What It Takes to Be Tops
Performance: To qualify, each model must rank at or near the top of its class in our road-test score.
Reliability: Models must have an average or better-predicted reliability rating based on problems reported by subscribers for the 740,000 vehicles in our 2018 auto survey.
Owner satisfaction: We surveyed our subscribers about their happiness level regarding the 230,000 vehicles in their garages. Would they buy their car again?
Safety: Top Picks must perform effectively in crash or rollover tests conducted by the government and insurance industry (if tested).
Best Subcompact Car: Honda Fit
Thinking about the first new car for yourself or someone in your family? This Honda may just be the perfect fit. It’s thrifty with fuel, returning a competitive 33 mpg overall, and yet it’s nimble handling never gives off a “compromise car” vibe. It has remarkable interior space for such a tiny footprint, with second-row seats that elegantly stow away or flip up to hold more cargo. A rear-view camera is standard. Road noise does boom in, and its rough ride can be tiring on long drives. Still, owner satisfaction is high, and its crash-test scores have improved over its predecessor. For just under $20,000, the Fit can be an easy-to-park runabout that keeps you smiling.
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