Top 10 best superminis 2023

Open gallery Close News by Richard Lane 9 mins read 11 May 2023 Follow @@_rlane_ Share

The onslaught of high-riding crossovers and full-size SUV paints a different picture, but small, B-segment hatchbacks – that is, superminis – remain the most popular cars in Europe. 

In recent years, few significant new models have been introduced, but there have been a fair few facelifts, which have shaken up the rankings somewhat. An all-new Mini is also on the way, which explains the absence of the old car on this list. When it arrives and we’ve driven it, expect it to rank fairly highly, as past iterations have.

To make our top 10 list for 2023, a supermini needs to be so much more than just capable of carrying a couple of adults, a couple of kids and a decent amount of luggage relative to its small footprint. It must now also be desirable, well packaged, easy to drive and pleasant to use. A pedigree performer, in other words. 

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Dynamically, the key attributes are transparency and good basic agility. Superminis should be inherently nimble and at least moderately fun to drive in all their forms. Sluggish steering is a worse crime than soft suspension. Modest power and five doors are no impediments to a rewarding driving experience. 

Increasingly superminis also offer a level of perceived quality, performance and technological sophistication that bears comparison with that of bigger hatchbacks. And the very best combine some or all of that with the agility that only a small, light car can offer.


1. Seat Ibiza

The fifth-generation Seat Ibiza stormed to the top of our supermini class rankings when it appeared in 2018 and has had a very successful facelift in 2021. The Spanish company went to great lengths to replace the decent fourth-generation Ibiza with a handsome hatchback backed by real substance. It was the first of the Volkswagen Group’s latest breed of MQB-based small hatchbacks – and since the recent facelift, it’s also the best.

Mimicking the bigger Seat Leon in many ways, the Ibiza is roomy, well equipped and much better finished than before. Combine that with its fine on-road handling and refinement manners, its value-for-money position, its impressive equipment features and its youthful styling and it all adds up to a class-leading proposition for us. 

It’s not quite as entertaining to drive as the Ford Fiesta, but it’s close, and since the recent update, the interior is much-improved, with more soft-touch materials, a more interesting dashboard design and Seat’s latest infotainment system (even if it can be buggy on some cars). 

The Ibiza is our current class leader because it’s a more rounded, upmarket ownership proposition than the Ford and still more fun to drive than the Volkswagen Polo, and it has a nicer interior than either of them.


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2. Skoda Fabia

Skoda has seen a clear march upmarket in recent years, and that suits some of its models better than others. Some have got a bit too expensive, but with the latest Fabia, Skoda has nailed the balance.

It’s no longer as cheap as it once was, but it’s still one of the more affordable options in the class. Nevertheless, it is one of the most spacious superminis on the market, with only the Honda Jazz offering more room.

The interior isn’t particularly plush, but it is, especially in some of the lower-spec versions, as intuitive as it gets, with big, simple buttons and ergonomics that are spot on.

The engine range is similarly no-nonsense, with no hybrids or diesels available. Instead, there’s a choice of three-pot petrols and one four-cylinder. We would avoid the weedy naturally aspirated models and go for the 95PS TSI turbo. The more powerful engines aren’t really worth the additional outlay.

Despite sharing much of its mechanical make-up with the Ibiza and Polo, the Fabia neatly differentiates itself with its driving experience. It’s not trying to be sporty or exciting; instead it rides extremely well without becoming frustratingly floaty in the corners.

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