Owning a car while living in the city sure is a totally unique experience, and can be alien those who move to them. Even more so, to people who have previously owned a car, but found it was too large or emitted too many emissions for them to use in the city, so they sold it.
Using public transport is fine and dandy, and most of the time makes perfect sense. However, no one should ever be without total freedom, and that can only come from owning a car. But since you want something that isn’t going to force you to be tied at the hip with it, you could always look for options that aren’t permanent.
The question really is, what kind of car should you be aiming for, since living in the city, demands something that is snippy and sharp. The subcompact car category was solely made for this situation, as not even hatchbacks are going to do you justice in busy cities these days.
Fitting in the fit
Many manufacturers who are known for their ability to make some of the world’s best hatchbacks, looked at the need for city slickers to move about at their own whim but realised something. Why not, make their famous hatchbacks, just that little bit smaller? For Honda, the Fit was the product of basically slimming down the Civic, and now it’s one of the best cars for whizzing around town in. With a 1.3-litre engine, it can achieve a staggering 50-mpg in the city and around 65-mpg on the highway. It’s got four doors so no family will ever feel like they can only get in the back seats one at a time. It’s normal for Japanese subcompacts to be smaller than their Western rivals, but if you have a growing family, it’s great for young children.
Can you really go wrong with the Germans?
More than likely not and in fact you’re bound to get some of the best automotive engineering standards of the modern market. Audi did the same with their subcompact whereby it takes direct inspiration from the A3 which is essentially the platform they used to make their subcompact. So, if you’re looking for a smooth riding, and accurate handling city car, why not the Audi A1 ? It boasts a great selection of 1.0, 1.4 and 1.6-litre engines. You can have the car for around £200 a month, which is a pretty sweet deal for one of the latest models in the Audi range. Choose from a sporty 2-door or a more family-orientated 4-door.
Good old reliable
You cannot think of getting a city car, without leaning over to see what Ford have in store. The Fiesta was the original city car and did it best before all the other brands even got started. It’s a small version of the focus and yet has its own unique personality. Like the others, you can get this car in a 2-door or 4-door variation. The ride comfort is one of the best on the market, which makes it great to absorb the potholes you see in larger cities. It’s also quite stable, despite it having one of the more shorter wheelbases, even for a subcompact. It’s entry-level 1.1-litre engine now has a 6-speed manual gearbox, designed for short and sharp acceleration.
Whichever subcompact you’re after, all of these are top of the pile, because they have taken inspiration from their bigger hatchback brothers. If you want stability and comfort, go for the Fiesta, but if your only concern is fuel economy, the Fit is the only one for you. If you want the best of both worlds, with a slightly better finish, the Audi A1 would satisfy your needs.