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Car of the Year Awards 2023: Best small car to drive

Despite the fashion for SUVs, the traditional small car remains the most popular type on the road, with the best brilliant all-rounders that offer excellent value for money...

Best small car to drive

Ford Fiesta 1.0 EcoBoost 100 Trend

Car of the Year 2023 main logo

The Ford Fiesta won’t be around for much longer (Ford plans to end production by June), but that doesn’t make it any less worthy of consideration. And this very familiar hatchback can still teach rivals a lesson or two when it comes to putting a smile on the driver’s face.

The punchy 1.0-litre petrol engine will sling you along effortlessly from low revs, so you don’t have to thrash it just to keep up with traffic. You also get a slick six-speed gearbox, precise steering and agile handling.

Ford Fiesta 2022 dashboard

The entry-level Trend trim we recommend doesn’t come with the stiffer suspension set-up fitted to sporty ST-Line versions, but it still has the magical ability to transform the most mundane journey into an entertaining one.

The Honda Jazz is far more practical, has a classier interior and will cost less as a company car, but the way the Fiesta drives makes its shortcomings easy to forgive. Plus, it’s still a cheap car to run, officially averaging more than 50mpg.

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See all of our Car of the Year 2023 winners >>