Historically, compact cars have been a popular option, especially in large cities. With gasoline prices on the rise, even Americans who love SUVs and trucks are looking to downsize to smaller, more fuel-efficient cars to save money at the pump. Are you considering a new compact car? If so, here are JD Power’s five best compact and small cars of 2022 to help you narrow your search.
The Nissan Sentra takes JD Power’s top spot among the small cars of 2022. This compact sedan strikes a perfect balance between the efficiency of a fuel-efficient car and the amenities of a luxury car, distinguishing it from rivals in its class.
The 2022 Sentra delivers plenty of power, with a 149 hp four-cylinder engine paired with a continuously variable transmission. It’s also perfect for commuters, with an EPA-estimated 29 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway.
In addition, the Sentra 2022 offers numerous advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). They include automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning and rear intersection warning.
Other benefits include hands-free audio, Apple CarPlay integration, Android Auto connectivity and comfortable, supportive seats.
Thanks to all of the above, the 2022 Nissan Sentra takes the top spot JD Power’s list.
Second in JD Power’s top five is the Honda Civic. A staple of the compact car market for decades, the Civic saw a fairly drastic redesign for the 2022 model year, bringing this little car more in line with the design language found in the rest of Honda’s lineup.
The 2022 Civic offers an impressive 33 mpg in the city and 42 mpg on the highway, making it one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles with an internal combustion engine (ICE) on the market.
It offers two engine options, a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower and an upgraded 1.5-liter four-cylinder with 180 horsepower.
Every 2022 Honda Civic is also equipped with numerous ADAS features. They include automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
The Civic’s fresh redesign keeps it at the top of its class.
The 2022 Kia Forte enters this list as the most economical option. This compact car starts at just $19,090 and offers quality and efficiency at a price of less than $20,000.
The Forte offers a quality ride, solid visual appeal and good fuel economy of up to 31 mpg in the city and 41 mpg on the highway.
In addition, the Kia Forte comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and the top GT trim adds a 10.3-inch display.
As for safety features, the 2022 model comes standard with collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and adaptive cruise control.
Kia has improved the Forte with every model year and this little car is better than ever for 2022.
The Toyota Corolla has been a formidable competitor among small cars from the start. And for the 2022 model year, this compact sedan is again at the top of its class.
When it comes to efficiency, the Corolla squeezes every fuel consumption out of its gas and hybrid powertrain options. The ICE version is estimated to get 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway, and the hybrid gets 53 mpg city/52 mpg highway.
The Corolla has a five-star safety rating from the NHTSA and includes a long list of standard ADAS features through Toyota Safety Sense 2.0. The suite offers a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, dynamic radar cruise control, automatic high beam that dims when the system detects other vehicles, Lane Departure Alert with Steering Assist, Road Sign Assist and Lane-Tracing Assist.
All these features and an available hybrid powertrain allow the Corolla to maintain its position near the top of its class.
The Hyundai Elantra brings a unique experience to the compact car class, thanks to dynamic styling cues typical of performance models.
This compact car hits an impressive 33 mpg in the city and 70 mph on the highway thanks to its 147 hp four-cylinder engine. A 201 hp turbocharged four-cylinder is also available. But the Hyundai Elantra hybrid has the best fuel economy: 53 mpg city/56 mpg highway.
Drivers rave about the interior of the 2022 Hyundai Elantra. Customers report a satisfying engine rumble and an air-conditioning system that keeps the cab comfortable all day long.
Overall, each of these five cars makes for a fuel-efficient ride. Whether you want a sporty sedan or a comfortable cruiser, the best compact cars offer something for everyone.
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