Here Are 25 Cars Perfect for City Driving

A city car doesn't have to be a dull piece of metal that sucks the life out of you.


There are plenty of fun-to-drive small cars out there that are perfect for zipping around any city. Here are 25 that you recommended.

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DW Burnett/Puppyknuckles
Honda Civic Si

We'd recommend the Civic Type R, but with a stiff suspension and 20-inch wheels, we have a feeling it wouldn't do well on broken city streets. The Si doesn't have a practical hatch opening, but it does have a sensible wheel-tire setup that won't leave you potentially stranded. It's also a joy to drive.

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Subaru Impreza WRX

Live in a city where it snows? The Subaru WRX is still the go-to choice for enthusiasts looking for something fun with all-wheel drive. We'd recommend finding a last-gen hatch like the one shown above—you can never have too much practicality.

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Hyundai Veloster R-Spec

While we wouldn't recommend using a stiff, track-minded Veloster N for city driving, the mid-range R-Spec is a delightful compromise. It's fun to drive, and looks unlike anything else on the road. If you want to stand out (what city dweller doesn't?) than this is the car to have.

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BMW 2-Series

Want something luxurious, but don't want to park a big car in tight spaces? The BMW 2-Series may be the car for you. It has many of the features you can get on bigger BMWs, but without any of the extra length. You can even get it with a manual.

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Volkswagen GTI

No matter which generation of Volkswagen GTI you prefer, all make for great city cars. They're compact, comfortable, and nimble enough to zip through gaps in traffic.

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Jeep Wrangler

The Wrangler may be built for off-roading, but ironically, it makes for a great city car as well. A small footprint, tight turning radius, and heavy-duty suspension mean it can take the rigors of big potholes and tight parking that come along with city car life.

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Volvo V60 Polestar

The V60 Polestar is plenty fast, but it also has a bunch of city-minded features that make it a great all-rounder. It has adjustable suspension, a hatchback body, and wonderful seats.

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Michael Roselli
Tesla Model 3 Performance

Build-quality issues aside, the all-electric Tesla Model 3 Performance is a wonderful car to drive. We took it on a track test at Lime Rock Park, and loved it. If you can live without an engine and gears to shift, it could be the perfect city car for you.

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Autozam AZ-1

Any Japanese-market Kei car would make for a fantastic city car—they're built to take up as little space as possible after all. But the AZ-1 is the best of the best. It has a mid-engine layout, a turbocharged engine, and gullwing doors. What more could you want from a tiny sports car?

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Honda Beat

Of course, if you want your Kei car experience to be roof-free, you'll have to go with the Honda Beat. Like the AZ-1, its engine is in the middle, but instead of having gullwing doors, it has a convertible soft top. Did I mention it revs to over 9000 RPM?

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Suzuki Cappuccino

Like the Beat, the Cappuccino has a convertible top. But instead of being mid-engine, its motor resides in the front. Unlike most Kei cars, though, it still sends power to the rear wheels. It makes for a balanced roadster a fraction of the size of a Mazda Miata.

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Toyota Corolla Hatch

The Corolla name is often associated with blandness and boredom, but the newest version of Toyota's economy car can be purchased in hatchback form, and with a manual transmission. Those two things alone make it worthy enough to be on this list. Mix in Toyota reliability, and you've got yourself a solid city car.

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Ford Fiesta ST

Because the Fiesta ST only weighs 2742 pounds and makes 197 hp, it has the same power-to-weight ratio as a first-gen BMW M3. That's a great start. Add in that it's surprisingly roomy on the inside for how small it is on the outside, and you have a perfect little hot hatch.

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Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86

You wouldn't think the Subaru BRZ (or Toyota 86) is something most people would choose to own in a city, but in reality, it's a good option. You can sneak in and out of traffic like an urban autocross and then, when you get a chance to get out of town, you have a car that'll be at home on any road. A real winner.

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Honda Fit

Honda gave the new Fit a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 130 hp. And you'll definitely be able to make the most of that power because the tiny Fit also comes with a six-speed manual transmission.

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Audi A3 Sportback e-tron

As Audi's first plug-in, the Sportback e-tron isn't the cheapest hybrid you can buy: At nearly $40,000, it's about $10,000 more expensive than the Prius. But it looks way better and it has a . You can also drive it in full electric mode if you want to save gas while cruising around the city.

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Chevrolet Sonic RS

The Sonic's 138 hp from the turbocharged 1.4-liter engine is especially fun when paired with the optional six-speed. It's a small, light car that is perfect to zip in and out of traffic in a crowded city. And once you've had your fun, this thing will be just as easy to parallel park.

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Fiat 500 Abarth

The days of passing up a parking spot labeled "compact" are over. The minute, spunky, and punchy 500 Abarth and it'll draw attention anywhere it goes. It's got over the regular Fiat 500, and it sounds absolutely amazing. Perfect for echoing off of those tall building downtown.

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Mazda Miata

Though the new Miata is a tiny bundle of joy. The new one has more than enough power and torque to shoot for gaps, and it's easy to park. Plus, you can put the top down at any stoplight for an amazing view of the buildings above.

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<p>The $30,600 Mini JCW is a ton of fun. Sure, it's a lost less mini than it used to be, but it's still a great car to drive. And the level you can personalize the appearance of the car gives it a leg up on its competition.</p>
Mini JCW Hardtop

Whenever you mention a city car, a Mini will undoubtedly come to mind. And the JCW Hardtop is among the most fun. It might be expensive, but it's fast and funky. Isn't that what counts?

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BMW i3

The i3 is BMW's vision for the future of urban transportation. It has 170 hp from its electric motors and has lightweight carbon fiber construction to help maximize the range. It also looks like a sci-fi film come to life.

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Brabus Smart ForTwo Ultimate 125

The regular Smart ForTwo is a great city car, but the Brabus version takes it to another level. Making 123 horsepower and 147 lb.-ft. of torque from a rear-mounted three-cylinder engine, it's guaranteed to make for a fun city runabout. Plus, you'll have no trouble squeezing into tight parking spots.

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Chevrolet Bolt

Though the Chevy Bolt has no sporty intentions, the instant torque it provides from zero rpm thanks to its electric powertrain means it can get out of its own way rather quickly. That, the small hatchback shape means you'll be diving for gaps in no time.

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Guy Spangenberg
Lotus Elise

You can't currently buy a new Elise in the U.S., but a pre-facelift model would still do nicely in the city. There's tons of visibility with the top off, and its small footprint and great Toyota engine mean maneuvering through tight spaces is a breeze.

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Porsche Cayman

If you like the idea of the Elise, but want something more livable, consider the Porsche Cayman. It's as agile as the Elise, but has a real interior, and much more power.

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