1. KIA FORTE
What makes the Kia Forte so great is both the affordability and the 10-year powertrain warranty. The warranty makes life much easier, as you won’t be shelling out as much money to repair it when there are problems. The slick styling and spacious interior certainly sweeten the pot.
The 148 horsepower engine and standard six-speed transmission give the Forte a reasonable amount of zip, so you won’t have to worry when passing or lane changing. The gas mileage is good, with an estimated 24 city and 36 highway mpg. The interior looks very upscale, with imitation carbon fiber trim and an easy to use infotainment system. When looking for a sturdy, daily driver, to get you around the city, the Kia Forte hits the mark with style.
2. VOLKSWAGEN GTI
The Volkswagen GTI is one the most popular cars produced by Volkswagen. With a turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood, the GTI delivers ample acceleration and power for drivers looking for a quick ride. The optional six-speed automatic shifts quickly and smoothly. The suspension is fine tuned and allows the GTI to handle sharp turns with ease. The GTI has sharp steering and athletic handling, making the vehicle a joy to drive. The interior of the GTI is well constructed with premium materials. Comfortable seats and ample legroom are positive features as well. Other features available for the GTI include a sunroof, proximity key, push-button start, a rearview camera, rain-sensing windshield wipers, a Fender audio system, navigation, forward collision warning, and rear parking sensors. All these features make it an awesome daily driver. Whether you’re cruising around town, or stuck in traffic, the GTI will satisfy all your needs.
3. FORD C-MAX ENERGI
Based on the critically praised Focus, the Ford C-Max Energi is a fun to drive alternative to typically boring hybrids. The Energi is the plug-in version, which ups the battery capacity to extend the electric only range (which is a must if you are in a large city and are prone to long stints in traffic). Steering is firm and responsive, and the suspension is well built, giving very little body roll when cornering. The 4 cylinder engine is coupled with a pair of electric motors to provide decent acceleration. The gas mileage is an estimated 44 mpg combined average, which means far less time refueling and more time driving where you need to go. The spacious interior provides exceptional comfort and legroom for all passengers, so carpooling is a definite option.
4. FIAT 500
The Fiat 500 is at home tooling around a city; built for the congested stop and go traffic found in large cities. Being such a small car, the Fiat 500 suffers from a lack of room. Limited headspace and legroom, and short firm seats cause discomfort for taller drivers. The base model Fiat 500 gets good gas mileage, 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway. The Fiat 500 does handle well, and has a responsive, quick engine, but steep hills and sudden acceleration will tax the vehicle. The suspension is well built, offering little to no body roll when cornering. Road imperfections are dampened nicely by the shock absorbers, giving a comfortable ride. The Fiat 500 is a decent vehicle, but taller drivers should look elsewhere.
5. MAZDA MAZDA3
The Madza3 is an economical, fuel efficient car that is fun to drive. With a standard 4 cylinder engine producing 155 horsepower, the Madza3 has a decent amount of pep when it’s needed. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional. The Madza3 gets 26 mpg when city driving, and 35 mpg when on the highway. The suspension dampens bumps and potholes like a champ, and there is little to no body roll when cornering. The interior lacks any frills with the base model, but retains an upscale look. The seats are comfortable, with plenty of leg room for passengers, making long stints in traffic tolerable. The Madza3 has a number of optional add ons for both the interior and exterior, allowing you to customize your car to suit your tastes.
6. MITSUBISHI MIRAGE
The Mitsubishi Mirage is perfect if city driving is all you intend to use it for. The Mirage’s 1.2 liter 3-cylinder engine only puts out 74 horsepower, making it difficult if you need to pass, drive uphill, or do a lot of highway driving. These issues are much less noticeable in the congested traffic usually found in the city. The Mirage has no issues navigating crowded city streets due to its diminutive size. The power steering has a numb area in the center, allowing to car to wander if the driver doesn’t stay alert. The suspension suffers from severe body roll on sharp turns or aggressive lane changes. The Mitsubishi Mirage does get great gas mileage, with 37 mpg city and 44 mpg highway, due to the continuously variable transmission. When driving in large, congested cities, the Mirage shines. The small size and excellent gas mileage make life easy when dealing with traffic or parking in tight spots.
7. HYUNDAI VELOSTER TURBO
The Veloster R-Spec is Hyundai’s sport tuned version of the popular and economical Veloster. The six speed manual transmission is equipped with a short-throw shift kit, making shifting fun and adds to the performance of the vehicle.The Veloster gets respectable gas mileage, with 25 city and 38 highway mpg, so you won’t be losing money at the pump. The suspension is fine tuned at the factory for greater handling and performance, allowing the Veloster R-Spec to be driven more aggressively, while still giving you a smooth comfortable ride. With the suspension upgrades there is very little body roll when making hard turns. The engine is a 1.6 liter 4-cylinder equipped with a turbocharger, making 201 horsepower. The Veloster R-Spec runs zero to sixty in 7.7 seconds.
8. SMART FORTWO
The Smart Fortwo is the ultimate city car. With an 8.8 foot length and a 22.8 foot curb to curb turning circle, the Smart Fortwo can perform feats no other car can. It can make such accurate, sharp turns, you could probably make a U-turn in your driveway. The little 89 horsepower, 3 cylinder engine produces a decent amount of speed as well, making it fun to drive even on the open road. The suspension and steering are well tuned, with only a little bit of understeer around corners. One issue to note is the brake system. The pedal is a bit spongy and prone to brake fade. This only happens under extended heavy braking though, something you don’t often see in the city. All in all, the Smart Fortwo is a smart choice for big city driving.
9. MINI COOPER 4-DOOR
The Mini Cooper S features a 189-hp, 2.0-liter turbo four cylinder with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic that provides enough zip to make any driver happy. Able to go from zero to sixty in 6.2 seconds, the Mini Cooper S is no slouch, and the small size allows for nimble handling. The suspension is fine tuned, allowing the Mini Cooper S to navigate corners with ease, all the while giving a smooth ride one would expect. Body roll is non-existent when making hard turns. Of the two available transmissions, the six-speed automatic is a little bit quicker. When using the paddles to shift the Mini Cooper utilizes sport shift mapping, which in some tests shaved off two tenths from the zero to sixty time, bringing it to an even 6 seconds. The small size of the Mini Cooper make it great for the big city, getting into tight spaces with ease, and then racing out of them when it’s time to go.
10. FORD FOCUS
The Ford Focus has been praised by critics for years, and for good reason. The sleek exterior, functional interior, and plethora of available options make the Focus a very smart choice for any driver. The Focus comes with a 160 horsepower 2.0 liter 4 cylinder engine, and a five-speed manual transmission. You can upgrade to the six-speed dual clutch automatic, and it is recommended if you plan to do a lot of city driving; no one wants to constantly shift up and down in traffic. The gas mileage of the Focus is good, getting 26 city and 36 highway mpg. The interior is spacious and well designed, with a sense of luxury instead of the cheap plastic look found in many vehicles. Whether you plan to do a lot of city driving, or travel on a cross country road trip, the Ford Focus will meet all your needs.