If you’re after low-cost motoring, check out our list of the best city cars on sale today
In the past, buying a ‘city car’ actually meant buying a slightly flimsy-feeling car that was only suitable for driving around town, but these days they can easily cope with longer journeys too. Most of them have become small but competent all-rounders.
City cars are smaller than superminis and are built to a certain length, width and height. If you were to park a Kia Picanto and a Toyota Aygo next to each other, you would struggle to decide which was the biggest because sizes vary so little across the class. This is to ensure they are ideally suited to city streets and are able to slot in the smallest of spaces. All city cars tend to return excellent fuel economy because they aren’t very heavy and use small, modern engines.
City cars are great for drivers who don’t need a lot of interior space and because of their low running costs, they make great first cars for new drivers, as well as for those who are downsizing from larger cars. Not only that, they tend to be cheap to buy, economical and surprisingly well-equipped. It’s not uncommon to find city cars in the current crop that have Bluetooth, sat nav and air-conditioning - some even have features you’d normally associate with much more expensive cars, like cruise control, heated seats and reversing cameras.
There’s another great city-car virtue that everybody can enjoy, and that’s the way they drive. Ever since the launch of the original Mini in 1959, tiny cars with ‘a wheel in each corner’ have been dear to the hearts of keen drivers everywhere. With limited power from their small engines, city cars may not be fast, but their light weight and uncomplicated nature can make them a hoot to drive on twisty roads. It seems a shame to keep them cooped up in the city.
Fortunately, the very best are able to spend the morning making your life easy as you nip through city traffic, before being loaded with luggage and escaping to the country in the afternoon. They may not be as luxurious, fast or spacious as a larger car, but a good city car can still make a willing steed for any journey you ask of it.
The best city cars are well built, well equipped, well priced and a pleasure to drive. And if you feel you need a car with a little more space, you’ll find something to suit in our City-car ranges.