The subcompact car segment has been shrinking for years, with many models being discontinued. Their often high price, which is close to that of compact cars, and a marked interest in small SUVs have contributed to undermining sales in this segment. It’s a shame because there are few models today that prioritize budget above all, offering new, affordable cars for those who want to commute without breaking the bank.
For 2023, the segment includes only three models that are intriguing enough to make it to the podium. Of course, in this category, both the price and value are scrutinized. Reliability is just as crucial because one wants an affordable car that requires reasonable expenditure during the ownership period.
So, what are the best subcompact cars for 2023 in Canada?
1. Kia Rio 2023
2023 Kia Rio Price Range: $19,859 – $25,409
With the end of Chevrolet Spark’s production, the 2023 Kia Rio claims the top spot for compact cars in 2023. Offered just under $20,000, which is almost the same price as last year, it is only available as a 4-door model and hatchback, the 4-door sedan having been phased out some time ago.
The car is equipped with a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower and a torque of 113 pound-feet. It’s far from overpowering, but the mechanism favors fuel economy. The good news is that the base version is equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox; a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is offered in other versions.
The 2023 Kia Rio also has an appealing advantage: its insurance premiums are typically lower, especially for young drivers. Its good value and high level of equipment for its price are also appreciated.
2. Nissan Versa 2023
2023 Nissan Versa Price Range: $20,163 – $24,663
With the disappearance of the Micra, the Versa made a comeback in the market to become the most affordable car of the brand. Unlike the Kia Rio, the 2023 Nissan Versa is only available as a 4-door sedan, a configuration less appreciated by Quebecers but more popular with our southern neighbors.
The S version is offered just above $20,000, benefiting from a 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower and a torque of 114 pound-feet. This engine, used on several other brand models, has proven reliable and trouble-free. The base version comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox, otherwise, a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard on other Versa models.
We appreciate its modern style, spacious cabin and trunk, and its interesting level of equipment for its price, which compensates for its slightly disappointing consumption and the noise level of its engine, especially when paired with the CVT.
3. Mitsubishi Mirage 2023
2023 Mitsubishi Mirage Price Range: $15,873 – $22,323
A newcomer to the podium this year, the 2023 Mitsubishi Mirage is truly the queen of affordable cars thanks to its base price of $14,748. It’s hard to find better, and we actually recommend sticking with the base versions as the Mirage quickly becomes less appealing than its rivals at similar prices.
It is also the least powerful of the lot with its 1.3-liter 3-cylinder engine that only delivers 78 horsepower for a torque of 74 pound-feet. It will take some patience to travel from point A to point B, but at least, this engine benefits from good fuel consumption. The base version comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox, while the others are equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT).
Despite its faults, the Mitsubishi Mirage has demonstrated some reliability, making it an interesting alternative for those with a very limited budget for purchasing a new car. It benefits from an excellent warranty, ensuring you greater peace of mind.