QOTD: The Best All-round Small Sedans in 2019?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd the best all round small sedans in 2019

As 2019 draws to a close, the future of the sedan has never looked dimmer. A number of sedans die with the current model year, with the majority of funerals happening at American brands. For now, let’s pick out some bright spots in our sedan offerings before the herd is thinned considerably in 2020.

Up first this week are the small sedans.

To gather the most complete list of offerings possible, I’m going to use U.S. News, which provides lists of new cars on the market by size. The following sedans fall in the subcompact, compact, or small categories. To keep things grounded in the practical, luxury marques are not on the list. The list contains only sedans with four doors and trunks.

Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Sonic

Chevrolet Spark

Ford Fiesta

Honda Civic

Honda Insight

Hyundai Accent

Hyundai Elantra

Kia Forte

Kia Rio

Mazda 3

Mitsubishi Mirage G4

Nissan Sentra

Nissan Versa

Subaru Impreza

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Yaris

Volkswagen Jetta

A full 19 competitors vying for the lower end of the sedan market. Today’s the day, dear reader, where you can provide useful advice to the car buyers of 2019 and beyond who are looking for a small sedan. Of this list, here’s my pick:

The Mazda 3 is a very good compact sedan. Available in front- and all-wheel drive, the sedan is a more useful format than its more rounded hatchback sibling (it’s also cheaper). Prices for the sedan range from $21,500 for the Base front-driver to $27,900 for the AWD version in Premium Package trim. I drove a loaded front-drive sedan early this year, then went back and tested the all-wheel drive hatch. The sedan with two driven wheels is the way to go with the 3. Even if you don’t spring for the Premium Package at $26,500 before extras, you’ll have a well-built, solid compact that’s fun to drive and won’t need much attention from your mechanic. And since Mazda’s chosen to avoid the styling flim-flam so common on the above list, the 3 will age well down the road.

What’s your pick for best all-round compact sedan in 2019?

[Images: VW Group, Corey Lewis]

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3 of 51 comments
  • Dal20402 Dal20402 on Dec 11, 2019

    What are you doing with it? If you're commuting through canyons, get a Civic Si. If you're an Uber driver, get an Insight. If you keep your car for 20 years, get a Corolla. If you want a luxury-like interior, get a Mazda3. If you want features for money so you can have fun pushing buttons, get an Elantra. If you have bad credit and getting a loan is difficult, get a Sentra or a Forte.

  • Monkeydelmagico Monkeydelmagico on Dec 11, 2019

    The newest Mazda 3 is a downgrade in every way that matters over the previous version. Unfortunate. I never thought I would prefer a Toyota Corolla but there it is.

  • Master Baiter "...but the driver must be ready to step in and take control. The system is authorized for use during the day but at speeds lower than 40 mph..."Translation: It's basically useless, and likely more stressful than piloting the car ones's self.
  • Alan My friend has a Toyota Kluger (made in 'murica). A Highlander. These things are based on a Camry platform. I have driven the Kluger we had at work and I find them quite boring even for a SUV. An appliance. I hope this will deliver some driving pleasure. I found the Camry a better boring vehicle.
  • Alan Most Lexii look good to reasonable.....................until you see the front ends with their awkward grilles. It actually would look normal on a GWM, LDV or any other Chinese vehicle.
  • Tassos These last months, every day seems to be another great, consequential piece of news for Tesla, who does not just DOMINATE, it OWNS the US and FREE WORLD BEV market.It is the ONLY (repeat ONLY) maker that builds its huge best sellers at a PROFIT, ie, SUSTAINABLY. FOrd EV is bleeding 3 billion in losses. GM hides theirs, and I bet they are even HIGHER. VW has spent a huge no of billions and its ID series has been an UTTER FAILURE.Toyota, already 12 years too late, is yet to try. I doubt they will succeed to dethrone TESLA.
  • Tassos Again: I never took VOlvo seriously in the last 20 or so years.Chinese Volvo-Geely has a dizzying number of models, I have lost count how many,YET its sales and market share in the US has always been DISMAL these last 20 years.It ranges from a pathetic 0.5% to 0.8% of the US market.For comparison, Toyota has 15% and GM has even more. Tesla has almost 10 TIMES VOlvo's share, with a PITTANCE of really TWO Models, the 3 and the Y, as the S and the X hardly sell any copies any more.So why do we keep reading articles about Stupid VOlvo?Because they have the best PR department of any maker.