What Makes a Great City Car?

Despite their popularity, not everyone seems to be clued into what a “city car” is, exactly. Admittedly, it is a fairly modern term. The precise sort of car it describes is often difficult to encapsulate. But we’ll give it a go!

What is a city car, exactly?

When some people hear the word “city”, they think of something that’s distinctly flashy and modern. They associate it with the words “street” and “urban”. Of course, those words have their own associations, especially with teens. They start to think about flashier, “cooler” cars than what we’re talking about here. They’re thinking of the expensive sports cars that make people turn their heads as they’re driven through modern cities.

A city car leans much more towards practicality. They’re small and tend to be on the cheaper side of the auto market. They’re supposed to be perfectly tuned for the everyday use that a modern professional will need in a modern city.

The problem with small and cheap

When people think about “small and cheap”, they’re probably not thinking of very good cars. That, or they’re thinking about really small cars that have gone completely out of fashion.

But a good city car doesn’t feel small or cheap. In fact, part of their appeal is that they’re more powerful that they appear. The fuel economy of these rides is also supposed to be among the best on the market. Build quality and specifications aren’t things you should have to skimp on when it comes to finding a city car.

It’s not just about professionalism

A good city car should be exciting. It should have character. Don’t be fooled by the focus on professionalism and practicality. Because a city car is also supposed to be modern, enticing, and gorgeous in its design. In fact, it’s often such a focus on fun and design that gets these things selling like hotcakes.

Perhaps one of the best and most obvious examples is the Fiat Panda. It has at various points throughout the past decade been the best-selling city car in Europe. (Seriously, people can’t get enough of these things in Italy.) The pseudo-SUV design gives the impression of strength and durability. But its size and sleekness betrays the economy and accessibility that are really its focal points. People who aren’t too sure about city cars usually find themselves turned over to its side by models like the Panda.


As I made reference to before, the fuel economy of a city car should be stellar. This really helps when it comes to cost-effectiveness. Another thing about the city car is that you can get one running on pretty much any sort of fuel you want. Electric city cars are becoming more and more popular by the month. With so many charge points dotted around modern cities, it probably won’t be long until they become the signature city car.

City cars are also among the cheapest rides to insure. Because they tend to be low-cost and safe, insurance companies won’t often charge egregious rates for their use. With all of this in mind, it could be said that city cars bring the best things about urban driving all into one affordable package.

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