The Best City Cars

Whether you are nipping to town, parking in a tight spot or tackling the city and entering emission-free zones, small city cars are made to handle busy streets and challenging situations.

If you’re looking for the best small cars for city driving, to get you from A to B in comfort and style, we have shortlisted the top 13 city cars to consider.

1. smart forfour 

With its chic exterior, dextrous handling, low running costs, and of course its all-important 5 doors, the smart forfour is more than a match for its city car rivals. For those looking for a more practical city car, the smart forfour has an increased luggage and passenger capacity, handy for road trips with friends.

A low CO2 of 97g/km put it below the minimum threshold for Vehicle Excise Duty and the London congestion charge, whilst running costs are driven down even further by combined fuel economy of 67.3mpg and urban fuel economy of 58.9mpg.​ While there is also the fortwo option available, this model is designed to provide more space as well as fuel efficiency with its extra seats.

2. Volkswagen e-UP! 

The Volkswagen e-UP! is the perfect size to scoot around town. Boasting a premium feel, excellent manoeuvrability and great personalisation options, for a reasonably priced electric car. It’s a great city car, with also handily avoids high emissions of city driving, thanks to the electric powertrain.

With instant electric pulling power for settling off at the traffic lights, its frugal 54.8mpg, and more space for passengers and luggage, the e-UP! is sure to impress.

3. BMW i3

With low running costs, excellent driving performance and a positive environmental impact, the BMW i3 is here to stay. With an impressive range of up to 188 miles, the i3 can get you from London to Brighton, and back again, on just one charge.

With its inspiring emissions-free driving as well as breath-taking acceleration, the i3 is the perfect city companion. A first class city car, with compact proportions help guarantee outstanding manoeuvrability where the need to squeeze into tight parking spaces and down narrow streets is a daily reality. Still, its 19-inch alloy wheels and dynamic styling not only help the car to stand out, but they also ensure an efficient driving experience.

4. Audi A1 Citycarver

By self-admission the Audi A1 Citycarver is not really a ‘small car’ but a ‘small Audi’ – yet it’s one we couldn’t skip.

It sure pops with personality, allowing the driver to integrate their smartphone choices to ensure a very personalised driving experience – not to mention Bang & Olufsen surround-sound speakers and a customisable LED Ambient Lighting system.

The new A1 Citycarver is a five-door hatchback with large, octagonal singleframe grille and an extra 4cm (1.6 inches) of ground clearance, which makes jumping in and out easier and gives a higher viewpoint, ideal for congested city driving.

‘King of the urban jungle’, city driving conditions are all covered too, As standard, A1 features Audi pre-sense Front with pedestrian and cyclist recognition, which warns the driver of possible collisions and will even apply emergency braking when required.

5. Mercedes A250e

The Mercedes A-Class joins the electric revolution, promising the ideal everyday commuter and city driver range of up to 44 miles.

Particularly remarkable is the safety tech involved: an array of safety systems as standard and Active Brake Assist which can reduce the likelihood of a rear-end collision or even prevent it completely by maintaining a set distance behind the vehicle in front using steering assistance, even in corners.

You can still expect an impressive A-class performance from the petrol-electric hybrid too, capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in just 6.6 seconds. It’s even an economical choice, with up to 217mpg and just 8% BiK tax for business users.

6. SKODA Citigo 

Reaching nearly 70mpg the ŠKODA Citigo is not only economical, but also great value for money. The two petrol engines available are both affordable to run and come in various specs, allowing you to increase and decrease the price depending on the in-car tech and additional features you need.

7. Volkswagen Polo

Navigating through cities and more built up areas is a lot easier when driving a compact city car like the Volkswagen Polo. Boasting an economical drive for urban drivers, it’s easy to find your next economical city car now.

Low emissions and a high mpg make this an ideal model for those looking for an economical drive. With the 1.6 litre diesel model you can expect to reach a 76mpg – as long as you drive with care (our tips above will help).

8. Toyota AYGO

Toyota’s AYGO can provide simple, no-frills city transport at the lower end of the range there’s lots of extra scope for fun and personalisation. From stylish packs and smart technology, to practical features, Toyota provides a range of optional equipment to reflect who you are.

The AYGO also has you covered when driving in busy inner-city conditions. With sensors that are able to detect when the vehicle is starting to skid sideways, Vehicle Stability Control automatically activates individual brakes and regulates the engine to take control.

AYGO also gives you the technology you need to help you on your journey with a hub of connectivity giving you entertainment, navigation and car management through the My Toyota portal and the MYT app. It’s a fun and stylish small hatchback with as much connectivity and technology as you could wish for.

9. MINI Electric

The new MINI Electric embraces the iconic style and go-kart performance that’s so distinctively MINI, but with the latest electric tech to boot. It delivers a range of 124-144 miles, depending on conditions and how you drive. And as most commutes are 30 miles or less, a MINI Electric would suit a lot of people’s needs and is the perfect car for city driving.

As well as the new digital dashboard that shows the charge level for the driver, there’s a 6.5-inch central infotainment screen with navigation and real-time traffic updates and map view that shows charging stations on route are also standard features. 

Even the safety tech on the MINI Electric caters for the city drivers: electric cars are renowned for being remarkable quiet, so to help pedestrians in urban areas there’s ‘acoustic protection’ Pedestrian Warning as well as Collision Mitigation, which scan the streets and apply the brakes if they detect trouble ahead.

10. Toyota Yaris

The five door Toyota Yaris has a grown-up feel thanks to its wider, lower and sportier design, without affecting its real-world ability to nip through traffic and park in small spaces.

Toyota takes safety seriously too – with seven airbags and the full Toyota Safety Sense programme that includes pre-crash safety assist and lane departure alert – ideal for inner city driving conditions. Toyota’s Touch2 multimedia infotainment system is available on all models from the Icon upwards too, including a reversing camera and 7” touchscreen while the driver instrument display is a 4.2” TFT screen.

11. Seat Mii Electric

The new SEAT Mii all electric car is designed to be the perfect city car, designed completely for those who spend the majority of their time travelling through the city streets. Small in size, with an electric engine, it’s great for drivers to enjoy the city, find parking spots and enter emission-free zones.

It has an 82bhp electric motor which produces 156lb ft torque and can accelerate from 0-31mph in 3.9sec, with a top speed of 81mph. The 36.8kWh battery pack produces a range of 162 miles, which can be charged in around four hours to 80% capacity from a 7.2kW home wallbox, or one hour from a 40kW public fast charger. 

12. Citroen C1

A true city car, the Citroën C1 is made for nipping around the city with complete ease, thanks to its compact dimensions and exceptional handing. With a personality that is both lively and carefree, the 3 or 5-door city car is also available in an ‘Airscape’ open-top version.

Compact but spacious, the Citroën C1 boasts has an interior with plenty of room for four adults, in both 3-door and 5-door versions and a 196L boot.

Ideal for urban adventures, with seats designed for supreme comfort and a host of practical and ingenious storage solutions located around the compact cabin. It is also fitted with a 7” touchscreen, automatic air conditioning and steering wheel mounted controls for interior comfort and convenience.

13. Fiat 500

Drive off in the Fiat 500 120TH and experience the city at a new pace. The iconic nature of the 500 is even more exclusive, thanks to the new Tuxedo bi-colour and the full Apple® experience: up to 6 months of Apple Music® ad-f.

Show off your individual style with the new 500 Dolcevita. With its exclusive blue and white striped electric roof, wooden dashboard and white leather seats with fabric wicker-like centre you’ll be sure to stand out from the crowd. There’s a reason they are best loved for touring the windy, dicey roads of the Amalfi coastline.

City cars are great for more than just tooting around town. With each model mentioned above packed full of unique and stylish features. But still achieving a strong level of performance and practicality.

Should you live in a busy, built up city these little, but exciting cars could be a perfect fit for your commuter and weekend needs.