Top 10 best superminis
Though compact crossovers are eating away at the supermini's market share, these pocket-size wonders are still some of the best-selling cars in the country - and for good reason. The best superminis on sale today combine great driving dynamics with enough space for a small family, as well as amazingly efficient engines and refinement that would shame many a large executive limo from just a few years ago.
But which cars should you splash your hard-earned cash on? We've rounded up ten of the best here...
1. Ford Fiesta
The Fiesta has been Britain's best-selling car - almost without competition - for decades. First introduced in 1976, progressive generations have each been better than the last, keeping it firmly at the top of the sales charts.
The current Fiesta is an evolution of the brilliant Mk6. It combines best-in-class driving dynamics with a range of brilliant EcoBoost petrol engines to make this the driver's choice in the segment. Combine that with a much-improved interior, cute exterior looks and dealerships all over the country, and you've got a winning formula.
2. SEAT Ibiza
Seat's Ibiza has been a staple of the Spanish manufacturer's lineup since its introduction in 1984, and has grown in both value and quality since then.
The latest model is based on Volkswagen's MQB A0 platform, and the result is a great driving, well-built supermini that offers good value and a fun driving experience. With Seat also under the ownership of VW, you can expect a quality interior and plenty of class-leading equipment.
3. Volkswagen Polo
Frequently on the tail of the Fiesta in UK sales charts is the Volkswagen Polo, which has recently launched in its sixth-generation.
It shares the MQB A0 platform with the Seat Ibiza and the upcoming new Audi A1, and a result, features great driving dynamics wrapped in a handsome package. Build quality is class-leading, and the interior brings a premium-feeling option to a class not known for luxury.
4. Mazda 2
There's more than a little bit of the MX-5 roadster's DNA hidden within the Mazda 2 supermini. It mixes great handling with sharp looks to make a package almost as appealing as the Ford Fiesta for keen drivers.
It is also accompanied by a great set of engines, with Mazda's right-sizing policy bringing a selection of naturally aspirated petrol units. It's also one of the decreasing number of superminis available with a diesel powerplant, which is amazingly efficient.
5. Vauxhall Corsa
The Corsa has played second fiddle to the Ford Fiesta for many years in the supermini sales charts. But despite not being as popular as its brethren from the blue oval, it's got plenty to recommend it in its own right.
The Corsa comes well-equipped, with every model gaining Vauxhall's OnStar suite of connected apps. It's also available with some decent engines - though the older 1.2 and 1.4 units are a bit long in the tooth, the 1.0-litre turbo petrol is very refined, and the 1.3-litre CDTi diesel is amazingly economical. It's also pretty spacious and - crucially for some - has a British brand behind it.
6. Kia Rio
Kia's Rio is now in its fourth generation, and it really shows off how far the South Korean brand has come since it first came to the UK. While early cars were a bit rubbish, the latest model is a smart-looking hatchback with the ability to compete favourably with any of its European rivals.
The downside to this is that the Rio is no longer the bargain proposition it once was. However, there's plenty to entice buyers even at the higher price point - including a class-leading seven-year warranty.
7. Peugeot 208
Peugeot has a history of fantastic small cars. The 205, 106 and 306 would definitely feature on the brand's 'greatest hits' album. The 208 continues this greatness, and while it's not quite as special as the cars that came before it, it's still a good option for those in the supermini market.
The 208 is a slinky and stylish supermini which, in diesel form, holds the distinction of being the most fuel-efficient car on sale in the UK today. Go for a GTI instead and you'll have one of the best hot hatchbacks you can buy. Cooking models aren't quite so spectacular, but it's still a decent choice in the market.
Who doesn't love the Mini? Since its reinvention in 2001 the world's fallen in love with the quirky retro hatchback. Though it's no longer very 'mini' it's still a great little car for those who value style over practicality.
The brand's now-trademark go-kart handling is present and correct, with the latest generation an absolute riot to drive regardless of whether you go for a humble diesel or a fire-breathing Cooper S model. Plus, the brand as a whole holds its value very well - so you're sure to find a willing buyer when it comes to moving on.
9. Honda Jazz
While the Mini appeals to the heart over the head, the Honda Jazz is the opposite. It's almost obscenely practical, with more space for people and luggage than many much larger cars.
It's also massively reliable, with owners reporting fewer problems with their Jazzes than with rivals. It may not have the most street cred - due to its popularity with the blue-rinsers - but if you want practicality and reliability, the Jazz could be the car for you.
10. Dacia Sandero
The cheapest new car on sale in the UK is an accolade that doesn't come easily - and you can see where Dacia's cut costs. Ample use of parent company Renault's parts bin means the Sandero is a mishmash of old Clios, covered with a thin utilitarian veneer.
But that's where the Sandero's charm lies. It's not very well equipped - it's also not the best to drive, not very refined and not very desirable. Instead, it's an honest, efficient and reliable new car, for the price of a used one. What's not to like about that?