Once upon a time small cars were seen as a compromise. They were for people who couldn’t afford a big saloon. And it showed. Car makers didn’t put as much effort into their hatchbacks as they did the rest of their fleet. And small car buyers were often left short-changed. Just think back to the rust bucket that was the Fiat Uno.

But now things have changed. Small cars have gotten reliable. But the big turnaround has been with perceptions. The city cars of today are stylish in the same way we have come to expect from more luxurious models. And it’s all thanks to a few spirited car makers looking to improve consumer options in this critical market.

Mini Cooper

When the original Mini was released back in the 1960s, it quickly garnered a reputation. Sure it was a small, nippy car. But it was plagued with reliability issues and had no modern comforts whatsoever.

But something interesting happened. The car developed a cult following in the years that followed. There was a sort of longing for a return of the car, in the same way as many want to see the return of the VW camper. But now a new, modern version of the original can be found on sites like www.coopermini.co.uk. And it doesn’t come with any of the drawbacks of the original.

Thanks to more than forty years of automotive innovation, the new Mini is more reliable, functional and, frankly, not so mini. It’s also retained the original styling and charm that made the mini so attractive to so many people. And that’s why it’s managed to remain a style icon until this day.

Alfa Romeo MiTo

If you’ve ever owned an Alfa, you’ll know that the Italian car maker is all about making beautiful cars. Traditionally, the car maker has concerned itself with making coupes. But now it’s turned its attention to the supermini market. What Alfa offers on the MiTo is their trademark styling, as well as a car that is robust. But what buyers will really like about the MiTo is its exclusivity. There just aren’t all that many of these cars around. Hence, Alfa Romeo does with the MiTo what it does with its other vehicles: offer a sense of occasion.

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What’s more, the Alfa comes with something approaching sporty performance. The Cloverleaf model comes with an impressive 168 bhp. And that puts it squarely in the same performance bracket as a Golf GTi. But as www.theguardian.com points out, it loses a contest with the Mini in the charm department.

Mercedes A-Class

Traditionally Mercedes haven’t been all that interested in cars outside of the luxury segment. And it the past, they’ve left smaller car models in the hands of subsidiaries, like Smart. But now the company has brought its A game, quite literally, to the small car market. Viewed head on, it’s hard to see that the new Mercedes A-Class is a hatchback. The bold styling at the front is borrowed from larger C-Class and looks very impressive. As a result, the Mercedes gives off the sense that it is truly a premium car.

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