Compact cars (also called C-segment cars) are the most sold car type in Spain. It’s not something I should miss, as they serve everything. Although they do not have the facilities to cope in urban areas that characterize the micro-urban and utilitarian, its size is sufficiently contained to not have too many problems to maneuver in town and park. Unlike them, with a compact car you can face a long journey with greater guarantees and solvency. They do not have a spectacular cockpit to accommodate five adults, but they can. And their trunks are quite capable.

Sales of compact cars in Spain are 26% of the market and reached 189,204 units in 2013, 9% more than the previous year, while the market grew 3.34% in 2013. Logically, one in four cars sold is of this type makes their offer is the most numerous. All brands want to be present and the model that presents “to the battle” is often the most representative of the manufacturer.

We must clarify that these figures include other type sedans (with an extra trunk) or family. Those will be left for other shopping guides, because otherwise the listing would be too long. Here we will focus on hatchback bodies, two-volume tailgate, the most popular in Europe and Spain, with three or five doors (there are some with enough differences between them).

They have a medium size that begins to push customers towards diesel propellants, which accumulated most of the sales, no less than 137,169 units, for 51,588 of gasoline. In the latter the versions of these models of clearly sporty dye are framed, which conquer the younger public. But eye, that the mechanics of gasoline increase their sales more than the diesels, since the brands already include in their ranges engines of lower displacement that, aided with the turbo they achieve fair consumptions if they are not demanded too much.

Two models are the great referents of the market, the Seat León and the Volkswagen Golf. At some distance are the Peugeot 308, the Renault Megane and the Opel Astra. They also surpass the 10,000 units the Citroën C4, Ford Focus and Toyota Auris. But the options are numerous, like mentioned, and you can choose according to the needs of space and, above all, budget.

What compact car to buy?

In the table below you will see how a compact C-segment is a car that exceeds four meters long. As you can see, we have highlighted in bold the highest and lowest values in the measurements of these vehicles, as well as the boot capacities. The cargo chests of the Maletros are located near the 400 liters… something just for the luggage of several people from a trip of many days, but enough for a getaway.

Comparison of the offer of compacts in 2018:

As the purchase of a car is not only decided with external measures, interior and boot, then we give a simple review of the main features (strengths and weaknesses) of each of the new utilities that you can currently Find and on the market. You can expand information by clicking on each of the titles (which will direct you to all the articles, videos and tests that we have published about them).

Alfa Romeo Giulietta

The Alfa Romeo Giulietta 2016 is a compact that has received a series of changes in its aesthetics to give it a more modern image. Regarding the Giulietta 2010 (see Test), which was slightly updated in 2014, changes the design of bumper, the new typography of the Giulietta logo on the tailgate and exhaust outlets. These are improvements to bring your image closer to the Giulia, the brand’s new saloon.

The interior beats a technological leap through the Uconnect system that incorporates the infotainment screens of 5 or 6.5 inches. New upholstery for seats and doors are also included. One could choose between three levels of finishing in its launching: Basic, Super (the more balanced, with a pair of packages of Mejroa) and speedy (the sportier, the denomination is lost Green Quadrifoglio). From the basics are included as standard elements such as the climate control, the Alpha DNA selector, the system of retention in slopes and screen of 5 inches with Uconnect.

The initial mechanical offer is really complete. There are four petrol engines, from 1.4 Turbo of 120 CV (which can also run with LPG), passing through the 1.4 turbo Multiair, available in 150 and 170 CV, and by the top of the range, the 1750 TBi with 240 CV carried by the Giulietta Swifte we have tested. The diesel range starts with the new 1.6 liters JTDm 120 hp engine, followed by the 2.0 JTDm, available in 150 and 175 CV.

All engines are associated with a six-speed manual gearbox, although some can equip the DCT dual-clutch automatic gearbox and six ratios. There is no shortage of selectror Alfa DNA, which acts on different parameters (motor torque, change relations, accelerator response, ESC control system, ASR traction control…) Depending on the driving mode chosen.

Audi A3

The Audi A3 2016 is one of the premium compacts par excellence. With regard to the Audi A3 2012 has some aesthetic touches, mechanical novelties and, above all, an important technological updating. It is offered with up to four different bodyworks, having this three doors, the five Sportback doors, the Cabrio and the sedan. This specimen is 4.24 meters long and its exterior stands out for a sportier appearance.

The cockpit is one of the aspects that have been renewed. It will continue to maintain the quality and distinction, but you can also add for the first time an element as important as the Audi Virtual Cockpit, digital instrumentation and customizable with a 12.3 inch screen. The MMI multimedia system has been redesigned and is now more intuitive and has better connectivity.

The equipment of the new Audi A3 will be divided into four finishes that can be added to the series model. Initially the compact mounts 16-inch rims, climate control or light and rain sensors. Adding the ‘ Design Edition ‘ finish adds 17-inch rims or cruise control, while the ‘ Sport Edition ‘ has sport suspension and driving modes. In addition the ‘ s Line Edition ‘ has a sportier look with 18-inch rims and LED headlamps, and the ‘ black Line Edition ‘ adds black details.

The Audi A3 has a complete range of engines with six different options. There are three in diesel with the engine 1.6 TDI of 116 CV and the 2.0 TDI with 150 or 184 CV. The remaining three are petrol, with the 1.0 TFSI of 116 hp, the 1.4 TFSI of 150 hp and 2.0 TFSI of 190 cv. All mechanics can be linked to a manual change or to the dual-clutch automatic S tronic. The most powerful also accept the Quattro traction. Do not forget the sporty Audi S3 with 310 hp.

BMW Serie 1

It has recently reached the market the BMW 1 2017 series, a light renovation to remain competitive in this disputed segment. There are no notable differences compared to the previous series 1 of 2015, highlight some touches on the outside, more technology for its interior and a range of engines efficient and updated. It also comes with three special editions: Edition Sport Line Shadow, edition M Sport Shadow and BMW M140i Edition shadow.

In the cockpit it is easier to see the changes than on the outside. It has an updated instrumentation and a dashboard more focused towards the driver. Also new are the central console, air conditioning outlets and some materials and upholstery can count on the latest generation of the multimedia system iDrive with touch screen 8.8 inches. In terms of habitability it remains identical to its predecessor.

The BMW 1 series can be chosen with three different levels of equipment. Part with the Advantage QE already includes 16-inch rims, rear parking sensors, servotronic or cruise control with brake function. It follows the sport finish that adds sports seats and steering wheel or LED headlamps. Above it is the Urban that adds the chromed exterior line, mixed upholstery and higher quality mouldings.

The range of engines in series 1 is the most complete. In petrol are the 116i of 109 CV (three cylinders and manual change), the 118i with 136 CV (manual or Automatic Steptronic), the 120i with 184 CV (manual or Automatic), the 125i with 224 CV (automatic only) and the powerful M140i with 340 CV (six cylinders , manual or automatic change and possibility of xDrive traction). In Diesel are the 116d of three cylinders with 116 CV, it follows the 118d with 150 CV and possibility of traction xDrive, the 120d with 190 CV (possibility of traction xDrive) and the 125d with 224 CV (only with front traction and automatic change Steptronic).

Ford Focus

The third generation of the Ford Focus came to the market in 2011 and its restlyling arrives in the mid 2014. The novelties are focused on being a more technological model, in addition to slightly changing the design (already adopts the new frontal with the trapezoidal grille that inaugurated the Ford Evos concept that already mount other models of the brand). Use more efficient engines. It can only be chosen with a five-door body (there is a saloon and a family, which we will analyze in other guides).

It is a noble car, with a precise direction. Their suspensions have a great balance between comfort and behavior. Its range of engines is very complete. In petrol stands out the 1.0 EcoBoost, which with a liter of cubic capacity yields 100 or 125 CV and gets consumptions of a diesel. To the dealers the new Focus will come with new petrol engines EcoBoost 1.5 (in variants of 150 hp and 180 hp. The most powerful is the Ford Fiesta ST, which with 250 CV is one of the benchmarks of the segment, Beyond by power, by behavior. The diesel range covers engines from 95 to 150 CV (this must replace the 163 CV). There is also a version of LPG.

It is one of the most sold of the segment. Its interior stands out for space in height, but it is somewhat narrow, especially in the back squares and slightly reduced visibility. In this last restyling has opted to improve the driving position, eliminating paw buttons direct attention to the evolved integrated connectivity System Sync 2, with its corresponding high resolution color touch screen 8 inches, the Voice control of your applications and an improved browser. Its finishes are in the mid-high part of the segment, as well as its price. There are three levels of equipment: Trend, Titanium and Sport.

Honda Civic

The Honda Civic 2017 is the tenth generation of the compact model and arrives to replace the previous civic 2015. After more than four decades in the market, this specimen is postulated as a global product that will be sold with hatchback bodywork in all markets. It sits on a new platform and maintains the lines of the prototype Civic Hatchback concept with an aggressive and dynamic look with some outstanding elements such as wide bumpers, torn headlights or a lagging with double spoiler and central exhaust pipe in Some versions.

The interior of this model also receives a technological update with the Honda Connect multimedia system with 7 inch touch screen or digital instrumentation. It is the largest Civic in history with 4.52 meters long and a battle of 2.7 meters and that is noticeable inside. The habitability is notable in front and rear squares, while the trunk remains a reference in the segment with its 478 liters capacity.

The new Honda Civic has its equipment divided into six finishing levels (three for each engine). The 1.0 VTEC can be chosen with the Comfort (already has 16-inch rims or heated seats), Elegance (with 17-inch rims, Honda Connect or Honda Sensing) and executive (solar roof or LED headlamps). With the 1.5 VTEC engine you can choose the sport (aerodynamic kit or double central exhaust), sport Plus (cordless charger or adaptive suspension) and Prestige (chrome elements or leather upholstery/leather simile).

The range of Civic engines is completely new. At the moment there are only two gasoline mechanics available, but soon a diesel will arrive. The access engine is the 1.0 VTEC Turbo with three cylinders and 129 hp. The top of the range is the 1.5 VTEC of four cylinders and 182 CV that we have already been able to test. Both motors can go with manual shift or with one automatic CVT. The sport version Honda Civic Type R with 320 CV will soon be available.

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