City cars: the easy way around town

Driving in the city can be quite stressful, especially if you have to face the rush hour on your way to or from work. Besides the traffic, there are several other disadvantages of driving a big car in town that make getting on with a busy schedule challenging. The solution to these problems is: city cars.

This article will walk you through the main advantages switching to a city car can bring to your day-to-day life and what you should consider before you make the decision to do so.


What is a city car?

Blue Fiat 500

As the name suggests, city cars were designed to be a personal vehicle to be driven around the city effortlessly and conveniently. They are an alternative to public transportation that can be unreliable from time to time and busy, which makes the journeys into and from town uncomfortable.

City cars are suitable for people with hectic schedules that need a compact vehicle that will be able to fit in most parking spots, have great performance in a stop-start environment and that is small enough to drive well in the narrow European roads.

One thing to keep in mind though is that city cars don’t have large boots. If you’re looking for a vehicle that performs well in the city and that has a spacious interior to store large or a lot of items, perhaps this isn’t the type of car that would suit your needs.

Benefits of driving a city car

Volkswagen Up!

City car is a category of vehicles created by manufactures to provide an alternative to people who live in large cities or commute into one on a regular basis. Thinking about the needs of this specific demographic, the main benefits of owning a city car are:

They’re cost efficient

A significant amount of city workers have to rely on taxis for professional and personal reasons. The continuous cost of having to hire a taxi to go places add up to an exorbitant amount every year. Having their own vehicle would turn out cheaper in the long run.

City cars specifically are even more cost efficient. They are equipped with smaller engines that return excellent fuel economy, which makes them cheaper to run than larger vehicles. Also, if you live in or commute to a city where clear air zones and congestions charges are applied, you’ll be saving money on some of the fees.

They’re easy to drive

One of the most notorious features of city cars is that they’re practical to drive. They’re easy to navigate through busy and crowded city centres, small enough to stay within the narrow lanes with comfort (without having that feeling you might hit the car coming opposite to you) and their compact size helps when parking. It’s much easier to find somewhere to park city cars, and they’ll be more time efficient as well.

Cheap Maintenance Cost

Most city cars don’t have expensive components, which means that the cost to maintain them is considerably lower than most other cars. It’s not uncommon to find reasonably priced spare parts, either.

City car main features

Fiat 500 infotainment system

These type of cars were mainly created to be exposed to long hours of traffic jam, and to fit into tiny parking spots. Taking this into consideration, they are equipped with technology that is going to support drivers get the best experience possible. Some of the features most city cars are equipped with:

Built-in Sat Nav

Even though a lot of drivers opt to use their phones to navigate, having a built-in sat nav can help you save some time in the morning. It’s possible to record your home and work addresses on it, saving you the time of having to type them every time.

Having this built-in feature also means that there’s no risk of it falling under the seat when you’re in the middle of a busy road.

Rear Parking Sensors

The fact that city cars are small enough to easily fit into the tiny parking spots available in the cities have been extensively explored. Another feature that’ll help improve your parking time is the parking sensors available in most city vehicles.

Having to park in a miniature spot where you could damage your and someone else’s vehicles could be facilitated by the sensors. They’ll help you back into the spot and will alert you every time you’re too close to an obstacle you can’t see.

Folding Back Seats

When looking at city cars, there are some size options to explore. Some manufacturers have come up with a tiny design featuring only two seats and a minimal boot. Obviously, the feature explored in this category won’t apply to these non-existent back seat vehicles, which could be an advantage itself.

However, most of the small four-seater city cars have are equipped with folding rear seats. This is a way of improving the storage space, increasing the boot size.

Best City Cars

Hyundai i10 and Kia Picanto

Opting for a city car doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on great on-board technology and having enough space for your essentials. There are a lot of options available on the market that will provide excellent driving experience and comfort to your daily errands. Here are two popular options you can opt for:

Hyundai i10

Hyundai are pros when it comes to the city car segment. The new generation of the i10 is constantly ranking among the bestsellers around Europe.

The hype behind this stylish car is due to a design improvement that not only gave it a sporty stance and bold appearance but helped improve the interior space, making it roomier than the previous generation. This facelift means that you can now seat five people, when other segment cars can only seat four.

The standard on-board equipment is excellent, featuring an 8-inch infotainment system with built-in sat nav, wireless chargers, audio video navigation and pre-installed Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also equipped with multiple safety features such as lane following assist, rear occupant alert, and driver attention alert, to name a few.

When it comes to engines, there are two options you can choose from, both with excellent fuel efficiency and remarkably low CO2 output.

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Kia Picanto

Kia has a long history of making city cars, which makes the Picanto one of the best on the market. Recent renovations have made of the Picanto, one of the most practical and spacious city car available. Kia has maximised the interior space, providing five doors to make the rear seats and boot easily accessible.

Even though the standard version is a four-seater you can fit a child’s seat, due to ISOFIX anchor points added to the back seats, and you can upgrade it to X-Line and X-Line S, both five-seat trims. The boot isn’t as small as some may think, with 255 litres available, which is more than enough to carry a weekly grocery shop. It’s easy to expend the storage area with the foldable rear seats, which totals 1,000 litres of boot space.

The infotainment system isn’t shabby either. The 8-inch LED screen is perfect for city navigation, with built-in sat nav and features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for best smartphone connectivity. The standard safety features are impressive with the tyre pressure monitoring system, electronic stability control, forward collision-avoidance control, and others.

The Picanto is available in two petrol powered engines that maximise efficiency and emit less CO2 than previous models.

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Find the best city cars with Evans Halshaw

Car manufacturers have put great effort into improving city cars and making them stylish, technologically advanced and as spacious as possible. There are excellent options on the market of city vehicles that will improve the driving experience in busy and crowded areas, helping you navigate and park effortlessly with your hectic schedule.

Evan Halshaw carry the best new and used city vehicles suitable for living and commuting to large cities. You can also find more driving guides at our blog that’s constantly updated with current tips and advice to help you easily find the information you need.