Top-Rated 2017 Small Cars in Performance and Design

Christian Wardlaw | Jul 26, 2017
Each year, J.D. Power conducts the annual J.D. Power U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study.SM The study measures new-vehicle owner satisfaction with the performance, design, layout, and features of their new vehicles after survey respondents have owned them for at least 90 days.

From this information, J.D. Power creates Power Circle Ratings to visually summarize the study’s findings for each make and model. Consumers can use these ratings while they are shopping for a new vehicle, helping them to make the best decision.

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2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV photo This buyer’s guide highlights the top-rated 2017 Small Cars from the 2017 U.S. APEAL Study. Each model listed in alphabetical order below receives a Power Circle Rating of 4 or 5 out of a possible 5 for overall appeal.

2017 Chevrolet Bolt


Chevrolet’s new long-range electric car, the Bolt, can travel approximately 238 miles on a fully charged battery, and after federal tax incentives is priced at about $30,000. Able to seat up to five people and carry plenty of cargo, this 5-door hatchback is hit with the people who own one.

The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Small Car segment.

2017 Chevrolet Sonic


Chevrolet’s popular Sonic model is available in a variety of trim levels applied to 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback body styles. For 2017, the Sonic receives a minor styling update accompanied by important safety and infotainment technologies including standard smartphone projection and a standard reversing camera.

The 2017 Chevrolet Sonic receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 4 out of 5.

2017 Honda Civic


Redesigned for the 2016 model year, the Civic lineup has expanded to include a 2-door coupe, a 5-door hatchback, a sporty Si trim level, and a racy new Type R model. The result is a safe and technologically sophisticated roster of small cars that qualify in varying degrees as fun to drive.

The 2017 Honda Civic receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5.

2017 Kia Soul


A 5-passenger hatchback that sits up tall off of the road, the Kia Soul is roomy for both people and cargo, though not at the same time. For 2017, an available turbocharged engine is married to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, while the electric Soul EV is now offered with DC Fast Charging capability to replenish most of the battery in about 30 minutes.

The 2017 Kia Soul receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Multi-Purpose Vehicle segment.

2017 Mini Clubman


Think of the Mini Clubman as a station wagon. It has four side doors. It has two barn-style doors in the back. It carries people and cargo better than any other Mini except for the Countryman crossover SUV. And for 2017, it is offered in a new performance-tuned John Cooper Works trim.

The 2017 Mini Clubman receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Compact Car segment.

2017 Mini Cooper


Mini sells three different versions of the iconic Cooper: 2-door convertible, 3-door hatch, and 5-door hatch. Each is offered in standard, S, and John Cooper Works trim levels, with increasing amounts of power and performance. A long list of colors, trims, wheels, interior materials, and upgrades ensure a high degree of personalization.

The 2017 Mini Cooper receives an APEAL Power Circle Rating of 5 out of 5, and is the award recipient in the Compact Sporty Car segment.









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