considered a compact SUV suitable for a family, nor a good value for money because for $25,000 , there are much better options out there whether it be a family hauler or a straight line speedster.
1 Nissan Leaf ($28,425)
For less than $30,000, the Nissan Leaf might seem like a tempting buy, especially considering how its price compares to rivals like the Toyota Prius, but a deal that sounds too good to be true is. usually. The Leaf has a 147 horsepower electric motor that powers the front wheels but can only go 149 miles on a single charge, almost as weak as the Mini Electric.
If we had to give sound advice, we’d recommend buying the Prius instead; it’s cheaper, has a longer range, and comes with more standard features. This is the first and probably the last time we will recommend the purchase of a Toyota Prius.
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