Top 5 City Cars
There was once a time when buying a city car meant just that – it was a 'city' car. It was probably only suitable for a trip to the supermarket, and if you ventured onto a motorway for a longer trip you would quickly regret it.
Now, though, city cars are a lot more refined and comfortable. They often boast many of the tech and convenience features of larger family hatchbacks, just in a smaller package. And because many city cars are designed with first-time buyers in mind, they tend to be stylish and come in a range of bright colours and feature touchscreens and big wheels for some added street cred.
Here's our list of the top city cars we stock – and if you agree, click the links to see cars we currently have for sale.
While every other city car in this list tries to be modern, the Fiat 500 does things a bit differently. The current version draws heavily on the look and character of the original 500 – or 'Cinquecento' – built between 1957 and 1975, and has amazingly been on sale since 2007, when Fiat brought back the iconic little city car. There have been numerous special editions over the past 13 years, and the car received a welcome facelift and improvement in quality and tech in 2016. Mid-level models are the best and powered by Fiat's clever little two-cylinder turbocharged 'TwinAir' petrol engine. It's strictly a four-seater with three doors but, for some extra Italian style, there's a convertible version too.
Imperial price from: £4,525 / £85 per month
If the Fiat 500 is retro, the Peugeot 108 is way more modern in its style. The 108 has two mechanically identical sisters – the Citroen C1 and the Toyota Aygo – and which one you choose will ultimately come down to the looks. The 108 looks smart and apes Peugeot's larger models and handily comes as a three- or five-door. There are three trims to choose from (including some special editions) and the mid-spec Active is the best one as it comes with Bluetooth, air conditioning and a touchscreen infotainment system. You can even opt for a 'Top' model with a folding fabric roof for some wind-in-the-hair fun, and you can choose from many bright interior colours. There are two engines – a 1.0-litre and a 1.2 – and it's the larger engine mated with a manual gearbox that's the best.
Imperial price from: £4,756 / £78 per month
It may have a Japanese badge on the nose but the Toyota Aygo is the sister car to the French twosome – the Citroen C1 and the Peugeot 108. You'll probably be going for the Aygo if you like the way it looks on the inside and the outside, as it does look different from its sisters. At the front there's a daring 'X' design which certainly makes the Aygo stand out from the crowd – particularly so when you opt for a bright exterior colour. Unlike the Peugeot 108, there's only one engine option – a 1.0-litre three-cylinder – but you can also go for a version with a folding fabric roof if you wish. The Aygo comes well equipped too, with every car featuring LED day-running lights and central locking, but we'd opt for the mid-spec X-play which adds air conditioning and a DAB radio.
Imperial price from: £6,225 / £90 per month
The Citroen C1 is the third sister of the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108 family. Again, you'll probably choose the Citroen if you like its styling – it rivals the Aygo in looking youthful while the 108 looks a little more grown up. Like the 108, the C1 was sold with two engines, but the 1.2 was discontinued in early 2019 leaving just the 1.0-litre in the range. There are many personalisation options and you can opt for the folding fabric roof, too, called 'Airscape'. No matter which engine you go for, the C1 is cheap to run and tax with no engine dipping below 65mpg. The manual gearbox is the better option compared to the automatic version, and the mid-spec 'Feel' model is the best model to go for thanks to its DAB radio and height-adjustable driver's seat.
Imperial price from: None in stock, check back soon
The Vauxhall Adam was a stylish choice in the city car class and has only just gone off sale as a new model. While the Vauxhall Viva rivalled cars like the Citroen C1 and Skoda Citigo, the Adam had the Fiat 500 and MINI in its sights. And you can tell it was aiming for those cars with its slightly retro looks, different colour roof options and smart-looking interior. Buying used opens up the Adam's range of petrol engines – from a fuel-sipping 1.2, through a punchy 1.0-litre three-cylinder right up to a sporty 1.4. The Adam also came in a range of amusingly-named trim levels like Jam, Slam and Glam, and few Adams are the same thanks to a wide range of personalisation option available – many customers plundered the options list when they bought new. To top it off there was an Adam with a folding fabric roof, a faux-SUV version and even a hot hatch model called the Adam S.
Imperial price from: £7,926 / £128 per month