Why Buy a Subcompact Car?

by Jim Thompson | Last Updated: January 11, 2021

So, You Want to Purchase a Subcompact Car

Well, maybe. But first… what is a subcompact car?

You may first think of a Mini Cooper, and you’d be right. “Subcompact” cars are simply smaller cars, categorized between the size categories compact and mini-compact (or micro-car). Other examples of subcompact cars are the Chevy Spark, the Ford Fiesta, the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, or the Nissan Versa.

You’re probably nodding your head, and thinking, “Yes, I see what they are now. But why would I want one?” We can help you there!

Why You Want a Subcompact Car

Two words:

  • Affordability
  • Convenience

Not reason enough? Let us elaborate. With subcompact cars, you get what you pay for. Since they are smaller than average cars, the check you write to purchase one is also, well, smaller.

With a smaller car comes more convenience. How? If you live in a crowded city or neighborhood, you don’t need us to tell you that a smaller car makes parking infinitely easier. Ever been to the grocery store only to find one parking spot only to find you can’t fit in it because the selfish dude next to you parked his truck 1/6th in your space? No problem with a subcompact car!

Also, though we may not need to say it, subcompact cars can be quite stylish. Take the Mini Cooper for example. If you’ve ever had the privilege of enjoying Britain’s romantic gardens, interesting accents, tasty teas, or historical marvels in person, you know why it makes a stylish statement to plaster a giant Union Jack on the top of your Cooper!

Why You May Still Not Want a Subcompact Car

Two more words:

(Yes, we know that was three words…)

  • Size
  • Safety

But we were just touting the size of the subcompact car as a selling point! What gives? Well, the truth is that there are two sides to the size coin. While fitting into parking spaces is a plus, fitting friends, family, the dog, and a bunch of lacrosse stick thingies into a subcompact car is just not ideal. In fact, it’s nearly impossible. If you need room, this is not the car for you.

Also, driving on the highway can be difficult because these cars have noisy engines that simply aren’t as high-powered as their big brothers. This can make it frustrating when you find you can’t pass grandma going below the speed limit. (No offense to grandmothers intended. Ours drive a tad too fast…)

Finally, safety is a serious issue. The bigger the car, the more metal you have around you to protect you in the event of a crash. There are various subcompact models that are safer than others, so do consider this. However, if you have precious cargo (and yes, you count), or if you’re a rather reckless driver, this is not the car for you, either.

NOTE: We think it’s only fair to debunk a subcompact car myth—the myth of incredible fuel economy. It makes sense that the bigger the car, the more gas it uses; however, this logic isn’t always sound. In fact, sometimes it’s just not true. Always check the gas mileage first before buying a car merely thinking it’s got good gas mileage!

Happy subcompacting!