Compact Cars With the Roomiest, Most Comfortable Interiors

There's plenty of room for you, your family, and all your stuff in these six models

Subaru Imprezza interior Photo: Subaru

There's no need to buy an SUV just because you like to take a trip, commute, or have to ferry the kids around. A compact sedan can do many of the same things an SUV can do, while returning better fuel economy and with a more comfortable ride, an inviting driver’s seat, and plenty of rear legroom.

How do we know? Well, we buy every car we test and then spend weeks putting each through a comprehensive series of evaluations. We measure fuel economy ourselves, see how much luggage will fit in the trunk, and have testers of all shapes, sizes, and ages evaluate how comfortable the front and back seats are, along with how easy it is to get in and out of the vehicle.

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The list below is compiled from the data we collected on all the compact sedans we’ve tested. We tallied up how well they performed in our access, cargo, and comfort tests. Then we calculated the best of the best to find out which vehicles excel in these measurements. They are all recommended models, which means you won’t find any with poor reliability, a low road-test score, or missing safety features. We also identify if forward collision warning (FCW), automatic emergency braking (AEB) with pedestrian detection, and blind spot warning (BSW) are standard or optional.

Some of these models include our Green Choice designation, which highlights the vehicles with the cleanest emissions.

If you’re a CR member, this article and the list below are already available to you. But if you haven’t signed up, click below and become a member to access the list and all our exclusive ratings and reviews for each vehicle we buy and test. Members can read our highly detailed road tests, which expand on the summaries included here. Joining also gives you full access to exclusive ratings for the other products our experts evaluate in several categories, including electronics and home appliances.

CR members can click on the featured model below for ratings and reviews, or read on for detailed reviews of each one.

The featured compact cars include:
Honda Civic
Hyundai Elantra
Mazda3
Nissan Sentra
Subaru Impreza
Toyota Corolla
Volkswagen Jetta

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We investigate, research, and test so you can choose with confidence.