Slowest cars

Fancy a safe, economical and affordable car rather than one that's speedy? Perhaps one of these laid-back slow cars will be up your street

James Wilson
May 30, 2022

On the face of things, the slowest cars available might not sound very appealing but scratch beneath the surface and that soon changes. Slow cars can be very economical, which can save you money when it comes to fuel bills, with less energy needed to power the car at more sedate speeds.

Then there is the fact that slow cars can be relatively affordable to purchase, helped by being less in-demand than a number of quicker models. Another perk is that slow cars can often qualify for very low insurance premiums as the chances of a high-speed crash are lower. So, if you're after something sensible and affordable, read on for our favourite slow cars.

Slow cars are best suited to town and rural driving as getting up to the kind of speed travelled on these roads in an acceptable time is not an issue. If dual carriageways and motorways are a regular part of your journeys and you value being able to quickly get up to 70mph, it might make sense to look at more nippy model. Then again, with a bit of looking further ahead up the road and maintaining your speed, there's no reason why a modern small and low-power car can't be perfectly capable on the motorway.

With the above in mind, slow cars are particularly suited to certain types of drivers. These include learner drivers and new drivers - as the lack of speed allows them to master using the road network without having to worry about the car's power easily causing it to spin the wheels or accidentally speeding. Bank robbers and traffic police will probably want to look elsewhere, though.

Below are eight of the slowest cars available ranked by how fast they will get from a standstill to 62mph. All of the models below are available through BuyaCar. Prices vary depending on the age and specification but generally speaking the models below can be scooped up for between £7,000 and £15,000.

Slowest cars

1. Smart ForFour

Recommended slow model Smart ForFour 1.0 Passion Premium
0 to 62mph 15.9 seconds
Used deals from £6,980

Officially crowned the slowest car on this list is the Smart ForFour. Taking a snip under 16 seconds to get up to 62mph the Smart is a leisurely machine. The steady pace matches the rest of the Smart’s design as it is primarily aimed at town drivers, what with its frugal petrol engine, compact proportions and tiny turning circle, which is great for u-turns and parking in tight spots.

The Smart ForFour is so-called as it offers space for four people. It has a lot in common with the ForTwo, which unsurprisingly is for two people. There aren’t all that many trims to choose from with the ForFour but being that it is pitched as a more upmarket city car, equipment levels are relatively good.

Nowadays Smart only makes electric cars, so there are some electric ForFour models available as well as older petrol versions. The electric models, meanwhile, are great little runabouts if you drive only short distances each day and can charge up easily at home or work, but if you do lots of longer journeys, the low range could be a bit limiting for many drivers.

SMART FORFOUR BUYERS' GUIDE

2. Kia Rio

Recommended slow model Kia Rio 1.1 CRDi EcoDynamics SE
0 to 60mph 15.9 seconds
Used deals from £4,695

The previous-generation Kia Rio - made up until 2017 - is an alternative to cars like the Ford Fiesta. If you are looking for a car that offers great value second-hand, the Rio is normally less expensive than its more common rivals. Additionally, Kia offers a 100,000-mile, seven-year warranty on all its cars, so the last of the previous-gen Rio will still have a couple of years of warranty cover remaining, making them a sensible used purchase.

The Rio is a great option for learners or new drivers, as the cabin is quite simple to use and there are minimal distractions. There are no massive touchscreen displays to distract you, super-loud sound systems or a million and one ways to configure the engine and suspension, but this makes it all the more simple and easy to live with.

Insurance costs should be relatively cheap, too, as the Rio can qualify for some of the lowest insurance groups going, and this is factored into insurer calculations when they work out premiums. Go for the 1.1-litre diesel and it should be incredibly efficient, too. Diesel engines normally suit faster and longer trips more than town journeys, so this is a slow car that makes sense for those who cover lots of miles.

KIA RIO BUYERS' GUIDE

3. Toyota Yaris

Recommended slow model Toyota Yaris 1.0 VVT-i Icon
0 to 62mph 15.3 seconds
Used deals from £7,000

The previous-generation Yaris is a sensible, easy-to-use car that is known for its reliability. Part of its sensible appeal comes down to the engines available. The 1.0-litre petrol engine thrums along under the bonnet using relatively little fuel and should prove cheap and easy to maintain.

There are other engines available - including the option of a self-charging hybrid, which should prove particularly economical around town - but the slowest models used the 1.0-litre. Paired with soft suspension and light controls for steering and changing gear, this Toyota is a very low-effort car to drive.

One area the Toyota excels at is practicality. All versions come with five doors, apart from a very rare performance model called the ‘GRMN’. Having rear doors makes loading child seats much easier and there are Isofix points in the back as well. The boot is relatively large although there is a big drop from the top of the bumper to the floor of the boot, which makes loading bulky items more strenuous than it could be.

TOYOTA YARIS BUYERS' GUIDE

4. Skoda Citigo

Recommended slow model Skoda Citigo 1.0 MPI GreenTech Colour Edition
0 to 60mph 13.9 seconds
Used deals from £6,000

Although Skoda no longer makes the Citigo, it is still a great small car. It offers excellent visibility when driving and because it is rather boxy, it is dead easy to judge where the corners of the car are when parking. Although the slowest Citigo models are best suited to town driving, once up to speed on 60mph or 70mph roads, the small Skoda handles bumps and lumps in the road very well - it's a surprisingly comfortable motorway car.

There are three- and five-door versions available, so watch out for that if you plan on often carrying more than one passenger. Entry-level ‘S’ trim does without most of the creature comforts drivers expect these days, but moving up to slightly higher specification levels such as Colour Edition and SE brings the possibility of air-conditioning, electric windows and remote locking, making them feel like much more upmarket cars.

There is even a semi-sporty looking Monte Carlo model, so you can have the go-faster looks without any of the drawbacks of a faster car - such as high fuel bills, costly car insurance and steep maintenance costs.

SKODA CITIGO BUYERS' GUIDE

5. Peugeot 2008

Recommended slow model Peugeot 2008 1.2 PureTech Allure
0 to 62mph 13.5 seconds
Used deals from £6,000

If you are looking for a slow car that is big enough to be the main family transport (assuming you don’t need a seven-seater), then the previous-generation Peugeot 2008 is a solid choice. The boot is nice and large, so those with a relatively big dog or buggy can fit these in with minimal drama.

Likewise, the interior is classy enough that the car should make a good impression to and friends or family you transport. Peugeot launched the 2008 in 2013 before retiring it from showrooms in 2019 ready for a new version. That means there should be plenty of second-hand choices.

Peugeot makes some of the most economical engines available - including both petrol and diesel options. We’ve highlighted the petrol model here as it is better suited to short town journeys than a diesel, but Peugeot did offer a 1.6-litre diesel engine that will get the 2008 from 0 to 62mph in an even slower 13.8 seconds.

A big plus with this engine is the fuel economy, because if driven steadily - without lots of overly harsh acceleration or braking - fuel economy of more than 60mpg should be possible, which is very impressive.

PEUGEOT 2008 BUYERS' GUIDE

6. Suzuki Celerio

Recommended slow model 1.0 SZ3
0 to 62mph 13.5 seconds
Used deals from £5,999

Even in the present company of affordable, slow cars, the Suzuki Celerio looks cheap. That said, this small five-door Japanese hatchback might surprise you with the equipment available for such little outlay. In SZ3 trim, there is air-conditioning, Bluetooth and alloy wheels. None of these are at the pinnacle of car technology, but the fact they are included with some models is handy for those on a tight budget.

Alternatives to the Suzuki include cars like the Volkswagen Up and Peugeot 108 but what neither of these can offer is seating for four passengers plus the driver. While the rear seats are quite cramped and you wouldn’t want to have a car full of people for long journeys, having the extra middle seat in the back can be a great help, especially if you are the designated driver.

The Suzuki has a relatively large boot for this size of car, too, measuring in at 254 litres. This is ahead of most direct alternatives and large enough to easily handle a couple’s holiday luggage (think two medium suitcases and some carry-on cases).

SUZUKI CELERIO BUYERS' GUIDE

7. Vauxhall Corsa

Vauxhall Corsa front three quarters view

Recommended slow model Vauxhall Corsa 1.4 SRi
0 to 62mph 13.2 seconds
Used deals from £4,695

As a young driver, you can spend months dreaming about getting your licence, being free to travel the world only to find out that most cars with even a drop of street cred are expensive to run - especially when you take into account insurance and fuel. Fortunately, there are some exceptions and one is the Vauxhall Corsa with a 1.4-litre petrol engine. Sure, these models are slow and economical but they are very popular with younger drivers.

Although the 1.4-litre Corsa might be lacking in speed, it is still enjoyable to drive and reasonably good at zipping around bends. Another bonus to the Corsa is that all models are well equipped. Even entry-level versions come with a heated windscreen. This can be utterly fantastic in winter, as the windscreen quickly heats up at the press of a button rather than you having to wait for air vents to start blowing hot air onto the screen. No scraping away with ice scrapers needed.

VAUXHALL CORSA BUYERS' GUIDE

8. Citroen Grand C4 Picasso

Recommended slow model Citroen Grand C4 Picasso 1.6 BlueHDi VTR
0 to 60mph 13.1 seconds
Used deals from £8,870

The Citroen Grand C4 Picasso is a seven-seater with all the space but none of the pace. It is identical to the Citroen Grand C4 SpaceTourer, only with a different name. Despite being a large car, this Citroen should prove to be relatively economical and it was awarded a full five stars out of five for its Euro NCAP crash test safety in 2013. 

Moving away from speed, the Grand C4 Picasso is incredibly practical. The cabin is spacious and airy with a good amount of cubby holes and storage spaces for you and your kids to store half-eaten lollipops, banana skins and all the other things that fill up family cars.

The rear-most seats are most suitable for kids as they are quite tight for space but there is plenty of room in the front and middle rows. Handily, though, all three of the middle seats are quite large and come with ISOFIX mounting points - ideal for mounting child seats alongside each other.

CITROEN GRAND C4 PICASSO BUYERS' GUIDE

*Representative PCP finance - Ford Fiesta:

48 monthly payments of £192
Deposit: £0
Mileage limit: 8,000 per year
Optional final payment to buy car: £2,923
Total amount payable to buy car: £11,926
Total cost of credit: £2,426
Amount borrowed: £9,500
APR: 9.9%

BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.

 

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