Are you searching the new car market for something that can offer alluring luxury quality in a small package? Then want you want is something from the small luxury car segment.
This particular part of the car market has been booming in recent years, and that’s largely because there are some great, stylish cars currently found in this segment. Here we highlight five of the best small luxury cars worth considering.
The MINI has been one of the most recognisable and successful car names on British roads and the latest incarnation of the hatchback is a decent all-rounder offering diverse specification choice, a classy and spacious interior and fun driving characteristics.
Available in three-door or five-door guises, the MINI Hatch feels incredibly fashionable whether viewed from the outside or within the well-equipped interior. A lot of switches and displays have their own quirky, distinct design and you get the likes of DAB radio, Bluetooth and an MP3 connector as standard.
There’s a wide range of optional packs you can add as well which bump up the price but make the car even more delightfully luxurious. The engine range is solid too, featuring 94bhp and 114bhp diesels and a 101bhp 1.2-litre petrol unit. Then there’s the 1.5-litre petrol which offers 134bhp for the Cooper or a very tasty 189bhp for the Cooper S.
The DS 3 started originally as part of Citroen’s supermini line-up and straight away the car’s bold styling and sharp driving characteristics made it stand out in a positive way. Now DS models are part of their own premium sub-brand and the DS 3 is now even more luxurious than ever before.
Not only does it look great, the DS 3 is also decent to drive, particularly if you go for a DSport model which has a stiffer suspension set-up. This does make the ride firmer, but also makes things more fun behind the wheel.
Engines include the PureTech 130, a three-cylinder petrol engine which boasts 128bhp and is a delight. There’s even a 163bhp THP petrol engine and 207bhp THP unit for the DS 3 Performance if you’re keen for even more speed, but the PureTech 130 is already a fine engine.
Other plus points of the DS 3 include the comfortable ride and the smart, decluttered interior which feels suitably premium. The DS 3 also stands out in the small luxury car segment by offering not just a hatchback body style but also a soft-top Cabrio version if you prefer wind-in-your-hair driving.
The A1 is Audi’s smallest car and does a good job of packaging the brand’s famous premium styling around a compact motor. Not only is it one of the most stylish small cars around, and boasts one of the most appealing badges, the A1 also boasts a strong engine line-up.
Available in three-door or five-door Sportback guises, the A1 offers diesel engines which pack a punch but also provide low running costs. There’s also a modern and surprisingly fun 1.0-litre turbo petrol with 94bhp and even feistier 1.4-litre petrol units with 123bhp or 148bhp.
There are other small luxury cars in the market which offer a softer ride and a more spacious cabin and boot, but the Audi A1 is still reasonably roomy and the light steering is good for city driving.
The BMW i3 is a more unique choice for a small luxury car. It comes with either a fully-electric powertrain or a range extender powertrain that adds a small two-cylinder petrol engine as support.
With the latest updates to the battery pack, the i3 has an official travel range of 195 miles on electric power only, while the petrol engine in the Range Extender adds an extra 81 miles. Little fuel is used and CO2 emissions are just 12g/km even in Range Extender guise, making the i3 certainly one of the greenest luxury cars around.
The initial purchase price for the i3 is significantly more than other cars on this list but the ultra-low running costs do stand out and besides the powertrain the i3 is an all-round fascinating car.
It has rear-wheel drive and very agile handling characteristics plus a tight turning circle which comes in handy when in town. The interior also has a quirky, unique and at the same time sophisticated feel and it’s incredibly roomy too.
If you had something larger than the entries mentioned above in mind when looking for a new small luxury car, then the Audi A3 range is well worth a look.
The A3 range is diverse, featuring three-door hatchback, five-door Sportback, two-door Cabriolet and four-door saloon options. The three-door hatchback is the cheapest and most compact.
Offering a classy interior, subtle but appealing styling and strong practicality, the Audi A3 hatchback is a decent all-rounder that can appeal to all sorts of drivers looking for luxury. You get a large choice of engines, from ultra-efficient diesels to energetic petrol units and the fit and finish for the cabin of the A3 is hard to beat too.