Top five city cars

  • Our pick of the five best city cars currently on sale
  • Choose from the stylish option or budget choice
  • Easy to manouvre and nippy for city life

You need something for your urbanite lifestyle - a car that's nippy and easy to maneouvre, a car that's easy to park and cheap to run.

You don't want to rough it though and although you may be a regular user of public transport you still like driving from time to time. Every now and then you want to escape the confines of the city and get out on the open road. So, what's the best car for you?

Here's our top five city cars: 

The stylish option

Fiat 500 1.2 Sport


Price new: £10,665

Target price £10,550

Excellent balance of power and fuel economy and stylish looks too. You might be tempted to go for the 1.2-litre entry level Pop, but that's a false economy. Ok, it'll cost you just under £9,300 but you don't get air-conditioning (vital to keep you cool hot city traffic) or alloys (essential to look cool). You don't get ESP (£310), which is a bit stingy but you do get MP3 connectivity. You might also consider paying out £260 for rear parking sensors but don't even think about spending an extra £400 on metallic paint - the 500s look best in flat colours such as white and light blue.

Fuel economy - 60.1mpg
CO2 emissions -
113g/km (Band B VED)
Bootspace - 185 litres (min), 500 litres (wth rear seats down) 
Max power - 69bhp
Acceleration 0-62mph in 12.9s


The alternative option

Ford Ka 1.2 Edge


Price new £10,110

Target price: £10,110

The Ka is based on the much-vaunted Fiat 500 and that's no bad thing. It doesn't look that wonderful, but it's not quite as common as the 500 and as such has a curiosity factor. It is pleasant to sit in and drive and with this version you don't have to shell out for optional extras. It's cheaper than the 500 but  more expensive to run. Boot's a nice size though.

Fuel economy - 55.4mpg
CO2 emissions - 119g/km (Band C VED)
Bootspace - 224 litres (min), 747 litres (with rear seats down)   
Max power - 69bhp
Acceleration 0-62mph in 13.1s


The sensible option

Toyota Aygo Blue VVT-i


Price new: £9,460

Target price: £9,250

This is one of three superminis (including the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 107)  that are, essentially, the same thing. We've chosen the Aygo because the residuals on Toyotas are better. This may not be the most desirable in this selection but it's hugely fit for purpose and well within a £10k budget. This trim offers air-conditioning but not alloys (£595 extra). You get a four star NCAP crash rating, good fuel economy and although the boot is small, it can carry a decent load with the rear seats down.

Fuel economy - 62.8mpg
CO2 emissions - 106g/km (Band B VED)
Bootspace - 139 litres (min), 751 litres (with rear seats down) 
Max power - 67bhp
Acceleration 0-62mph in 14.2s

The budget five-door option

 Hyundai i10 1.2 Classic 5dr


Price new: £7,725

Target price: £7,550

Right, let's get one thing clear: you are not going to turn heads with your i10, but you are going to please your bank manager with this purchase. At just over £7k it's a steal. With that you get the practicality of five doors, decent load space, air-conditioning, reliability, a nice fat warranty and nippy acceleration too. It's a bit sparse and plasticy inside but if you can put up with the bland interior, then you be can be fairly pleased that you have saved enough money to allow yourself a few nights out a week at  classy restaurants rather than down the kebab shop.

Fuel economy - 56.5mpg
CO2 emissions - 115g/km (Band C VED)
Bootspace - 225 litres (min), 910 litres (max) 
Max power - 77bhp
Acceleration 0-62mph in 12.8s 


The ahead-of-the-curve option

Toyota iQ VVT-i 1.0


Price new £9,995

Target price: £9,900

Still looks like a concept car and that squat, strange, washing-machine-on-wheels look still turns heads. It's got the same engine as the Aygo, but there is a certain cachet to this car that you can't put your finger on. Although, it's short, it's width does give you the impression you are in a much bigger car. The turning circle is fantastic and because of its squat proportions you can easily park it at right angles to the curve, which is very useful in cramped city streets. The 3+1 seating layout isn't practical and the bootspace is hopelessly small.  

Fuel economy - 65.7mpg
CO2 emissions - 110g/km (Band B VED)
Bootspace - 32 litres (min), 238 litres (with rear seats down) 
Max power - 67bhp
Acceleration 0-62mph in 14.7s