2018 5-Year Cost to Own Awards: Best Compact Car

2018 Toyota Corolla iM

Best Compact Car:
2018 Toyota Corolla iM

Now in its second year after being released from Scion prison, the Toyota Corolla iM hatchback is making its way in the big world of compact cars. This year's win in Kelley Blue Book's 5-Year Cost to Own Awards competition, as well as a third-place finish in our Best Resale Value Awards scrum, point to a small car with big eyes for value and reliability.

The one-spec/one-price (no options, just color choices) Corolla iM costs $19,745 with a 6-speed manual transmission and $20,495 with a continuously variable automatic. At those price points, the standard-equipment levels are impressive. Highlights start with 17-inch wheels and heated/power-folding side mirrors outside, and dual-zone automatic climate control and a tilt/telescoping steering column within. The major value, however, comes from the Toyota Safety Sense C package that includes pre-collision braking, lane-departure warning, and automatic high beams. To reach this level of equipment on the Corolla iM's competition (Mazda3, Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf) would cost thousands more.

Under the hood, the Corolla iM's 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine won't win you any speed contests, and the interior -- while comfy and contemporary (we called it "edgy") -- isn't really stretch-out spacious. Under the rear hatch, though, you'll find generous cargo space for all your stuff.

"Offering a bit more sportiness and a lot more versatility than the Corolla sedan, the 2018 Toyota Corolla iM hatchback gives budget-minded buyers all the quality and high resale that come with owning a Toyota at a price that won't break the bank," is how we described the Corolla iM in our Expert Review. Breaking down the bullet points to this conclusion isn't hard: It all comes down to great value.

Get to know this car

5-Year Cost to Own:

$30,856
as of December 31, 2017

2nd Place Finisher
2018 Hyundai Elantra

2018 Hyundai Elantra

Sculpting an ideal compact car is an easy gig with the Hyundai Elantra whether you're aiming at 40-mpg fuel economy, sporty dynamics or a sedan or hatchback body style.

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5-Year Cost to Own:
$31,070
as of December 31, 2017

3rd Place Finisher
2018 Kia Soul

2018 Kia Soul

Straight-ahead practicality, box-on-wheels utility, good driving manners, and decent fuel economy never get old. The Kia Soul has all that plus a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty.

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5-Year Cost to Own:
$32,014
as of December 31, 2017

Other Category Winners


See the previous Winners of these Awards: 2017 | 2016 | 2015
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