Very small cars

If you think that the VW up! is small, then these tiny cars and very small cars will blow your mind

Sep 11, 2018

If you think a Skoda Citigo looks small, park a Smart ForTwo next to it. All of a sudden, the Skoda looks like a large luxury car. It’s no wonder you see so many ForTwos doing their party trick of parking across a bay like a motorcycle, still with room for a small car to park conventionally in the same space.

For the record, a Citigo is 3563mm long but a Fortwo, 2695mm. In fact, the Fortwo is the shortest new car you can buy. The Renault Twizy, so small and light it's not even technically a car, is 2337mm long, but is no longer sold by Renault UK.

Taking 3465mm – the length of a Toyota Aygo and about as short as a modern city car goes – as our cut-off point, we’ve drawn up a list of seven very small cars. 

Renault Twizy

Length 2337mm

The Renault Twizy is so small and light it's not even technically a car.

Of all the small-cars-that-aren't-technically-cars, it’s probably the coolest, and because it was produced by a major car manufacturer, the one with the most credibility. That said, Euro NCAP, a safety organization, awarded it just two out of five stars when it crash tested the model.

The Twizy is powered by a 17bhp electric motor and its battery has a 45-mile range. It can only be charged from a domestic three-pin socket, although it is possible to buy an adapter for public charging.

It’s very much an urban vehicle though. Driver and passenger sit in line inside an open body shell – windows are extra. There’s very little luggage space, but if you live in the city and the idea of a simple and cool-looking runabout that is safer than a motorcycle but even cheaper to run appeals to you, then it makes a lot of sense.

Smart ForTwo

Length 2695mm
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Anyone coming from a conventional car will have no trouble adapting to the ForTwo.

The ForTwo’s two occupants (hence its name) sit inside a tough safety cell. The current ForTwo was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2014, when it achieved an overall safety rating of four out of five stars.

The ForTwo is powered by a small petrol engine mounted at the rear. Its clever packaging means more of the car is devoted to occupant space.

Thanks to its dinky dimensions and small turning circle, the ForTwo makes a great little city car. There’s even an electric version that’s even more at home in the urban jungle. Think twice about the model if you're considering longer drives, though.
Smart ForTwo buying guide

Toyota iQ

Length: 2985mm 

The iQ is no longer made by Toyota, the newer, roomier and more practical Aygo having pulled the rug from under its feet. Even so, it’s worth a look as a used car if you’re after something tiny.

Not as dinky as a ForTwo it has to be said, but then that car doesn't have the iQ’s four seats. Admittedly, those rear seats are big enough only for children, although the front passenger seat is set a little forward to free up legroom for someone larger and older.

The iQ is powered by a choice of 1.0 and 1.33-litre petrol engines. The latter is the one to go far if you’re planning any drives out of town.

Remarkably, the little car was awarded five stars when it was tested by Euro NCAP in 2009. Of course, that was then and today, five stars are much harder to achieve.

Aston Martin Cygnet

Length 3078mm 

This Aston Martin was made between 2011 and 2013 and is a rare sight today. Essentially, it’s a luxurious Toyota iQ that cost around twice the price from new. It features a hand-crafted interior trimmed in leather, some bespoke body styling, and Aston’s striking trademark grille on the front. Sadly, the 1.33-litre engine was unchanged from the iQ.

Few were sold, and its rarity factor help keep prices high.

Citroen C Zero/Peugeot iON

Length 3475mm

At over 3466mm in length, our self-imposed cut-off, these little electric cars, developed as a joint venture between Citroen, Mitsubishi (see below), and Peugeot, shouldn't be in this list.

The reason they make the cut, is that they are just so narrow at 1475mm, where most city cars are rarely less than 1600mm. They look even narrower thanks to its high roof, which does at least benefit head room.

The 66bhp electric motor is quite eager from the get-go but quickly runs out of puff, while the battery soon runs out of range – around 60 miles is all you can expect.

Mitsubishi i-MIEV 

Length 3475mm

The reason that the Mitsubishi i-MIEV gets its own place, is because i-MIEV is no longer made, but the C Zero and iOn (above) are still available from Citroen and Peugeot.

It's also worthwhile noting that small dimensions are no barrier to safety; as all three models were awarded a reasonable four out of five stars when they was crash tested by Euro NCAP in 2011.


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