City cars are perfect for the Philippines’ small roads and hellish traffic. For one thing, their tiny dimensions and tight turning circles make navigation easy and parking in cramped spaces a cinch. For another, their peppy engines offer economical fuel consumption, which is practically a necessity in a more environment-conscious world. If you are looking for a small car that’s capable of getting you to work and around town, here are your top 10 choices.
The Chevrolet Sonic bundles agility, economy and efficiency in one handsome package. The 1.4- liter turbo is especially lithe, and you can’t go wrong regardless if you select the manual or automatic version. A top contender in the looks category, buyers will be delighted to know that the Sonic has the gadgetry and equipment to match.
The Ford marque is widely known for cars that look good and handle well, with a copious helping of standard features. Even as an entry-level Ford, the Fiesta doesn’t disappoint on these three fronts. The power plant pairing of a 110-hp 1.5-liter engine and five-speed manual transmission ensures a genuinely fun-to-drive hatchback, and thanks to its healthy mix of manageable dimensions, smart looks, and low operational costs, the Fiesta is easily one of the leaders of its class.
Honda decided to put the Jazz’s fuel tank under the front seats, and this helps make the Jazz immaculately spacious. Match the almost-unbelievable spaciousness with up-to-date gadgetry and you get a car that’s not ashamed to flaunt its sleek sensibilities. Granted, acceleration drags a bit and the suspension feels jittery at times, but if you plan to own the Jazz for a long time, the car’s strong resale value and impressive reliability offers a strong buying incentive.
In the past, owning a city car was often synonymous with putting up with a crude noisy vehicle. If you still believe this to be the case today, let the Hyundai EON put your worries to rest. With the EON’s current generation, the Korean brand focused on refinement and space, ending up with a contemporary, spacious, and good value compact hatch. Unlike the Hyundai Accent, the EON is only available in hatchback form, explicitly showing its focus on usability. But with the solid build and use of decent interior materials, it looks and feels more upmarket than ever.
Seven years on, the 2nd gen Kia Picanto’s stylish design manages to remain relevant. Though interior space is far from class-leading, the roominess inside is pretty decent. The soft suspension guarantees a comfortable ride, whether with passenger or without. That said, the Picanto has a number of caveats, starting with the off-kilter clutch and slow acceleration. The Picanto may continue to look good, but it’s in dire need of an update if it wants to keep up in the competitive class of today’s city cars.
Despite the shortcomings, the Picanto has its build quality going for it. And with Kia’s 5-year warranty, you get the peace of mind knowing you have coverage for longer than most other cars on the road.
Mazda’s SkyActiv technology certainly put the car brand at the forefront of Asia’s automotive market. Inside, the Mazda offers what is arguably the best interior in this list—everything feels refined to the touch, from the soft leather to the high-quality plastics to the floating 7-inch MZD Connect touchscreen display. Features are well-thought out and intuitive. For instance, safety-conscious will enjoy the fact that the touchscreen only works when the gear is positioned in P with the handbrake is engaged. This way, drivers won’t feel tempted to take their eyes off the road.
Calling the Mitsubishi Mirage an entry-level car feels like a mistake. It’s the complete package, what with the superb engine and stellar features on offer. And the safety equipment creates a whole other category altogether, as it is the only one in its segment to come with ISOFIX seats and three-point seatbelts for the rear passenger in the middle.
The Suzuki Ciaz may be low on the fun-to-drive and plush interior categories, but overall, it’s well-equipped little car that’s got it all figured out. It makes a serious case for best fuel efficiency (20.7 km/L combined fuel consumption), and it’s spacious too. With enough room for five average-sized adults, an enormous boot, and a relatable price, the Suzuki Ciaz deserves to be on your shortlist. Simply put, very few cars out there offer so much for so little, which is ultimately what value is all about.
Given the Toyota branding, the Wigo is immediately a popular car, selling in huge numbers since the first day it was sold. After winning the Best Micro Car of the Year by the Car Awards Group Inc. (CAGI) in 2015 a year after its release, the Wigo went on to become a top four bestseller in 2016.
The Toyota Wigo’s conservative leanings belie the contemporary quality of its sharp creases and eye-catching angles. Still in its first generation, there’s not a whole lot that’s new in terms of the little car’s driving competences. While the mini Toyota has a fairly noticeable body roll and notched shifting, a supple ride and capable engine is enough to make it all worthwhile.
For some, the VW badge is enough reason to purchase the Polo, and with the brand’s pedigree, who are we to argue? Like its siblings, the Polo’s driving prowess leave anybody else in its class in the dust—the chassis is just that good. Capable of handling all but the deepest potholes, owners are in for a comfortable cruise whenever they’re in this city driver. And thanks to a clean and streamlined design, sitting anywhere inside the Polo is always a joy.