Get our newsletter

The top 10 best city cars on sale

City cars have to be affordable, cheap to run and manoeuvrable enough to nip through tight back streets and squeeze into minute parking spaces. To help you pick the perfect model, we’ve rounded up a list of the 10 best city cars on sale now.

If you don’t see your favourite model here, read our lists of the 10 best small cars on sale or our round-up of the best cars available for less than £100 per month for a selection of great alternatives.

{2018 update: The top three places are taken by the very similar Skoda Citigo, VW Up and SEAT Mii, while the Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto occupy fourth and fifth positions respectively. The super-manoeuvrable Smart ForFour takes ninth position while its two-seat sibling – the ForTwo – takes tenth.]

Here are the 10 best city cars on sale:

1. Skoda Citigo

The Skoda Citigo is a small four-seater car that’s a doddle to drive and cheap to run thanks to its frugal petrol engines. Its large windows give you a good view out around town and you’ll have no trouble manoeuvring it into a small parking space thanks to the light controls and tight turning circle.

The back seats are pretty cramped, however, and the boot’s only just big enough to carry the weekly shop. You don’t get much in the way of high-tech equipment on entry-level cars, either, but the Citigo’s affordable price tag makes it an excellent city runabout.

2. VW Up

The Volkswagen Up shares lots of components with the Skoda Citigo, and even looks almost identical. As a result, it’s equally stress-free to drive around town and has just enough space inside for four adults – on short journeys, at least. Everything feels slightly more solid than in the Skoda, too, and you can personalise the Up’s cabin with 12 different dashboard graphics.

Sadly, the Up’s boot is pretty small – even for a compact city car – and top-spec models are quite expensive. Unlike some small cars, it doesn’t come with a central rear seat, either, but if you rarely carry passengers, the VW Up makes an excellent city car.

3. SEAT Mii

Like the VW Up, the SEAT Mii uses the same mechanical underpinnings as the Skoda Citigo. As a result, its small size, decent manoeuvrability and good visibility make it perfect for nipping through rush hour traffic. It feels pretty well built for such a compact car, too, and its frugal petrol engine makes it very cheap to run.

The SEAT’s got just enough room to carry four adults –for short journeys – but if you fancy a five-seater, you’ll have to look elsewhere. The boot is very small, and even entry-level models will set you back more than most compact city cars. However, if practicality isn’t high on your list of priorities, the SEAT makes a great small city car.

4. Hyundai i10

Unlike the Skoda, VW and SEAT, the Hyundai i10 comes with five seats. As a result, it’s much better for carrying passengers in the back. The boot’s very slightly more spacious than in those cars, too, and the optional automatic gearbox is smoother at slow speeds – ideal when you’re stuck in stop-start traffic.

You won’t find many soft plastics inside the Hyundai, however, and entry-level models come with very little equipment as standard. The most affordable petrol models feel quite sluggish on the motorway, but around town, the i10’s more than nippy enough and very easy to manoeuvre.

5. Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is a similar five-seat city car to the Hyundai i10, but comes with more sporty styling and even a very slightly bigger boot. There’s just as much space inside as the Hyundai – so you’ll be able to carry two adults or three kids in the back – and its small size makes it just as easy to thread through tight back streets or into cramped parking spaces.

Other small cars are more comfortable over potholes and bumps than the Kia, and versions with the fairly weedy entry-level petrol engine struggle to keep up with fast-moving motorway traffic. Stick to short journeys in town, however, and the Picanto’s easy to drive, nippy enough and cheap to run.

6. Toyota Aygo

The Aygo is the smallest car Toyota makes, which helps make it a doddle to drive in tight, congested city centres. Its light steering and large windows mean it’s a doddle to park, and the Aygo’s frugal petrol engines help keep running costs to a minimum, too. You’ll even find it slightly more fun to drive than most small cars.

Unfortunately, unlike the Hyundai and Kia, the Aygo only comes with two seats in the back and the boot is only really big enough for two small suitcases or a modest weekly shop. Not everybody will love its aggressive looks, either, but it still makes a very capable compact city car.

7. Peugeot 108

Like the Toyota, the Peugeot 108 is an affordable small car that’s right at home in the city. Light controls make it easy to drive and there’s just enough space inside to carry four small adults on short journeys. If you fancy standing out from the crowd, you can get it with plenty of personalised vinyl stickers and a range of colourful seat trims.

Sadly, the Peugeot’s boot isn’t as spacious as most other cars on our list, and it doesn’t feel as well built as the likes of the Skoda, VW and SEAT. You only get two seats in the back and it’s quite noisy at motorway speeds, but at least a frugal petrol engine makes it very cheap to run and more than perky enough for short inner-city journeys.

8. Citroen C1

The Citroen C1 is a small city car with eye-catching looks and a funky interior that comes with loads of options for you to personalise it. The Citroen’s perky petrol engines make it feel slightly more at home on the motorway than some small cars and help it return good fuel economy, too. It’s easy to drive and a piece of cake to manoeuvre, thanks to a tight turning circle and good visibility.

Sadly, the C1 only comes with two seats in the back and the boot isn’t particularly roomy – even for a small city car. It’s not quite as comfortable bumps quite as well as the Up, Mii and Citigo, either, but its frugal petrol engines make it very cheap to run.

9. Smart ForFour

The Smart ForFour is a super-manoeuvrable city car with an upmarket interior and a frugal petrol engine. You can spin the Smart round in spaces tight enough to make a London Taxi think twice and the frugal petrol engine is ideally suited to short inner-city journeys. The ForFour’s cool two-tone bodywork means it won’t be easy to lose in a crowded car park, either.

Like the Skoda, SEAT and VW, the Smart ForFour only comes with four seats and the boot’s pretty small, too – even for a diminutive city car. You’ll hear plenty of wind and tyre noise at speed, but stick to pottering around town and the Smart makes a great little runabout.

10. Smart ForTwo

As the name suggests, the Smart ForTwo it only comes with two seats, but this means its compact body is as small as possible – the whole car’s so short that you can just about park it nose-in in parallel parking spaces! As a result, it’s super-easy to drive in town and the small petrol engine doesn’t have to work hard to drive you around, so it’s impressively frugal.

It’s not all good news, however. The Smart’s not particularly comfortable on rough roads and you’ll struggle to keep up with traffic on the motorway. Plenty of larger four-seat cars cost less than the rather expensive Smart, too, but it compensates for this by being one of the most manoeuvrable cars of any kind on sale.

Save money on your next car

Already picked the perfect new city car? Head over to our new car deals page to see how much you can save on a new car or read our lists of the best small cars and the best cars for less than £100 per month to see what else is available.

comments powered by Disqus