You don’t need to drive a 4WD or SUV to enjoy a comfortable ride on the motorway. Choose the right car and compact models can be just as smooth as their larger counterparts. What’s the best small car for motorway driving? We’ve got a few top picks, from the Audi A1 Sportback to the Ford Fiesta. Find out more below!

Citroen C3

Citroen is a manufacturer that’s always prioritised comfort. The C3 delivers with plush seats and an engine that remains mirror-smooth even at high motorway speeds. This supermini is surprisingly spacious, making it ideal for road trips with lots of luggage. If you plan to stack miles onto the odometer, you may want to consider the ultra-economical diesel version. Impressive mileage makes it one of the best small cars for motorway driving.

Ford Fiesta

The Ford Fiesta is a bestseller in the UK for a reason. It’s not just for zipping around the city. A spacious cabin, powerful motor and responsive handling make it a great choice for motorway journeys. Sure, there’s a little more wind noise and vibration than you’ll find in larger models like the Ford Focus. But if you’re on the hunt for a supermini that can put in the miles, the Ford Fiesta is a savvy choice.

Expect excellent fuel economy on longer trips, plus plenty of power for overtaking. Treat yourself to a newer model and you’ll enjoy a suite of modern extras. That includes an intelligent digital instrument cluster with the ability to remember preferred settings for individual drivers. 

Audi A1 Sportback

Marketed as a modern supermini, the Audi A1 Sportback holds its own against larger models like the Audi Q2 and Audi Q7. The small hatchback punches well above its weight when it comes to long drives on the motorway. Externally, the model will impress you with a sleek and aerodynamic design. Unlike some other compact models that can feel a little boxy, the A1 Sportback practically slices through air. The latest models will take you from zero to 62 mph in just over 8 seconds – ideal for getting up to speed on the motorway.

The cabin feels comfortable and luxurious, a big plus for road trips or long commutes. We love the use of high-end materials for the seats and inside panelling, not to mention the ultra-modern digital instrument cluster and cockpit display. Features like next-generation voice control and driver-assist functions make motorway driving a treat. Avoid optional extras like sports suspension and oversized alloy wheels if possible. Both can be a little shaky on rough surfaces like older motorways.

Hyundai i10

It’s hard to look past the Hyundai i10 when researching the best small car for motorway driving. Compact and capable, this model can do so much more than zip around urban streets. The i10 is proof that small cars can be safe and comfortable when hitting the motorway. Base models perform well but if you’re really looking for extra punch, consider upgrading to a larger and more powerful engine. It’ll make acceleration a breeze.

Mini Countryman

Rain, shine or snow, the Mini Countryman is a top-performer in all conditions. It’s a step up from the pocket-sized Mini Hatchback, which means you’ll have plenty of space for kids, pets, luggage and more. It’s basically an elevated version of the classic Mini and boasts motorway-friendly features, like superior suspension to absorb bumps and noise insulation for a whisper-quiet ride. It may be small, but it drives like a beast, especially when put through its paces on the motorway.

Skoda Citigo

Don’t let the name fool you. The Skoda Citigo is just as comfortable on the motorway as it is in towns and cities. The model does an incredible job of absorbing impact and makes light work of rough road surfaces. Inside you’ll find a generously sized cabin with more than enough space for five adults. It’s largely thanks to the cleverly designed wheelbase, which allows for a surprisingly spacious interior.

Like other smaller models, it’s worth upgrading to a more powerful engine if you plan to spend a decent amount of time on the motorway. It’s not essential, but upgrades like the 75hp engine will elevate your experience in the Skoda Citigo.

Looking for the best small car for motorway driving with an electric engine? The CITIGOe iV is the first fully electric car from the European auto manufacturer and has received rave reviews from motorists. Under the hood is an impressive 61kW electric motor powered by a lithium-ion battery. Enjoy up to 170 miles of range on a single charge, more than enough for covering long distances on the motorway. Use a fast-charging system and it takes just one hour to recharge the battery back up to 80%.

Volkswagen T-Cross

Looking for a compact SUV that’ll practically purr on the motorway? The Volkswagen T-Cross is one of the best small cars for motorway driving. Enjoy a comfortable cabin, smart driver-assist features and loads of visibility. Wind noise is little more than a soft whistle and vibration is minimal. Look for a six-speed manual or seven-speed automatic model if you plan to spend a lot of time on the motorway. Both perform much better than the standard five-speed manual version on longer drives.

Car finance for motorway driving

Ready to get behind the wheel of the best small car for motorway driving? We’ll get you there fast with tailored car finance solutions built especially for you. We take your application and match it with the top lenders in the UK.

Wondering how to calculate APR on car finance? Use our purpose-built calculator to crunch your numbers and get an estimate. Whether you’re cruising on the M25 around London, hitting the M60 on your way out of Manchester or travelling between Edinburgh and Glasgow on the M8, we’ve got you covered.

Rates from 9.9% APR. Representative APR 12.4%

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Borrowing £7,500 at a representative APR of 12.4%, annual interest rate (fixed) 12.36%, 47 monthly payments of £196.44 followed by 1 payment of £206.44 (incl. estimated £10 option to purchase fee), a deposit of £0.00, total cost of credit is £1,939.12, total amount payable is £9,439.12.

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