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Small cars in the Philippines

Chevrolet Spark

Small cars refer to subcompact cars that are smaller than compact cars and larger than micro (kei) cars. Vehicles in these categories are also referred to as city cars or superminis. A car falls under this category when it has a length not exceeding 165 inches and an interior space of 85 cubic feet to 99 cubic feet.

These small cars can be found within three different sections in the global vehicle categorization and often have different names depending on the market they are in. The US, for example, has an A-segment for tinier subcompacts like the Chevrolet Spark and a B-segment for slightly larger models such as the Ford Fiesta.

How subcompacts became popular

Superminis and kei cars gained popularity in British and Japanese markets as early as the 1960’s. The idea was to market small cars that offered value for money and fuel efficiency while also promoting environmentally friendly cars with decent power and cargo space.

The North American market reacted to the popularity of the tinier cars that were imported to the US by producing their own version of the small family car in the 1970’s. Although much larger in size, subcompacts offer the same characteristics of their smaller contemporaries and were introduced as “economy cars” because of their low fuel consumption.

Examples of small cars

The small car category is one of the most highly contested segments in the automotive industry with increasing demands for cars that are easy on the fuel tank and ultimately, on the buyers wallet. Almost every car brand has their own model entry in this segment.

Among the most outstanding names in this group are: the Suzuki Swift, Honda Jazz, Mazda 2 and Kia Rio.

Toyota Wigo

Price range for subcompacts

Rising costs of fuel brought about the demand for cars that offer fuel efficiency without losing the comfort of driving a mid-size or full-size car. Subcompacts have been a strong contender in the local auto scene for more than a decade.

Carmudi’s database revealed that a second hand Hyundai Getz in this category can cost as little as P300,000. One of Toyota’s new offerings, the Toyota Wigo is priced at P449,000 for its brand new entry-level model.