City cars are a new breed of vehicle that dominate our town streets. They’re built to navigate narrow one-way routes and squeeze into tiny parking spaces. They’re designed to sip their fuel slowly and gently to save you money while you’re stuck in a traffic jam. Most importantly, they’re cheap to buy and cheap to run. We all know that city life is expensive, so every little helps! So, how exactly do you choose the best one? There is a fantastic range of new models out there, but your first job is narrowing the field. Here’s what you need to look for.
Practicality – Remember, these are small cars. We’re talking three-doors and limited space in the back for passengers. With that in mind, you’ve got to balance the compact size with a certain practicality. They’re built for city shoppers, but can they fit your bags in the boot? Check the space in the back and the passenger seat. If you’ve got children, bring them with you on the test drive. Make sure they’re comfortable in the back.
Fuel Economy – Low fuel consumption is one of the things that make these cars such big sellers. Many of them return a CO2 emissions rating below the smallest threshold. That means they qualify for road tax exemption. As for fuel consumption itself, some of these small cars will hit the big 60mpg figure. When your city car sips fuel this slowly, you’ll save a fortune on petrol and diesel. It’s particularly important in the city where slow moving traffic jams drain fuel quickly.
Safety – One of the worrying aspects of buying a compact city car is the perceived lack of safety. After all, they are very small, and the roads are dangerous. It’s easy to feel vulnerable as a driver or passenger. While some fall short of the expected 4-star safety rating, others do provide excellent ratings. When conducting your search, look for the cars with four stars or higher. This guarantees a certain degree of safety built into the vehicle.
Motorway handling – It might sound like an odd category to include in a city car feature, but it’s surprisingly important. Yes, you’ll spend most of your time nipping around the small city roads. But, now and then, you will need to unlock some of the engine power and hit the motorway. Some of the poorer cars in this category feel like a fish out of water. A great city car will also handle the faster roads like a pro. We found the Toyota Aygo was particularly good here. Take a look at the range on Currie Motors, and you’ll see the credentials for yourself.
Price – The low cost is often the reason you gravitate towards these vehicles in the first place. They’re the cheapest cars on the road. But don’t be scared to pay a little more for a better model.
We love the small city car range, but you’ve got to pick the right model! They’re all small and nippy, but it’s balancing the other factors that really matters.