Cars.comparison: Subcompacts

The new subcompact cars are drawing a lot of interest from drivers, but which is best? From comfort to cargo to street cred, we sort it all out.

 = Category winner
The Contenders
2007 Honda Fit Sport
(manual trans.)
2006 Hyundai Accent
(automatic trans.)
2007 Toyota Yaris Sedan
(automatic trans.)
MSRP (as tested)
$15,170$13,305$12,550
Smallest (bumper to bumper)
157.4 inches168.5 inches169.3 inches
Comfort (driver's seat)
Most headroom, good support. Best mix of space and adjustability.Seat lacks support.
Comfort (backseat)
Most comfortable despite least amount of legroom.A good compromise.Opposite of Fit.
Interior
Aspirational: The Fit is high quality, sporty and ergonomic.Sophisticated: Well appointed, mature … maybe too mature.Adequate: Modern, but riddled with ergonomic quirks.
Utility/cargo room
Fully reclining front seats, a multi-action folding rear seat and nearly twice the cargo room as the others.The Accent has a standard 60/40-split fold-flat rear seat that can expand the 12.4-cubic-foot trunk.The lack of a standard folding backseat hamstrings utility for the Yaris.
Sound
Best sound under hard acceleration, but the loudest at highway speeds. The Accent has rough-sounding sprints, but is quiet on the highway.Anemic engine noise; loud but not offensive on the highway.
Safety features
The Fit has standard antilock brakes and six airbags. Standard all-disc antilock brakes and six airbags.The Yaris has optional antilock brakes and side-impact and side curtain airbags.
Gas mileage (city/highway)
Stirring straw:
33/38 mpg
Slurpee straw:
28/36 mpg
IV drip:
34/39 mpg
Acceleration (0-60 mph)
The Fit is the greyhound of the bunch: Not exactly quick, but less than 8 seconds.A spirited basset hound: More than 10 seconds … but with charm.Whippet: Just a snout behind the Greyhound at about 8.
Ride/handling
Responsive steering and admirable roadholding beg you to drive hard.
Happiest as a point-A-to-point-B appliance.
Relaxed suspension seems out of place in this group.
Look/street cred
The Fit's taut, aggressive shape carries the day; being the only hatchback doesn't hurt.The Accent's innocuous appearance leaves us unmoved.The Yaris looks like a happy jelly bean; has all the cred of a happy jelly bean.
MP3 player connectivity
An auxiliary input jack is available only on Sport models of the Fit.The Accent is strictly AM, FM or CD, OK? Optional auxiliary input jack available for all Yaris models.
Model name
Makes slightly more sense than the ad campaign (The Fit is Go). Memorable, pronounceable, spellable, appropriately vague; a winner!Pirates have overtaken Toyota's marketing department.
Warranty (years/miles)
Bumper to bumper:
3/36,000 5/60,0003/36,000
Powertrain:
5/60,000 10/100,0005/60,000
Roadside assistance:
-- 5/unlimited3/36,000
Overall value
The Fit is the best-equipped, but also the priciest. The Accent has the best mix: High-value safety features and standard CD stereo, though air conditioning is optional.The Yaris has the lowest base price, but adding features the others have standard — like side airbags, ABS and a stereo — make it almost as expensive as the Fit.
 
Editor's choice
The Fit's feel is richer than the elevated sticker price.The Accent is a little thirsty, a little poky, a little bland.The Yaris is ergonomically delinquent and short on excitement.
Posted on 6/22/06
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