Cars are getting bigger. It’s a fact that with each new model update, our cars tend to be longer, wider and taller than before.
In some cases, the marginal size increases – 2mm here, 5mm there – may seem insignificant, but these tiny increments can make all the difference in terms of interior space or ride quality.
The biggest vehicle you can buy in the UK right now is a 17-seater long-wheelbase Ford Transit, which stretches for 6.4 metres, followed by Rolls-Royce’s stretched Phantom (6.09 metres)
But what about the dinkiest? Here, we’ve pulled together the smallest cars you’ll find in UK showrooms right now, in terms of tip-to-tail length.
10. Renault Twingo (3,595mm)
The second-generation Twingo currently on sale is deceptively clever.
Rather than have the engine under the bonnet driving the front wheels, the Twingo topsy-turvys the conventional set-up and relocates the engine beneath the boot floor for a rear-engine rear-wheel drive arrangement.
The result? A highly maneuverable and more refined driving experience than some of its competitors.
9. Kia Picanto (3,595mm)
The word ‘picanto’ sounds like it would mean ‘little’ in some language or another. Alas, it doesn’t mean anything in any language.
That said, it’s only a letter away from the Spanish word ‘picante’, which is a common adjective to describe something that is spicy or has a sting to it.
The Kia Spicy would actually suit such a cheeky little car.
8. Fiat 500 (3,546mm)
Fiat’s iconic 500 was one of the first cars we thought of when compiling this list and despite being a mammoth in the city car arena, we’re amazed it’s not even in the top five.
7. Volkswagen Up! (3,540mm)
By rights, we should acknowledge the VW’s sister cars – the SEAT Mii and Skoda Citigo. The Up! is deemed by many to be the class leader in the city car segment, and the fact we’re getting a GTI very soon is one very big reason to smile.
6. Smart ForFour (3,495mm)
The Mercedes-owned French-built Smart brand has been built on its dinkiness, and here’s the first of two Smarts.
Beneath the surface, the ForFour actually has a lot in common with the Renault Twingo, sharing engines and a platform, but Smart’s design team managed to shave a whole 10cm from its length.
5. Citroen C-Zero (3,480mm)
This early EV is a rare find on UK roads with only 227 examples kicking about. That’s because it isn’t very good, with a poor mileage range and naff drive experience. If you spot the Peugeot iOn and Mitsubishi i-MiEV though, they’re essentially the same as the C-Zero.
4. Citroen C1 (3,475mm)
Again, we should mention the sister cars – the Toyota Aygo and Peugeot 108. The C1 is one of the best cars for those new to driving, partly due to its tiny dimensions making for a super manoeuvrable motor.
3. Mahindra e2o (3,280mm)
“The what-what?,” you may well ask. Remember the G-Wiz? The butt-ugly e2o is the successor to that monstrosity, and it’s not much better – launching in April 2016, only to be withdrawn 13 months later.
So really, this car shouldn’t even be on this list but we’re including it anyway at the risk that it may be completely erased from history.
2. Smart ForTwo (2,695mm)
Here it is! That second Smart you knew was coming. When people say “a Smart car”, they usually mean the ForTwo.
Many would guess this is the UK’s smallest car but there’s one lesser-known model that limbos it…
1. Renault Twizy (2,319mm)
This dainty two-seater EV may attract sniggers of ridicule from the uninformed but anyone with experience behind the wheel of the Twizy will tell you it is an absolute hoot to drive and guaranteed to make you smile.
It doesn’t have windows (although you can pay extra for some flimsy plastic sheets that resemble windows), it doesn’t even come with doors as standard, and the passenger has to squeeze in behind the driver who can’t escape without the front seat being folded forward.
Measuring 37cm shorter than the Smart, there is none more tiny – nor bonkers – than the Twizy; not even close.
What do you think of these pint-sized runarounds? Which would you like to put in your pocket and take home with you? Tell us down there in the comments.