Compare the best reliable small cars

High quality reliable small cars from rated and reviewed dealers

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Rated 4.6/5 from 53,285 reviews

Compare the most reliable small cars

There’s quite possibly nothing more frustrating than having to deal with an unreliable car.

Classic car fans often say that frequent breakdowns are what give their rusty old rides ‘character’, but nobody actively wants to be standing next to a car that's failed to proceed, especially if it’s their daily driver.

To minimise the chances of this happening, we have considered various reliability-based criteria like MoT pass rates, overall industry reputation, reliability surveys to bring you a list of the best reliable small cars you can buy right now.

Mazda MX-5

1. Mazda MX-5

9/10
Mazda MX-5 review
Honda Jazz

2. Honda Jazz

7/10
Honda Jazz review

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Toyota Aygo X

3. Toyota Aygo X

7/10
Toyota Aygo X review
Kia Ceed

4. Kia Ceed

7/10
Kia Ceed review
Toyota Yaris Hybrid

5. Toyota Yaris

7/10
Toyota Yaris Hybrid review
Honda HR-V Hybrid

6. Honda HR-V

6/10
Honda HR-V Hybrid review
MINI Countryman (2016-2023)

7. MINI Countryman

7/10
MINI Countryman (2016-2023) review
Battery range up to 28 miles
Suzuki Swift (2017-2024)

8. Suzuki Swift

6/10
Suzuki Swift (2017-2024) review
Mazda 2

9. Mazda 2

7/10
Mazda 2 review
Hyundai i20

10. Hyundai i20

7/10
Hyundai i20 review

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Advice about reliable small cars

Reliable small cars FAQs

There are a number of great small automatic cars on sale today, and thanks to modern technology not only are they refined and well-specced, but they’re reliable too. A good choice of these is the Kia Picanto, thanks to its class-leading seven-year warranty and slick-shifting optional five-speed automatic gearbox.

The Citroen C3 is a small hatchback that offers a smooth and refined drive, and its 100hp 1.5-litre turbo diesel engine sips fuel with a combined average of just 71mpg and 113g/km C02 emissions.

It’s nippy too, with a 0-62mph time of 10.4-seconds, which means you won’t have any trouble keeping up to speed on the motorway either. You get a three-year/100,000-mile warranty as standard.

The Toyota Yaris Hybrid has regularly topped customer satisfaction surveys thanks to its fun driving characteristics, economical self-charging hybrid engine and legendary reliability.

The CVT automatic tends to hold onto the gears when pressing on, but its smooth and refined most of the time and it’ll deliver 69mpg in mixed driving and rather impressive 60mpg around town.

There are plenty of solid used cars for sale which have proven their reliability over years of hassle-free ownership.

The Honda Jazz, Toyota Aygo and Toyota Yaris regularly top owner satisfaction survey charts and either of these used small cars should provide years of reliable service at greatly reduced prices.