Cars keep getting bigger and bigger as roads and parking spaces stay the same…
Cars that were once known to be quite small have become bloated and bulbous over the years. The Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa, Honda Civic, just to name a few, have all increased dramatically in size over the years leaving older models looking like tiny golf carts in comparison. Some may miss the old miniature go-kart feel, some welcome the added luxury and space, all we know is that cars definitely have (and continue to) become larger in size.
How much larger you ask?
Take the Ford Fiesta as an example. When comparing the size of the very first gen Fiesta to the 2013 Mk 7.5 Fiestas, you can see that there’s a clear increase in size. The most notable difference being that the little old hatchback has got half a metre longer. Parallel parking has never been harder!
The change in height and width may not sound like a lot to some of us, but when it comes to the size of a car, 10-15 cm is considered a large amount for any kind of increase in dimension. To put it into context, the 2018 Fiesta models are only 1 cm wider and the height and length have actually decreased by 1 cm and 2.7 cm respectively. So now you can understand why a 15 cm increase in width is no small number.
Some cars have transformed more than others. For instance, two of the best-known examples of dramatic changes in size are the Fiat 500 and Mini Cooper. In comparison to today’s models, the old Mini and Fiat 500 look child-sized!
The Honda Civic is another car that has expanded in size over the years. The popular sixth gen Civic came in at just 170.4 cm wide and 417 cm long. The current Civic (2016) is roughly 10 cm wider and about 35 cm longer.
What used to be a deceptively small sports car, the Honda NSX is now slightly larger as well. 12.9 cm wider and 82 cm longer to be exact.
The Porsche 911, VW Golf, Toyota Yaris, Renault Clio, Ford Mustang and the BMW 3 Series have all become a bit bigger…
The reason why it’s so easy to name cars that have got bigger over time, is because this rule basically applies to all cars. And there are very good reasons as to why this has happened.
Why have cars got so much bigger?
For one, the added size equates to added safety. Larger crumple zones are largely the reason why cars have become so much longer. Back in the good old days, the car’s crumple zone was your knees. Not only that, but seats have gotten bigger due to safety improvements and all those modern airbags need to fit somewhere. The added “bulkiness” of cars also improves soundproofing and dashboards and centre consoles are as packed with tech as ever, which again, has to fit somewhere.
Another big factor is the fact that people like to own bigger cars. Large cars can be associated with grander expense, better technology and superior “toughness”, both of the car and the owner. In our materialistic world, it seems bigger is usually better, even if it is a nightmare to navigate around a car park!
That being said, small cars are still being produced. The Smart Fortwo, Peugeot 108, Toyota Aygo and Ford Ka are still, for the moment, very small cars and excel at doing all that small car stuff like parking, tight town-driving and not using a lot of fuel. That being said, it does feel like the range of small cars to choose from has become a lot smaller. Could they become extinct?
What do you think of today’s cars? Are they getting too big?
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.