11 Best Compact Cars in Canada 2024

11 Best Compact Cars in Canada 2024

In the search for the perfect blend of efficiency, affordability, and style, compact cars have risen as a prominent choice among Canadian drivers. These vehicles, known for their smaller footprint, have not only made driving through city streets and tight parking spaces easier but have also offered an appealing proposition for those mindful of fuel consumption and environmental impact.

With a market that's as diverse as it is competitive, selecting the best compact car for your needs can be a daunting task. This article aims to simplify that decision-making process by providing a comprehensive overview of the best compact cars available in Canada today.

Rank Model Base Price Fuel Efficiency (L/100km)
1 Honda Civic $23,000 7.0 City / 5.7 Hwy
2 Toyota Corolla $21,500 7.5 City / 5.6 Hwy
3 Hyundai Elantra $21,000 7.8 City / 5.6 Hwy
4 Mazda 3 $22,000 8.4 City / 6.6 Hwy
5 Volkswagen Golf $24,000 7.2 City / 5.9 Hwy
6 Kia Forte $20,500 7.9 City / 5.9 Hwy
7 Subaru Impreza $23,500 8.3 City / 6.4 Hwy
8 Nissan Sentra $21,300 8.0 City / 6.0 Hwy
9 Chevrolet Cruze $22,800 7.8 City / 5.9 Hwy
10 Fiat 500 $25,000 6.7 City / 5.5 Hwy
11 Ford Focus $23,000 7.9 City / 5.9 Hwy

Pros of Buying Compact Cars

  1. Fuel Efficiency: Compact cars and subcompact SUVs are often more fuel-efficient than their larger counterparts, which means lower fuel costs and a smaller carbon footprint.
  2. Affordability: Generally, compact cars are less expensive to buy and insure, making them a great choice for budget-conscious buyers.
  3. Maneuverability: With their smaller size, compact cars offer superior maneuverability and ease of parking, especially in tight urban environments.
  4. Lower Depreciation: Compact cars tend to hold their value better than luxury or sports cars, making them a wise investment in the long run.

Cons of Buying Compact Cars

  1. Space Limitations: Compact cars offer less passenger and cargo space, which can be a drawback for families or those who frequently carry large items.
  2. Performance: While there are exceptions, compact cars typically have less powerful engines than larger vehicles, which can affect acceleration and overall performance.
  3. Features: Some compact cars may not offer the same level of features and amenities as larger models, although this gap has been closing in recent years.
  4. Perceived Safety: Despite advancements in safety technology, there's a common perception that smaller cars are less safe than larger vehicles, though many compact cars are rated highly for safety.

11 Best Compact Cars in Canada

1. Honda Civic

Honda Civic

Honda Civic is most popular among compact car buyers, due to its reliability, sporty handling, and, fuel efficiency. It offers a comfortable interior and comes with a variety of engine options to suit different driving preferences.

Key Features: The Civic is known for its spacious cabin and trunk, advanced safety features, and intuitive infotainment system. It also gives an enjoyable and smooth driving experience.

USP: Exceptional reliability scores and resale value, combined with Honda's commitment to safety and comfort, make the Civic a top pick.

Also Read: 11 Best Selling Cars in Canada

2. Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

The Toyota Corolla is another strong contender, prized for its durability, low running costs, and comprehensive suite of standard safety tech. It's available in sedan and hatchback versions to cater to various tastes and needs.

Key Features: It boasts impressive fuel efficiency, a comfortable ride, and a user-friendly infotainment system. Toyota Safety Sense, a suite of advanced driver-assistance features, comes standard.

USP: Its reputation for reliability, along with a well-rounded feature set at an affordable price point, makes the Corolla a wise choice for buyers looking for longevity and value.

3. Hyundai Elantra

Hyundai Elantra

The Hyundai Elantra impresses with its bold design, spacious interior, and value proposition. It comes loaded with tech and safety features that are often optional in its class.

Key Features: Standout features include a comfortable and quiet cabin, advanced safety technology, and a generous warranty. It also offers a range of powertrains, including a fuel-efficient hybrid.

USP: The Elantra offers a compelling mix of technology, comfort, and warranty coverage at a competitive price, making it an attractive option for tech-savvy buyers.

4. Mazda 3


The Mazda 3 stands out for its excellent handling, premium interior, and sleek exterior design. It offers a refined driving experience typically associated with higher-end cars.

Key Features: Available in sedan and hatchback, it features an upscale interior, a responsive infotainment system, and engaging driving dynamics. Optional all-wheel drive enhances its appeal in varied climates.

USP: With a focus on design and performance, the Mazda 3 appeals to those seeking a compact car with a premium feel without the premium price tag.

5. Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf

The Volkswagen Golf is celebrated for its versatile design, engaging driving experience, and spacious interior. It's a well-rounded vehicle that balances performance with practicality.

Key Features: It features a user-friendly infotainment system, a comfortable and upscale interior, and agile handling. The Golf also offers a spacious cargo area, making it a practical choice for active lifestyles.

USP: The Golf's blend of driving enjoyment, utility, and quality finishes positions it as a top choice for those who love to drive and need a versatile compact car.

6. Kia Forte

Kia Forte

The Kia Forte offers a compelling mix of style, comfort, and value, with a spacious cabin and a long list of standard features. Its affordable price point does not compromise on quality or technology, making it a strong contender.

Key Features: Standouts include a comfortable ride, a spacious and well-appointed interior, and a generous warranty. The Forte also boasts a robust infotainment system and a range of efficient engine options.

USP: For buyers looking for an affordable compact car without sacrificing features or comfort, the Kia Forte is an excellent choice. Its balance of price, technology, and warranty coverage is hard to beat.

7. Subaru Impreza

Subaru Impreza

Renowned for its standard all-wheel drive and impressive safety ratings, the Subaru Impreza stands out in the compact car segment. Available in both sedan and hatchback versions, it offers versatility along with dependable performance in various weather conditions.

Key Features: Key highlights include its spacious interior, user-friendly infotainment system, and excellent crash test scores. Its all-wheel-drive system is a rarity in the compact segment, providing enhanced traction and stability.

USP: The Impreza's combination of standard all-wheel drive, safety, and reliability makes it an ideal choice for those living in areas with harsh weather conditions, valuing security and performance.

8. Nissan Sentra

Nissan Sentra

The Nissan Sentra has been significantly redesigned to offer more style, comfort, and standard safety features. It now competes more closely with the segment leaders in terms of interior quality and ride comfort.

Key Features: The Sentra features a spacious interior, an attractive design, and a comprehensive suite of standard safety technologies. It also provides good fuel efficiency and a smooth ride.

USP: With its recent updates, the Sentra stands out for buyers looking for a compact car with a premium feel without the premium price, especially considering its safety features and stylish design.

9. Chevrolet Cruze

Chevrolet Cruze

Although production has ended, the Chevrolet Cruze remains a popular choice on the used cars market, known for its comfortable ride and spacious cabin. It offers solid performance and an efficient diesel option for those prioritizing fuel economy.

Key Features: Features include a comfortable interior, excellent fuel economy (especially the diesel variant), and a user-friendly infotainment system. It also boasts respectable cargo space for the segment.

USP: For those in the market for a used compact car, the Cruze offers a well-rounded package with its comfortable ride, fuel efficiency, and spaciousness, making it a practical choice for everyday driving.

10. Fiat 500

Fiat 500

The Fiat 500 is a stylish, city-friendly compact car with a distinct personality. Its small size makes it perfect for urban environments, offering easy parking and maneuverability. It's available in a range of models, including a convertible.

Key Features: The 500's charm lies in its retro styling, customizable design options, and efficient use of interior space. It also offers peppy performance in a compact package, making city driving enjoyable.

USP: For those valuing style and city driving dynamics, the Fiat 500 is a standout with its unique design and compact size. It's a fun, distinctive choice for the urban driver looking for something out of the ordinary.

11. Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Like the Cruze, the Ford Focus is no longer in production but remains a favored option in the used compact car market. Known for its fun-to-drive nature and strong engine options, the Focus offers a dynamic driving experience.

Key Features: The Focus is praised for its sporty handling, diverse model lineup (including the performance-oriented ST and RS models), and comfortable front seats. Its infotainment system is also intuitive and user-friendly.

USP: For drivers seeking an engaging ride and a small car with a bit more personality, the Ford Focus stands out, especially with its performance variants offering exhilarating driving dynamics.


The compact car segment in Canada is filled with exceptional choices, each bringing something unique to the table. From the unmatched reliability of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla to the premium feel of the Mazda 3, the sporty versatility of the Volkswagen Golf, and the tech-rich Hyundai Elantra, Canadian drivers have plenty to consider. When choosing the best compact car, it's essential to weigh your priorities, whether it's fuel efficiency, technology, comfort, or driving enjoyment.

With the wealth of options available, finding a compact car that ticks all the right boxes for your lifestyle and budget is more achievable than ever. Remember to test drive your top picks to get a true feel for their performance and comfort.

Categories: Buying Tips