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Superhero Superminis

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a supermini…

Saving you money. Saving the day.

Saving you money. Saving the day.

They say good things come in small packages. Never was a truer word spoken than in the case of the mighty supermini. To make it in this hotly contended market segment, these bold little cars have a lot to prove. They must be agile enough to angle easily into awkward spots, brave enough to brazen it out on the open highway, and intuitive enough to stream your favourite tunes – all while pointing out the speed limit, and looking good enough to share on your favourite social media platforms. It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. So, whether you’re confronted with a fiendishly far commute or a comically compact parking bay, these pocket heroes are guaranteed to save the day…

The Ford Fiesta

Special powers? Style, sportiness and sass in spades. It’s always been a bit of an all-rounder.

Reigning champion of its class, the Ford Fiesta has been setting (and surpassing) supermini standards since it first graced UK roads in 1976. But there’s so much more to the Fiesta than its formerly no-frills forebears. Today, it’s jam-packed with the latest in smart driving technology, including Adaptive Cruise Control, Traffic Sign Recognition and Active Park Assist. This little legend is even available in fresh, Insta-heartable hues like Bohai Bay Mint and Chrome Copper. How very post-millennial.

The SEAT Ibiza

Special powers? Settle in for a smooth ride – the Ibiza will sweep you off your feet with its plush levels of comfort and handling.

With sharper creases than a freshly ironed shirt, the Ibiza's geometric bodywork gives it a beautifully tailored edge over the competition. This sprightly hatch is aimed at a younger audience, with a tapas-like selection of tempting tech across six tiers of trim. Feeling sporty? Tuck into the all-new FR model, which offers an athletic spin on a winning formula – twin exhaust pipes, 18-inch alloy wheels and contrast stitching. You’ll feel ready for the race-track – even if you are just nipping out to Aldi for a half-loaf.

The Kia Rio

Special powers?A peerless 7-year warranty delivers industry-leading peace of mind.

A relative newcomer to the hotly contended European supermini hall of fame, the Kia Rio is now in its fourth generation. It’s available with a choice of six capable engines, including a brand-new 1.0-litre, turbocharged petrol. It may not be faster than a speeding bullet, but it can quite happily manage 0-62 mph in exactly ten seconds. Plus, with its thrifty price point and reassuring seven-year warranty, invest in this little gem and you’ll have plenty of loot left over in your stash.

The Volkswagen Polo

Special powers? Family-friendly levels of practicality and endurance.

With a plush, upmarket cabin equipped with enough switches and gadgets to rival the Batmobile, the The Volkswagen Polo proves superminis don’t have to be basic. With five doors as standard and a colossal 11.7-inch Active info display this is a sensible choice for anyone looking for a roomy ride with formidable features. A colossal 14 million Polos have been sold since it first rolled off the production line in 1975, and with the 2018 Polo just around the corner, it could be time to start saving up for yours.

The MINI Hatchback

Special powers? Devastating good looks and driving thrills to back them up.

The iconic MINI Hatchback flies the flag for renegades and rebels, with a wealth of customisations and quirks for non-conformists. The diminutive (yet dauntless) MINI has come a long way since it was taken over by BMW, with adorable features like a colour-changing LED notification ring, stop-start button and futuristic flourishes like a transparent, heads-up display. A range of trim levels will take you from the base (but not at all basic) MINI One up to the rip-roaring Cooper S, which can zip from 0-62 mpg in a mere 7.4 seconds.

About the Author

Kirsty Leckie Palmer

Staff writer at Arnold Clark.