's $16,000 Subcompact Shootout


Gas prices are high. Americans are downsizing, and automakers are meeting these needs with a slew of new subcompact cars. along with USA Today and MotorWeek chose six recently redesigned subcompacts — and one aging one — for our latest Shootout, and they all had to be priced under $16,000. That might sound like a lot of money, but these are some the most affordable new cars you can buy.

The vehicles in the Shootout are:

  • 2012 Chevrolet Sonic
  • 2012 Ford Fiesta
  • 2012 Honda Fit
  • 2012 Hyundai Accent
  • 2012 Kia Rio
  • 2012 Nissan Versa
  • 2012 Toyota Yaris

Check out the entire Shootout to find out not only which car won the test in surprising fashion, but also which car returned the best mileage and which had the best stereo and iPod integration, and meet the real-life couple who helped us make up our minds.

$16,000 Subcompact Shootout

By David Thomas | March 18, 2012 | Comments (13)



How long will it be before these cars are priced over $20,000? Yesterday I happened across a new Focus priced at $26,000. That's just over $7,000 more than I paid for my Elantra 11 months ago. Leather seats and a sunroof just ain't that expensive. Seems obvious the industry isn't interested in selling sub 20 grand vehicles.


Better cars cost more money. Subcompacts and compacts have more power, more technology and more safety features than ever before and the price reflects that.


or the value of the dollar is withering away to nothing.


"It's amazing what you get in the Sonic for just less than $16,000..."

Hm. My Mazda3 iTouring was purchased for $16K. With same mileage...

Pick Mazda3 again and again, anytime


Are you guys sure there is no USB connection inside the Sonic's glove box?


Several other auto magazines have done multicar subcompact tests lately, all with different results but generally with the Versa dead last and the Fit on top. You placed the Rio higher than anyone else though...


The difference is your price is street price while is using MSRP. All these cars will be discounted as well. If you use MSRP a Mazda3 i Touring is quite a bit more than these cars.

However, I would still buy the Mazda3 over any of these cars as well.


A USB input isn't available on the LS trim level we tested. It's optional on the more expensive LT, and standard on the LTZ.


Where was the Mazda2 for this test? I'd love to see where it would stack up + what the real world mileage would be.



I believe it is standard on the 1LT.

Would you mind clarify?

Also, the LS should be way under the 16K mark.


on LT only comes with the Connectivity Plus Cruise package!

The Mazda2 doesn't get 35 mpg highway, one of the requirements of the shootout.


Sorry guys, stopped reading article after seeing the criteria was for an automatic. Never, ever, ever! and I live in miami.
Bad slushbox, bad!

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