Living in the city has its fair share of challenges including dealing with the traffic, which can stretch for miles and waste time for hours, and parking in congested areas. Fortunately, car manufacturers have come up with a better idea in addressing the needs and wants of their city-based customers in relation to smaller vehicles the city car!
City cars are defined as small cars, which are manufactured for use primarily in urban areas like London. These vehicles are know by many names depending on the area like urban car, subcompact and mini in North America, supermini in the United Kingdom, and A-segment in the European Commission in reference to utility/city class entry-level small passenger car.
In Japan, city cars are known as kei cars, which should meet specific size criteria in both their physical dimensions and engine capacity. The Japanese have strict standards before classifying any city car as a kei car, which is understandable considering that these vehicles have mandated benefits like added registration discounts.
Nowadays, the wide selection of city cars available is a delightful boon for consumers! These small cars come in all types of sizes, styles and colors from sporty to quirky, from four-seater to two-seater, and from cheap to expensive in its class. Think of city cars as something of a status symbol, a fashion accessory, and a political statement rolled into one!
While the Mini Cooper and Smart are the most popular city cars, there are many more minis to choose from. Even a visit to a car dealer selling mainstream cars will be a revelation because of their wide selection of minis including but not limited to:
- Mini Cooper. The 2013 Mini Cooper combines good fuel economy, great driving dynamics, and satisfactory interiors, not to mention its affordable price. Its 4-cylinder engines makes for ease in acceleration and passing maneuvers while its strong brakes and excellent cornering abilities equal high satisfaction ratings from customers.
- Smart Fortwo. The vehicle obviously seats only two persons the driver and passenger but dont dismiss its small size just yet. It is well-loved among customers because of its relatively roomy interiors, ease in parking even in tight spaces, and great fuel economy as well as excellent driving features. Plus, customers can choose the Smart electric drive to lessen their carbon footprints.
Is it any wonder then why the Mini Cooper and Smart are the most popular city cars? Still, you will want to look into your other choices like the Opel/Vauxhall Agila, the Vokswagen Lupo, the Opel Corsa, the Citroen C2, the Toyota Yaris, and the Tata Nano, to name a few more.
City cars are popular even among individuals living in rural areas because of their multiple benefits.
- Price. These small vehicles are obviously affordable for the general population so much so that it is one of the preferred vehicles for students, young professionals, and price-conscious individuals.
- Size. Most, if not all, city cars are so small in relation to their mainstream (i.e., average-sized) counterparts that these can fit in tight spaces. Many minicars are, in fact, less than 12 feet in length! Such small size means many benefits including ease of parking and driving especially in congested roads.
- Safety. Just because minicars are small does not necessarily mean that these are unsafe to drive, far from it. Side airbags, electronic stability control, and seat belts are standard safety equipment in all modern city cars with many even equipped with rear-mounted engines to maximize the fronts crumple zone.
- Fuel economy. Customers can spend significantly lesser amount of money on fuel than with an average-sized cars, thus, its popularity among cost-conscious drivers. The Smart Fortwo, for example, has a fuel consumption rate of 65.7 miles per gallon!
Many customers will look into car leasing instead of buying these city cars for several reasons like short-term use during their city vacation or when testing the cars driving performance.