Top-Rated 2016 Small Cars in Performance and Design

Christian Wardlaw | Jul 28, 2016

The J.D. Power Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) StudySM is conducted annually, measuring owner satisfaction with the performance, design, layout, and content of new vehicles after 90 days of ownership. Using this information the company calculates Power Circle Ratings to summarize the study’s findings. Consumers can then use these ratings to help them make the right decision when shopping for a new vehicle.

This buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2016 small cars from the 2016 U.S. APEAL Study. Each model receives a Power Circle Rating of 5 out of a possible 5 for overall appeal.

2016 Chevrolet Sonic RS photo

2016 Chevrolet Sonic

Sold as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, the sub-compact Chevrolet Sonic is available in LS, LT, LTZ, and RS trim levels. A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine is standard in the more affordable versions, while those with more equipment feature a turbocharged, 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine. All but the LTZ include a standard manual gearbox, with an automatic offered as an option.

The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic receives an overall appeal Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Small Car segment.

2016 Mini Cooper Clubman photo

2016 Mini Clubman

Redesigned for 2016, the new Clubman is the largest Mini model ever. It seats 4 people in comfort, or 5 in a pinch. Equipped with conventional side doors for easy entry and exit, the Clubman’s rear barn-style doors remain, opening to a larger cargo area. Standard and S versions are available, each one equipped with a turbocharged engine and offered with a broad array of colors, materials, and options.

The 2016 Mini Clubman receives an overall appeal Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the Compact Car segment.

2016 Mini Cooper S 5-Door photo

2016 Mini Cooper

Mini expands its Cooper lineup for 2016, adding a convertible to the existing menu of 2-door and 4-door hardtop models. No matter which one you choose, they come in standard, S, and racy John Cooper Works flavors, and can be customized to personal preference through a long list of options.

The 2016 Mini Cooper receives an overall appeal Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2016 Scion iA photo

2016 Scion iA

A new subcompact 4-door sedan, the Scion iA is a restyled version of a Mazda model that is not sold in the United States. The iA is nicely equipped for a low price, combining Mazda driving dynamics with Scion’s no-haggle pure pricing approach. With the Scion brand’s cancellation, this car becomes the Toyota Yaris iA for the 2017 model year.

The 2016 Scion iA receives an overall appeal Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2016 Smart Fortwo Cabrio photo

2016 Smart Fortwo

Smart redesigned its Fortwo 2-seat city car for the 2016 model year, improving it in every way while retaining its high degree of maneuverability in urban settings. Pure, Passion, Prime, and Proxy trim levels are available, each equipped with a turbocharged, 0.9-liter 3-cylinder engine that drives the rear wheels.

The 2016 Smart Fortwo receives an overall appeal Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5 and is the award recipient in the City Car segment.

Explore car shopping guides
10 Most Popular Midsize SUVs and Crossovers
10 Most Popular Midsize SUVs and Crossovers
Families flock to midsize SUVs for their seating capacity, cargo capability, and available all-wheel-drive systems. This guide provides essential information about the 10 most popular, non-luxury midsize SUVs and crossovers in America.
Read the full review
Most Reliable 2017 Crossovers and SUVs
Most Reliable 2017 Crossovers and SUVs
According to J.D. Power, these are the crossovers and SUVs that are expected to provide the best reliability over time.
Read the full review
10 Most Popular Luxury Cars
10 Most Popular Luxury Cars
If you're planning an upgrade to a premium car, this buyer's guide provides details about the 10 most popular* luxury cars in America, including pricing; quality, reliability, and appeal ratings; fuel economy; safety ratings; and cargo volume.
Read the full review
Read all articles
New Car Preview
2020 Subaru Legacy Preview
Most Dependable
2019 Vehicle Dependability: Most Dependable Luxury Coupes and Convertibles
Most Popular
10 Most Popular Midsize Cars
New Model Update
New for 2019: Acura
New Car Preview
2020 BMW 7 Series Preview
More related
articles
Compare 0 of 3