The Top 5 Cars For City Driving
Have you ever wondered what are the 5 best cars for the city? Read this article to find out.
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What makes a great city car?
The answer isn’t as straightforward as it may seem; every vehicle has its own strengths, and each driver their own requirements. Nonetheless, it’s safe to assume that there are a number of things that most city dwellers look for in a car.
One of the most important considerations for a city car is size. This is of course down to the issue of limited parking options in urban areas – the smaller the car, the more choice in where to park. However, the best city cars don’t sacrifice everything else in favour of being compact. While the outside should ideally be on the smaller side, the interior should still be roomy and comfortable with some storage space for groceries or work gear. And speaking of parking, the best city cars should have cameras or parking sensors to help the driver squeeze it into the smallest spaces without any accidents.
In terms of power, a good city car should have a small but efficient engine. There’s really no need to have a high horsepower engine when you’re going to be spending most of your time in traffic, or on crowded roads with low speed limits. Smaller engines also help to minimise the chassis size while maximising interior space. Smaller engines usually also reduce emissions which helps if your city has clean-air regulations, such as London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
And finally, that ever-present sticking point: price. A compact car with a small engine is, generally speaking, pretty budget-friendly. Gasoline engines should still be cheap to run and electric vehicles even more so.
But while a good city car should be cheap, that doesn’t mean it needs to feel cheap. Budget-friendly city cars with comfortable interiors and decent stereo setups (to help save your sanity while sitting in all that traffic!) do exist.
So with these things in mind, here are our top 5 picks for city cars currently available in the UK.
The first thing you’ll notice about the Toyota Aygo is its distinct look. Although the Aygo’s three-cylinder petrol engine has been criticized for not having the best performance on motorways, it’s perfect for zipping around in urban areas. This is a small car with room for four adults plus a little storage space. While the base models are a little on the sparse side on the inside, the premium models come with a comprehensive touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. And, comparatively speaking, the price is pretty reasonable: you can find new Aygos available for around £14,000.
For something a bit fancier we have the up! from Volkswagen.
The up! Models aren’t the cheapest cars on this list. While the base model is fairly reasonable at around £14,000 – the same as the Aygo – but the price starts to rise substantially as you add options. If you’re interested in the electric model, the e-up!, then you’re looking at a substantial price hike.
Overall, this award-winning city car is fun to drive, stable and has a decently-sized boot. While the base model’s 65hp engine may struggle to reach higher speeds, the 115hp up! GTi has more than enough power for the motorway. This model in particular is a great all-rounder for both city and longer distance driving.
Smart EQ ForTwo
For a considerably smaller option, we have the ForTwo.
This is a fully electric vehicle that’s custom built for city driving. Its tiny size means that it can fit into the smallest parking spaces and makes it highly maneuverable with a tight turning circle. The electric engine may not have much of a top speed, but it’s nice and zippy when pulling away from traffic lights. Best of all, the battery can fully recharge in just 40 minutes.
The downside? It’s limited to being a city car – no lengthy trips for this one. As the name would suggest it only seats two adults and the storage space is very limited. The range is officially 80 miles, but closer to only 70 under real world conditions. This car is far from an all-rounder, but if you’re looking for a little city runabout, The ForTwo is a great option.
The Hyundai i10 is a well balanced car, offering the smaller size and practicality of a city car while maintaining the comfort, performance and driving experience of a larger vehicle. There are four trim levels to choose from, along with myriad optional extras.
The mid-range SE Connect version seems to offer the best balance of equipment and price: you’ll get air conditioning, electric windows, cruise control and USB connectivity as standard, all for around £15,000. This version has a 1.2-litre, four-cylinder engine, producing 83bhp, which will be fine for when you venture out of the city. While the interior may be a bit drab, the i10 looks good, drives better and is a fantastic city car.