Best Small Cars for 2014

The year 2014 promises to be a year of diversity, high-technology, better fuel economy and creature comforts. As sure as there are death and taxes, The OEMs have committed themselves to bring out fresh vehicle production lines that will push the boundaries. The following best small cars for 2014 will not necessarily be only of domestic design—Europe and the East are throwing their hats into the ring in hopes of grabbing a huge market share. The following list of vehicles are a certainty, although not everything about them is written in stone aside from the basic and general outlines.

2014 Ferrari Enzo

Although with the unlikely name of Enzo, this Ferrari is built to transcend its decade-old legend. Appealing more to the sport’s minded evangelist than the compact enthusiast, its frame will consist of carbon fiber for reduced weight, enhanced fuel economy and high performance. The V12 is mid-frame mounted, displacing around 7.3 liters with an rpm rev of up to 10,000, producing nearly 800 horsepower. It will also feature a Formula 1-style KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System) with a drivetrain electric motor and full battery pack which hops up the horsepower even more. The Enzo will cost a pretty penny and be out of the reach of most new car buyers, but it is likely to dominate the high-performance market and become a showstopper.

2014 SRT Viper Roadster

Dodge knew it had a good idea when it introduced the 1992 Viper RT/10, and the public doffed their hats to the company that dared to bring back a classic look but with a high-tech, performance appeal. The roadster trope has not changed aside from some smooth lines and extra creature comforts. You can expect to see the 8.3 liter, 640 hp V10 as the default engine, sandwiched inside its hard-core chassis. Not too much else is know about what to expect in new design features other than a roof that will completely fold down.

2014 Scion FR-S Cabrio

The FR-S will not be appearing with a plethora of design changes except for a soft roof. The 2.0 liter flat-head 4-cylinder will be front-mounted, driving the rear wheels. Last time out this engine and chassis combination drew raves for downright handling excitability, so little is expected to change in the front end and suspension. However, rumors have persisted that the engine will receive a Frankenstein-like upgrade to a forced induction model that will give the small 4-banger more power and quicker acceleration.

2014 Subaru BRZ STI

Don’t expect Subaru to sit on it laurels. The only complaints about the earlier BRZ was the lack of horsepower. It wasn’t exactly known for blasting out of a hole-shot and streaking down the highway. Even with the lightweight chassis and modified valve train, the newer version is expected to gain 50 horses over the standard 250 hp engine. Diehard fans of the BRZ have hoped all along for a turbo-charged version that entered the 300 hp or more realm. The designers at Subaru must have been listening since there is talk of of a fully supercharged engine witch is belt driven on top of the flat 4. Not even the top motor journalists have estimated what this means in the performance paradigm, but they can only wonder why such a small car is getting the fuel dragster treatment.

2014 Honda Civic

best small car 2014The Honda Civic has been a mainstay for small-compact vehicle enthusiasts since its conception. Improvements are expected with mainly the horsepower options since the 2013 model did little to increase performance, relying on the 1.8-liter 140 hp version. If horsepower boosts are not met by 2014, they are expected to appear in 2015, so potential customers can only hope for this change. The year 2013 brought about many changes and upgrades, with the addition of a rear back-up camera, Bluetooth phone interface and other quality interior add-ons. The interior comforts will be carried over and updated. The rear end is expected to get a new restyling, giving it a more high-performance look. More options will be offered as well as a larger color range. Honda expects to cut in on the market share from its competitors: VW Jetta, Ford Focus and the Mazda 3.

2014 Ford Focus

There are not many opponents of the Ford Focus. It has garnered a loyal fan base, primarily for its reliability, affordability and fuel economy. Its popularity in the domestic market has little competition. The S and SE models will be powered by their legendary 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, rated at 160 hp. The standard transmissions will be the 5-speed, with a 6-speed “Powershift” version as an option. This small car is peppy for its engine size, going from zero to 60 mph in 8.3 seconds, giving it a 27 (city) mpg and 38 (highway) mpg fuel consumption rating. Its crossover appeal results form a 107-kilowatt electric drive motor rated at 143 hp. The charging range is expected to be around 76 miles, and the MPGe fuel efficiency rating estimates 110 mpg in the city and 99 mpg on the highway. Improvements will be seen in the cabin features, with an emphasis on an attractive layout and quiet ride. The materials and trim packages will be of the highest standards, contributing to its upscale appearance and appeal.