Big Reasons to Buy a Small Car

By Angela Monroe - August 10, 2020

Big Reasons to Buy a Small Car

Small cars have always had a special place in Australian drivers’ hearts. Even though Aussie drivers are buying SUVs in record numbers, the’ compact car’ still commands a lot of attention…

With great options like the Kia Picanto, VW Golf, Mazda 3, Honda Civic and more – what are the reasons these small cars sell so well? We investigate…


woman looking in wallet

It’s all about the numbers… We’ll start with the main one. Small cars offer some amazing bargains – late models and low prices. Here are some of the cheapest NEW cars in Australia:

Kia Picanto S – $14,390 MSRP
Mitsubishi Mirage ES – $14,990 MSRP
Honda Jazz VTi – $15,490 MSRP
Suzuki Baleno GL – $15,990 MSRP
Honda City VTi – $16,490 MSRP

For a first-time buyer, small cars with a full warranty and excellent features with zero wear-and-tear have a huge appeal.

– Running costs
Going hand-in-hand with the low purchase prices are the low running costs. Registration on a 4-cylinder engine (which power most small cars), is cheaper than more powerful engines. Insurance is lower on less-expensive cars as are fuel costs with smaller capacity engines.

Parking and Maneuvering

yellow car parked

Perfect for a city commute or someone who frequents busy shopping centres or resides in an apartment complex. With reverse cameras and parking sensors, tiny turning circles and excellent visibility due to their small size and driving position, small cars win again.

Some buyers worry about load capacity. If you’re hauling shopping bags, kids and even some whitegoods or similar-sized larger objects, small cars have you covered. The lower access heights and foldable rear seats, especially in hatchback models, make small cars highly practical. Check out this comparison:

Honda Jazz (with rear seats folded down) – 1,314 litres of space.

Holden Commodore (boot + rear seat area) – 1,450 litres of space

Fuel Economy

bp petrol station

It’s good to know the pros and cons of electric vehicles as these options, along with hybrids, can really minimise your fuel costs. Small cars that use petrol engines are often described as ‘running on an oily rag’. It’s not hard to see why either:

Kia Picanto – 5.8 L/100 km
Honda Jazz VTi – 5.8 L/100 km

Compared to some larger options…

Mitsubishi Triton – 7.9 L/100 km
Toyota Kluger – 9.5 L/100 km

Performance & Driveability

golf GTI

If you haven’t driven a small car, or at least not for a while, you may be pleasantly surprised. In the past, small cars had a reputation of loud road noise and poor safety at high speed. With modern manufacturing processes and new safety features – this really is a thing of the past. Small cars can pack a punch in their sports and top trim levels with some keeping up with far more expensive options.

Performance models and higher trim levels of small cars make for some high-octane driving on the weekends – without the mega price tag. If you’re familiar with the famous German race track – The Nurburgring – you’ll know these are impressive…

Some small cars…

VW Golf GTI TCR – (Around $51,500) – Nurburgring time: 8.04 mins

Honda Civic Type R – (Around $51,990) – Nurburgring time: 7.50 mins

Mega price tag options…

Nissan GT-R Nismo – (Around $270,000) – Nurburgring time: 7.08 mins

Lamborghini Huracán – (Around $384,000) – Nurburgring time: 6.52 mins

Porsche 911 GT2RS – (Around $500,000+) – Nurburgring time: 6.47 mins

Tech & Safety

woman programming car

Modern cars come with some amazing technology. Small cars are no exception. Large display screens with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto come standard in most of the 2020 line up. Heated seats, dual-zone climate control and voice recognition are some of the others to look out for along with safety.

Some safety features that small cars often come equipped with:

ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control) – Maintains a constant distance between you and the car in front of you. It can slow down and speed up with traffic flow.

Blind Spot Warning – Sounds an audible / visual alert when another vehicle is on your blind spot.

Forward-Collision Warning – Detects and warns drivers in the event of a potential oncoming collision

Pedestrian Detection – Warns drivers when a cyclist or pedestrian is near the vehicle. Handy in tight car parks.


woman driving car

Buying a new small car saves having to worry about any red flags that used cars can throw up. As with buying any new car, finance is easier and cheaper, even with a bad credit car loan. Small cars have a huge range, simple and easy finance options and high resale values – especially if you do your homework and choose a popular one.

Angela Monroe
Angela Monroe is the Community Manager at The Positive Group, specialising in giving people the information that they need when they need it, and putting you on the path to a fair financial future. She has 8 years of experience in helping Australians find the right finance solutions, and regularly contributes articles to empower Australians with the knowledge they need to become financially healthy.


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