Stocking stuffer cars

Audi A3

Mini Cooper Hardtop

Chrysler 200C

Ford Fiesta ST


These compact cars are the best on the market, and they will fit in a really big stocking.

Caption by / Photo by Wayne Cunningham/CNET

The Audi A3 is about as perfect a car as we've seen in a while. This compact sedan doesn't skimp on the technology, offering a 4G data connection for Google-based navigation and destination search. Its 2-liter engine is both economical and powerful, making it fun and practical to drive.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

For this major update, Mini improved the standard Cooper hardtop in just about every way. An innovative three-cylinder engine brings power up substantially, while cabin tech is the latest from parent company BMW. The handling loses some of its previous appeal, but remains pliable and fun.

Caption by / Photo by Wayne Cunningham/CNET

Chrysler's new 200C gets a platform from Alfa Romeo, meaning excellent suspension characteristics, and revised, fluidlike styling. We found impressive appointments and tech in the cabin, including Chrysler's connected infotainment system and automatic parking.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

For those who can appreciate a lot of power in a little package, the Fiesta ST is about as good as you can get. The Fiesta ST features a practical hatchback design and is just waiting to be raced along backroads. Its superb handling allows a lot of forgiveness, and it isn't so powerful as to overwhelm the novice sport driver.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The Mazda3 features pleasing styling, a practical hatchback design, and a new generation of cabin tech. What we most like about this compact hatch is its engaging driving, as suspension and steering feel very taut and responsive. This type of engagement may not be for everyone, but it rewards the dedicated driver.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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