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The 2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI continues to improve without straying too far from the blueprint that makes the original hot hatchback so great.
The flexible, fun 2015 Honda Fit loses a bit of its sporty edge for this generation, but continues to stand out as a strong, driver-friendly choice in a very crowded segment.
The 2015 Nissan Juke Nismo RS confers bragging rights for its 215 horsepower engine, but the lesser trim Juke Nismo looks like a better value for those wanting a funky compact SUV with excellent handling.
The 2014 Mini Cooper benefits from a small but powerful engine, and connected cabin tech with a bit of whimsy, but its handling feels more grown up than the previous generation's.
The 2014 Volkswagen Jetta TDI offers basic transportation at a bargain and an excellent engine, but techies will want to hold off for the improved 2015 model.
Though big for a Fiat model, the 2014 Fiat 500L is still small for a wagon or crossover that boasts so much interior volume. However, limited tech and performance have us reconsidering the competition.
The 2014 Scion tC delivers a strong power-train and a well-sorted suspension on a budget, leaving it to the driver to add most of the tech via the aftermarket.
With its 1.6-liter engine, the 2014 Ford Fiesta makes for a mild-mannered urban runabout, but Sync and MyFord Touch add some compelling tech features.
Although lacking anything in the way of driving enjoyment, the 2014 Toyota Corolla offers economical and modern transportation with stylish design both inside and out.
The 2013 Nissan Sentra serves as cheap transportation for urban areas, and offers connected navigation for greater convenience, but a weak engine and bland styling highlight its mundane nature.
With its turbocharged engine, the 2013 Kia Sportage SX offers a lot more power than most small SUVs, but its cabin tech tends largely towards the average.
The 2013 Chevrolet Spark includes some intriguing features for its price, but bizarre limitations in the cabin electronics and low horsepower create too many compromises.
Dodge gives the 2013 Dart an excellent cabin tech suite, impressive for a compact car, but uneven acceleration makes the 1.4-liter engine upgrade a questionable choice.
The 2012 Honda Fit Sport shows the model has aged gracefully, providing handling and performance among the best in its class. The same can't be said for its outdated cabin tech options.
The 2012 Hyundai Veloster's wimpy engine can't back up its sports-car looks. Fortunately, there's plenty of good cabin tech to keep drivers and passengers entertained.
With its compact size, the 2012 Scion iQ is excellent for cities, offering easy parking and good drivability. But harsh engine noise will make longer trips uncomfortable.
The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze Eco comes off as a bit light on cabin tech, but its high mileage and good driving character make it a practical choice.
The 2006 Pontiac Solstice is a car for teenage girls with a love of cosmetics or midlife-crisis guys happy to get a budget boy-racer image without the performance to back it up. Those wanting a real roadster experience should look elsewhere.