The Skoda Fabia is priced like a small car, but is actually closer in size to cars like the VW Golf. As such it has loads of space inside and one of the biggest boots of the class, but it's also high quality inside and comes with loads of standard equipment. It simply has to be on your list of options.
The Peugeot 208 is a real head-turning and its interior is one of the coolest of any small car too. You also get great engines plus the option of a fully-electric e-208 model if you fancy it. Its rear legroom is very tight, but its boot is generous and there's a great amount of standard equipment thrown in.
The VW Polo is due an update soon, but it continues to be a very good small car in its current form. It's one of the best small cars to drive, has a classy interior and great infotainment. There are also strong engine options that won't cost the earth to buy or run.
The Honda Jazz isn't the most fun small car to drive, but if you're more interested in space than pace, there's no better. The Jazz's interior is massively spacious for a small car and its rear seats both fold down and flip-up. It's also extremely frugal around town with its hybrid engine.
Another great small car making use of hybrid tech to achieve great fuel economy is the Toyota Yaris. However, it's also good fun to drive and comes stacked with standard equipment. Its interior is a bit bland, but its sporty exterior more than makes up for it.
The latest Renault Clio is a superb small car. Its interior quality is some of the best in this class of car and there's plenty of space for passengers and luggage. The Clio's infotainment system isn't the easiest to use, but all the latest tech is there and it's comfortable and quiet to drive.
The Hyundai i20 had an overhaul in 2020 and is now much improved. There's decent space inside for passengers, a punchy yet efficient 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine on offer and a brilliant infotainment system – it's actually one of the best of any small car. That engine is the only choice though and the i20's agile drive does mean a firmer-than-average suspension tune.
If you place driving pleasure high up on your list of needs, the Ford Fiesta should be your first port of call. It's simply the best small car for putting a smile on your face. The Fiesta's interior quality isn't up with the best in the class, but it is solidly built and features a decent infotainment system.
The Seat Ibiza isn't quite as plush inside as the VW Polo it shares its underpinnings with, but it's more interesting to look at and comes with a more entertaining driving experience. It also has very similar infotainment and space, so is a very well rounded small car choice.
It's barely believable that Dacia has managed to build such a competent car for so little money. In fact, the Sandero is the cheapest new car you can buy in entry-level form, but jump just one trim level and you get all the equipment you need plus a strong and efficient petrol engine, all for relative peanuts.