#4 Volkswagen Jetta
“Slotting below the midsize Passat, the Volkswagen Jetta offers a large trunk, plenty of space for passengers, and better driving dynamics than some competitors. Along with the standard model, the Jetta is also available in a performance-oriented GLI variant.”(MotorTrend) Hands down, the Jetta is one of the best, if not the best, German sports sedans in the market under 20k. With a turbo included in the standard package, it’ll leave your everyday corolla in the dust.
#3 Mazda 3
Whether as a sedan or hatchback, the Mazda3 is fun to drive, thanks to its perky handling and an engine that tends to sing rather than buzz. At 33 mpg, the Mazda3 is one of the most fuel-efficient vehicles in the compact class. It also offers a host of luxury features rarely matched by any other compact car, including a multimedia system with a large center screen and active safety features such as a blind-spot monitoring system. On the downside, the car tends to be loud on the highway, and ride comfort isn’t stellar. The infotainment system controls can be daunting at first and take a while to master, and the Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta have roomier rear seats.
#2 Honda Civic
The Civic is substantial and capable. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder and optional 1.5-liter turbo deliver good fuel economy, and the turbo brings more oomph and readily available power. The continuously variable transmission amplifies the noise of the base engine; it works better with the turbo. The ride is comfortable, handling is precise, and the interior has a lot of storage space. However, the car’s low stance means doing the limbo to get in and out. In addition, the front seats lack adjustable lumbar support, which could cause discomfort. We found Honda’s infotainment system to be unintuitive–the only way to avoid it is to get the base LX. Forward-collision warning is available. A four-door hatchback and Si version are new, as stated by Consumer Reports.
#1 Toyota Corolla
The Corolla is the most well known compact sedan. After selling through 11 whole generations, it has left quite the impact on the world, essentially creating it’s own legacy. It has been the best-selling compact car in the U.S. for much of the last 20 years, and was most recently redesigned for 2014, according to thecarconnection.com. Now in its 11th generation, today’s Corolla is a rival for compact cars such as the Chevy Cruze, Honda Civic, Ford Focus, Hyundai Elantra, and a host of second-tier entries as well, including the Mazda 3, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza, and Volkswagen Jetta.( Halvorson)
The Corolla lineup—including sedans and the iM hatchback—see few changes for 2018. ( Halvorson)
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