Small cars are ideal for drivers that want to get around town swiftly, run quick errands and park easily…

Volkswagen Polo

Volkswagen’s Polo is one of the longest-established superminis on the market, having made its debut way back in 1975. But, just like Doctor Who, it keeps on regenerating to stay modern and relevant.

The sixth generation Polo was launched last year and has won widespread acclaim, including winning 2018 World Urban Car at the prestigious New York International Auto Show.

The Polo is a 5-door, 5-seat hatchback and, compared to the previous generation, the new model is longer and wider, giving driver and passengers more leg and headroom. The new Polo also has a boot capacity of 351 litres, which is more than enough for shopping, sports equipment and the like.

The Polo is also equipped for safety with features including pedestrian detection and front assist with City Emergency Braking, both designed to minimise the risk of an accident, included as standard.

Other features expected on updated models, such as smartphone connectivity allowing you to make handsfree calls and sat nav, which uses live traffic data to help you beat the jams, are also present and correct. The system also has a Guide & Inform package, which can be used to discover attractions, restaurants and the like wherever you are. All this is accessible through a 20.3cm (8 inch) touchscreen with glass display.

Opt for the sporty R-Line model and you’ll get ‘Carbon Flag’ sports seats, rear tinted glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, parking sensors and a driver alert system.

Kia Venga

Kia has given its established Venga – Spanish for “Come on”, if you were wondering, a major facelift.

One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Venga is space. For instance, the back seats can slide, recline, split 60:40 and fold into the floor, which is something you more often find in an MPV, and is very useful if you are transporting awkward or large loads – with a cargo capacity of 1,253 litres. With the rear seats in position, it is 444 litres; still good for a car of its size.

Elsewhere, things like electrically folding, adjustable and heated door mirrors with integrated indicator lights come as standard, as do rear parking sensors and Bluetooth, so you can connect your mobile phone, be it Apple or Android.

The Venga is marketed as a family car, so Kia has naturally included a lot of safety features as standard including front, side and curtain airbags, active antiwhiplash head restraints and stability control. All this contributed to it having been awarded a 5-star Euro NCAP rating for safety.

Opt for the Venga 4 and you’ll benefit from a reversing camera system – integrated into the sat nav screen – which shows a full view of obstacles behind the car when reverse gear is selected. For tight spaces, this can be invaluable.

Suzuki Swift

This is a city car absolutely tailored to urban environments. With almost zero body lean and good grip, it feels tidy and responsive – and looks stylish and fun.

Due to its tidy proportions you’ll feel the full benefi t of any of the engine options you select. The SZ3 is available with a smooth 1.2 Dualjet petrol engine which uses two injectors per cylinder to improve the effi ciency and helps delivers great fuel economy from 55.4mpg, as well as low CO2 emissions (115g/km). Other options include a 1.0 turbocharged Boosterjet petrol engine and the SHVS Mild Hybrid engine, providing even greater environmental benefits.

Although the Swift is compact and light it has a slightly enlarged interior, including 265 litres of boot space.

A super array of safety features include driver and front passenger, side and curtain airbags and ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) function that varies the force applied to each wheel to correct for the conditions. It’s also equipped with: Electronic Stability Program (ESP), ISOFIX child seat fittings, side impact protection beams and a tyre pressure monitoring system.

Vauxhall Viva

After launching the Viva in the UK in 2015 as a replacement for the Agila, Vauxhall has decided to give it a facelift, hence the new Viva with revised bodywork and a fresh interior.

The Viva is aimed primarily at urban drivers, and with that in mind includes a ‘City’ mode, making the steering lighter and more agile. In addition, Vauxhall says the Viva has a combined fuel economy of 45.6mpg from its 1-litre petrol engine. It is only available with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

It also has rear park assist as an optional extra, which is great for reversing into those overly tight parking spaces in retail centre car parks without having to crane your neck to unnatural degrees to get a decent view of where you’re going – and the Viva also has numerous safety features, including six airbags and hill start assist.

This is another hatchback that can be adapted to create a larger luggage space: 60/40 split folding seats, mean that it has up to 1,000 litres of capacity.

The Viva comes with a suite of optional extras, including practical items such as cruise control and lane departure warning – so no more lane drift on motorways. There are also plenty of add-ons for your comfort, such as heated seats and steering wheel and electronic climate control.