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What are the best 2022 subcompact cars according to RPM?

subcompact cars according to RPM

What are the best 2022 subcompact cars according to RPM?

According to the RPM team, here are the best subcompact cars of 2022. We have ranked them based on their reliability, value, and convenience. The subcompact car segment has been melting rapidly in recent years with the disappearance of many models. There are several reasons for this:

  • Too high a price makes them less attractive than a compact model.
  • SUVs are more fashionable.
  • Profitability is not there for many manufacturers.

Therefore, RPM presents you with the Best Subcompact Cars for 2022 based on their reliability, value, and practicality.

This year, we note the disappearance of two important vehicles, namely the Honda Fit, which presented unparalleled practicality despite its higher price, and the Hyundai Accent, the queen of sales for years, a car that offered an excellent value for the price.

The Nissan Versa is making a comeback this year, but since it is a new model, the RPM team prefers to wait a year before deciding. Since only a few vehicles are left, we have decided to select only two models.

Here is the list of vehicles competing in the compact sports car category in 2022:

Chevrolet Spark, Kia Rio, Mitsubishi Mirage.

RPM’s choices:

When buying a new automobile, the subcompact segment is the traditional gateway to a whole new world of independence and mobility. Smaller cars are also chosen by seasoned car owners for their tidy size, making city life easier with their low cost of ownership.

Subcompacts have always been a rational choice for bargain hunters with frugal engines, simple maintenance requirements, and little complexity. Designed for owners who need to extract the maximum value from their hard-earned dollars, subcompacts are often known for durability.

Discerning drivers also choose the subcompact category for the playfulness inherent in a lighter, more agile car. Manual transmissions, revs, and direct steering have made some of these small cars legends in their own right. And a lot of consumers don’t need something more significant. Sometimes being small is the ultimate luxury.

Manufacturers adapted to market demand and gradually added content and options to their smaller offerings, making larger compacts more competitive for price-conscious consumers. That and the seemingly insatiable market demand for crossovers and SUVs have affected subcompacts. The former stars of the category are now part of the history books. Last year’s winner in this segment, the Honda Fit, is no longer offered in 2022.

But fear not because the subcompact market is alive and well with quality offerings that have traded numbers for diversity. Yes, there are fewer subcompacts to choose from in 2022, but our equally diverse team of 20 experts has selected the top five in the class, cars that we would recommend to friends and relatives.

Here are the finalists for the 2022 Best Subcompact Awards. Winners will announce in February 2022.

1. Chevrolet Spark 2022

subcompact cars according to RPM
subcompact cars according to RPM

Less well known in the category, the Chevrolet Spark is a good choice, especially since it is offered at a reasonably attractive base price, just over $ 12,500, including freight and delivery costs. Despite its very compact size, it is a city car; the manufacturer has made good use of its interior space to make it practical and comfortable for four people, five if you like to be very intimate. The Chevrolet Spark 2022 offers good value for its price, and several exciting pieces of equipment are provided as standard. The youngest will appreciate all its connectivity features, including Bluetooth.   

Its 98-horsepower 1.4-liter 4-cylinder engine does nothing to make the Spark a high-performance car; on the other hand, its fuel consumption makes it possible to cover long distances without breaking the bank. It remains one of the few cars to offer a manual transmission which remains an excellent choice compared to the CVT. Its mechanical simplicity also makes it reliable. The electric version marketed in the past greatly added to the interest of Spark. Unfortunately, it is no longer offered. 

In short, the Chevrolet Spark 2022 is a good choice for those who want to get a new car at a more than reasonable price, as long as you stay in the less upscale versions.

2. Kia Rio 2022

kia rio

With the disappearance of several candidates, the Kia Rio 2022 takes top honors in the subcompact car category in 2022. Unfortunately, the sedan is disappearing this year. However, the 5-door configuration remains in the range, which has always been more popular. While many appreciate its more dynamic lines, the Rio adds practicality thanks to its tailgate and higher cargo volume.

Its base price is also more attractive than that of the sedan, but it will still cost between $ 19,000 and $ 25,000 to get one of the four versions offered, which, on the other hand, places it directly in competition, with several versions of the 2022 Forte sedan.

Its compact size makes it very agile in urban areas and easy to park in tight spaces. It finds its real advantage here. Its 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine produces 120 horsepower, which it sends to the front wheels through a 6-speed manual gearbox offered on the base version; the other versions are entitled to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The assembly provides good reliability.

The 2022 Kia Rio5 capitalizes on the strength of the South Koreans – super-equipped vehicles that deliver excellent value.

3. Mini Cooper 2022

mini cooper

Did I mention that diversity is the running theme here? Mini’s cheerful little Cooper draws the hearts of our expert team for its unparalleled driving experience. But there is more to Mini than this legendary karting affiliation. Beyond all of the nominees listed here, the Cooper offers a myriad of setups and can tweak to suit everyone, from the affordable city car to the weekend track toy and everything in between.

The menu begins with a 134-horsepower turbocharged 3-cylinder. It progresses to a 189-horsepower turbo 4-cylinder in Cooper S livery, paired with your choice of a six-speed manual, or eight-speed automatic transmissions, with any combination available. Both body styles and in multiple nuances of paint, roof colors, and stripes. There’s even a fully electric three-door Cooper SE if you want to enjoy a zero-emission car.

Being so mini means running into a pretty tight rear seat in the 3-door, which seats four, but the 5-door benefits from a longer wheelbase, leaving room for five and more trunk volume.

4. Nissan Versa 2022

 subcompact cars
Best subcompact cars

The first-generation Versa was very popular with Canadian buyers, with its main attractions being its European design, spacious cabin, and a larger-than-average engine for the class. But the Versa Note that followed was left in the shadow of the cute Micra, like everything. For 2022, the Micra is retired (the Note left us after 2019), and Nissan has chosen to enter the market in style, launching an all-new Versa sedan (the only bodywork now offered). A complete break from previous generations, the new car borrows styling cues from Nissan’s latest sedans and looks like a Sentra on 7 / 8th scale – which isn’t bad at all!

A five-speed manual transmission is offered on the base Versa S, while the optional CVT automatic transmission is standard on the SV and SR top trims. All models feature front-wheel drive and a 122-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, while rear drum brakes and torsion beam suspension help keep costs down. Savvy buyers will notice that, unlike many subcompacts, the Versa lineup uses popular sized tires, another cost-cutting factor in a category where every dollar counts and in a country where every car needs two Tire sets!

All Versas come standard with niceties like cruise control and automated two-way emergency braking. At the same time, the full Safety Shield 360 safety suite is available on plush liveries, automatic climate control, and a computer. Advanced edge. The Versa indeed deserves its nomination with seating for five and styling that will appeal to everyone.

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5. Chevrolet Bolt 2021

 subcompact cars
Best subcompact cars

Nothing says “21st century” like a sleek design battery electric car (BEV). Launched in 2017, the Bolt was the first electric to challenge Tesla. As the first mass-produced electric car by General Motors, the Bolt was designed entirely around the architecture specific to electric vehicles and therefore made no compromises to accommodate other types of powertrains. Its ‘skateboard’ platform places the 66 kWh battery – upgraded this year, the old one being 60 kWh – under the cabin floor, helping both the packaging and the center of gravity of this vehicle—large subcompact.

Although it adopts a classic small car layout with its five doors and front-wheel drive, everything else about the Bolt is new. Under the truncated front hood, we find an electric motor with 200 horsepower and 266 lb-ft of torque that gives this subcompact a lot of power. The Bolt is faster than many Chevrolet muscle cars, with a 0-100 km / h time of just over 6 seconds. Moving towards the cabin, the seats are strangely set up high, creating a bit of a “saddle” effect, which gives the driver a good view of his surroundings. The materials seem durable and ready for heavy use, but maybe austere at this price point.

Official figures indicate a 416 km range, but several have exceeded official figures. Thanks to its high-speed CCS Combo portal, the little Chevrolet offers a 7.2 kWh on-board charger and can recharge 80% of its capacity in 30 minutes. The Bolt is a compelling option for the environmentally-conscious consumer.


The small size of subcompact cars makes them great city cars because they can maneuver easily and park in tight spaces. Subcompact cars tend to get excellent fuel economy, and they can provide excellent cargo space if you opt for a hatchback.

Small, light cars also tend to handle better around corners. According to critics, many of the cars in this class deliver a sporty driving experience, especially when equipped with an upgraded engine and suspension.

Strengths can vary across cars in this class; one top-ranking car’s strong suit may be another’s weakness. Use our rankings to consider the pros and cons of each car in this class and decide what matters to you.

What are the best 2022 subcompact cars according to RPM?

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