2002-06 Mitsubishi Lancer

Tepid acceleration with the base engine is the Lancer's only big fault, but mainstream models offer little to lure buyers away from higher-profile rivals like the Ford Focus and Honda Civic. [...]

1999-03 Mazda Protege

Proteges often are overlooked by subcompact buyers. Too bad, because their roominess and driving pleasure equal--and even exceed--a Civic, Corolla, or Chevrolet Prizm. DX sedans, in particular, [...]

1994-04 Kia Sephia/Spectra

Prices have been attractive on the new-car market, and similarly tempting on used-car lots. Kia spokespersons claim their cars' resale value has been strong, but it's definitely not in the same [...]

2006-11 Kia Rio

Best suited for undemanding, low-speed running, the smallest Kias include plenty of features for their low-budget price. In addition, Rio a surprisingly well-built car that, with Kia's strong [...]

1990-94 Hyundai Excel

While not the best of the bunch, which includes the more refined Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, Excels offer a lot for a far more modest price. For buyers on a budget, an Excel is worth a look...

1992-95 Hyundai Elantra

Overall, Elantra rates no higher than average, but came better equipped than most competitors. Workmanship cannot match that of most rivals, so be sure any Elantra is inspected carefully before [...]

2007-10 Hyundai Elantra

Elantras match any class rival for refinement, space, and comfort. Hyundai's compact sedan also beats most of them for safety with standard front side airbags, curtain side airbags, and ABS. A [...]

2001-05 Honda Civic

Civic has long been tops for small-car refinement and driving fun, and the current generation shapes up as the best one yet. With its fine reliability records, Honda's solidly built subcompact is [...]

2006-11 Honda Civic

Dynamically, Civic matches the class-leading Volkswagen Jetta and Mazda 3. That's high praise, even if the Honda isn't quite as substantial feeling as the Jetta; or, except for the Si, quite as [...]

1990-92 Geo Prizm

A high comfort level, for the subcompact league, puts Prizms just below Honda's Civic for all-around appeal...

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