• Let's face it, small cars are economical. They use less fuel and are less expensive to own when compared to SUVs. Nowadays, it just smart to own a small car. We've compiled a list of 10 hot small cars on the market today in terms of size, overall value for money, fun, and their effectiveness in an urban setting. Who says small cars don't have big hearts?
  • VW Rabbit: It seems fitting to start with the model that perhaps defined the small car -- for better or worse -- with its Mk 1 incarnation back in 1974. The much more successful 2006 model release boasts svelte dynamics with urban appeal, a 165ÔøΩ footprint and a fun driving experience alongside gas consumption of 22 and 29 mpg city and highway. Those wanting a little more power can opt for the dropped-grille GTi, which boasts a rich exhaust note and performance like few others in its class.
  • Ford Focus: Restyled inside and out for 2008, Ford's utilitarian compact looks to ape the success of its high-selling European brethren. Steering is light but its road-feel is assured, giving the impression you're driving a bigger car than its 175-inch length -- both sedan and coupe -- suggests. Some will love the wraparound grille and headlights and chunky rear styline, while others won't find them to their tastes. The base model has some kick to its acceleration, but it'll still get you 24 to 35 mpg city and highway, respectively.
  • Chevrolet Aveo: Can you argue with the cheapest new car on the market today? Fit and finish is surprisingly high quality here for an MSRP that will attract first-time buyers and, as a result of its 24 to 34 mpg, the environmentally conscious. It's peppy around the city and its five-door hatch and subcompact sedan variants come in at 153" and 170", respectively, to help you out in those tight parking spaces.
  • Kia Rio: It won't win many prizes for style but Kia's subcompact sedan also won't contribute much to a city's smoggy air -- it comes with a combined fuel consumption of 35 mpg. It's roomy inside for its 167" length and comes with one of the best warranties in the business (it's good for 100,000 miles). For buyers looking for a little more, the SX variant kicks its performance and styling up a notch.
  • MINI Cooper: Just how much fun can you have in a micro-mini? Mini's BMW-tuned suspension and road feel are a great example of how replicating the past can also give a nod to the future. Its 34-40 mpg is forward-looking, too, both in terms of technology and planetary awareness, and its spacious cabin belies its 143" length. And if the base just isn't enough fun for you, there's always the Cooper S or convertible models to pick up any slack.
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