For many years, city cars struggled to win over significant numbers of buyers due to the misconception that they were unsafe and that small engines were under powered.
Consumers felt that bigger was not only better, but it was more secure too. Now, however, city cars feature cutting-edge safety technology and their ongoing evolution has resulted in increased sales across the world.
According to global sales data for the first quarter of 2018, compact city car sales increased by almost two percent.
Cost of ownership
Vehicle costs extend further than the monthly hire purchase. The total cost of ownership includes fuel, insurance, repairs, maintenance and other variable costs.
Compact hatchbacks score well in this regard as everything from the actual cost of the car to insurance and maintenance is, on average, cheaper than medium and large vehicles.
The all-new Nissan Micra, which is revolutionising the Upper B hatchback segment, has a phenomenal combined fuel consumption of 5.1 litres per 100km and comes with a comprehensive 6-year/150 000km warranty; a 3-year/90 000km service plan; and 24/7 roadside assistance.
The fuel efficiency of city cars, particularly those with small-capacity, turbo-charged engines are constantly improving and some compact cars are even on par with petrol-electric hybrids, which record very low consumption.
"The fuel efficiency of city cars such as the Micra can’t be overstated as there have been several fuel price increases throughout the year that have had a negative impact on all consumers and especially those with large, fuel-guzzling vehicles," said Alda Gildenhuys, Nissan SA Passenger Vehicles Product Manager.
Modern compact cars come with a raft of innovative technological advancements from those that keep you connected to the world around you to those that prioritise passenger safety.
The 7-inch touch-screen colour display on the Nissan Micra Acenta and Acenta Plus allows the driver to access features such as music, messages and maps through Apple CarPlay.
When an iPhone is connected via an Apple lightning cable, it offers users Siri voice control, Apple maps with turn-by-turn navigation, access to music, telephone services and other apps such as Audiobooks and Spotify.
Standard across the Micra range are six airbags, seatbelt warnings and seat belt height adjustment for the front and rear. Isofix child seats are also standard in the new Micra, including in the front passenger seat and electronic safety systems include Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-locking Braking System, and Hill Start Assist.
Ergonomics are vitally important in this segment and the Nissan Micra sets new standards with a rake/reach-adjustable steering wheel and lowered front seats, which result in exceptional headroom for taller occupants.
Freedom to have fun
Arguably, one of the most important aspects about city cars is their price point and the fact that they provide freedom of movement for first-time car buyers. The dream of buying a car when you’re just starting your first job is something everyone experiences.
Owning a car, particularly in a country where the public transit system isn’t fully developed, allows you to take charge of your life and make your mark. City cars also prove extremely useful for entrepreneurs who need to get moving to achieve their goals.
Of course, a large number of up-and-coming buyers are young and require cars that are not only reliable, and safe but are also exciting and fun to drive.
The new Nissan Micra has a 66kW, 140Nm turbo-charged petrol engine that delivers driving pleasure, outstanding practicality and incredible fuel efficiency. Whether it’s zipping around through grid-locked traffic, or on long stretches of open road, the Micra delivers new levels of performance and comfort.
The Micra also benefits from an extensive personalisation programme with features and colours that are developed to enhance the car’s funky, yet sophisticated interior and exterior design language.
Given that compact cars offer everything we’ve come to expect from much more expensive, bigger vehicles and that they allow you to save money without sacrificing important features, is it any wonder that they’re taking over the world?