20 of the Smallest Cars Ever Made

Smallest Cars Ever Made

Cheapism / 964 Peel P50 by Philip (flip) Kromer Corbin Sparrow 'Pizza Butt'. by Jason Sullivan (CC BY-SA)

Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site.
Piaggio Ape Calessino
Piaggio & C. S.P.A.

Small Wonders

Every time gas prices soar nationwide, smaller, more fuel-efficient cars get their time to shine. Manufacturers are also coming up with new ways to set their models apart, such as iEV's unbelievably tiny new car, the world's narrowest, that splits and stretches to make room for another passenger. To give some idea of how far small cars have come, here are just a few examples of the smallest cars in the world.

iEV Motors ApS

1. iEV Z

Electric cars are growing in popularity, but with so many options, it becomes easy for certain models to get lost in the shuffle. The new Danish-made iEV Z isn't likely to have that problem, though, thanks to a one-of-a-kind chassis that can be extended and adjusted to make room for a second passenger in the back. The tiny car is the first intelligent electric vehicle that can change its size based on the needs of the driver, and bills itself as the narrowest car in the world at only about 31 inches wide. 

Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Macaron (rear)
Wuling Hongguang Mini EV Macaron (rear) by JustAnotherCarDesigner (CC BY-SA)

2. Hong Guang Mini EV

Launched in July 2020 and sold primarily in China, this electric car is 9.6 feet long and less than 5 feet wide, yet still seats four — and if you fold up the rear seats, it claims 26 cubic feet of storage space. As manufactured by China’s Wuling Motors with the help of its government-run SAIC Motor and a branch of our own General Motors, this runabout (top speed, 62 mph) costs only around $5,000. No wonder it outsold Tesla’s Model 3 for a time.

Scion iQ
Wikimedia Commons

3. Scion IQ

About 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, the Scion was a two-seater disguised as a four-seater. But even with the back seats folded up, there was just 17 cubic feet of storage. Considering that its 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine produced just 98 horsepower, the Scion couldn't handle all that much cargo anyway. So why own one? For easy parallel parking and 37 mpg of both city and highway driving.

For more fun auto stories like this,
please sign up for our free newsletters.

Goggomobil 250
Wikimedia Commons

4. Goggomobil

Fewer than 67,000 of this 10-foot German pocket car were made between 1957 and 1969. It got 55 mpg, but was powered by an environmentally unfriendly two-stroke (think lawn trimmers and hedge cutters), two-cylinder engine that maxed out at 52 mph. It was a city car largely because it couldn't cut it on the highway.

Related: Cars We Said Goodbye to This Past Decade

1970 Fiat 500
Wikimedia Commons

5. Fiat 500

No, we don't mean the current incarnation: We mean the "Fix it again, Tony" version made between 1957 and 1975. It was just 9 feet, 9 inches long and ran on a 479 cc two-cylinder engine that, unfortunately for drivers, was air-cooled. One of these traveled around the world, which is no small feat considering that Fiat is still trying to convince U.S. drivers that, unlike their parents' and grandparents' Fiats, they can make it down the road.

Related: Classic Italian Sports Cars We Wish Were in Our Driveway

Mazda Autozam AZ-1
Mazda Autozam AZ-1 by Tennen-Gas (CC BY-SA)

6. Mazda Autozam AZ-1

Did you ever want a Lamborghini and think "you know, a 660 cc glorified go kart would do"? Designed by the same team as the Mazda Miata, the AZ-1 had an engine in the middle of the car, was rear-wheel drive, had gullwing doors and a spoiler, and was sold for exactly three years between 1992 and 1994. At all of 10 feet long and less than 4 feet wide, it was the sportiest of Japan's tiny "Kei" cars, which were the smallest allowed on Japanese roads, and is still the most head-turning. Even Jay Leno owns one.

Related: Japanese Cars That Changed the Game

1961 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile
1961 Autobianchi Bianchina Trasformabile by MorningPhoenix (CC BY-SA)

7. Autobianchi Bianchina 500

From 1957 to 1970, if you wanted a Fiat in any other form, this was your option. The Autobianchi Bianchina 500 was a sedan, convertible, wagon, and roadster with a plush interior, cute and colorful styling, and a nearly 500 cc engine that produced nearly 22 horsepower. Since they were small without being uncomfortable, they've retained a surprising amount of their value to this day.

Related: Electric Car Regrets: What to Know Before Buying

Daihatsu Fellow-Max
Wikimedia Commons

8. Daihatsu Fellow Max

Tiny Kei cars enjoyed tax and insurance incentives. The Fellow was a great illustration of that concept, sitting at less than 10 feet long and little more than 4 feet wide. The 356 cc engine is smaller than most standard Honda motorcycle engines today, and it wouldn't see an upgrade until 1976. But it was beloved enough to get a dune buggy version late in its underpowered run.

Morris Mini-Minor 1959 (621 AOK)
Morris Mini-Minor 1959 (621 AOK) by DeFacto (CC BY-SA)

9. Mini Cooper

Again, we aren't talking about the Mini hatchback you'll see on U.S. roads today — or any of the outsized stateside Minis that followed — but Alec Issigonis' original. The Mini Cooper available until 2000 was just 10 feet long, compared with today's 12-foot models, and sold nearly 7 million vehicles worldwide. The Mini Cooper of "The Italian Job" and "Austin Powers" fame wasn't just some Mini in name only: It was actually mini.

Riscio elettrico Pasquali
Riscio elettrico Pasquali by Francis Mariani (CC BY-NC-ND)

10. Pasquali Riscio

Florence-based Pasquali made an electric car that goes only 25 mph and only about 30 miles or so on a single charge. And it comes only in yellow. But you don't need a license to drive a Riscio in Italy, and it can reduce the need for gas-powered scooters and vehicles. 

ACMA Vespa 400 (1957-61)
ACMA Vespa 400 (1957-61) by Andrew Bone (CC BY)

11. Vespa 400

It had a 400 cc engine that put out just 14 horsepower, but don't let that peak speed of 50 mph fool you: From its aircraft-style construction to its independent suspension, this shared nothing with its parent company's scooters but the name. Though so tight on space it didn't even have room in the doors for roll-down windows, the Vespa 400 managed to sell 1,700 vehicles here in the U.S.

Piaggio Ape Calessino
Piaggio & C. S.P.A.

12. Piaggio Ape Calessino

Now this is a glorified scooter. Piaggio has produced its three-wheeled Ape commercial vehicles since 1948, and they remain incredibly popular. But the Ape Calessino made its debut in the early 2000s, presented as a throwback version of the "La Dolce Vita" Roman holiday vehicles of the 1950s and '60s. At only about 8 feet long, it's designed more as a tourist scooter bus and less like an actual car.

Related: Most Popular Cars of the Past 50 Years

Goggomobil Dart
Goggomobil Dart by Stephen Foskett, sfoskett (CC BY-SA)

13. Goggomobil Dart

What if your 10-foot, 761-pound car was sporty instead? Australian firm Buckle Motors tried to answer that question with the Goggomobil Dart, which came with an optional 18 horsepower engine to give it a bit more pickup than the standard 15. That said, the 300 and 400 cc engines weren't enough to give this bulbous little car more than a three-year run.

1964 Peel P50
1964 Peel P50 by Philip (flip) Kromer (CC BY-SA)

14. Peel P50

Just 54 inches long and 41 inches wide, the Peel P50 has held the Guinness World Records' title of smallest car for more than 50 years. A city car to its core, it was designed for one person, one shopping bag ... and has just one wiper and headlight. Though the 49 cc engine manages just 28 mph, the Peel is still considered street legal in the U.K. 

Renault Twizy

15. Renault Twizy

This isn't just some microcar from yesteryear: This less than 8-foot electric quadcycle with three doors (including two scissor doors on the sides) was still being produced into 2022 after debuting in 2012. It's no slouch — the Twizy gets 62 miles on one charge and was popular enough in Europe to make its way into David Guetta videos — but is being replaced by a Renault offshoot called Mobilize in an electric vehicle called the Duo

Related: Wildly Expensive Cars Destroyed by Hollywood

A Reva i electric car.
A Reva i electric car. by RevaNorge (CC BY-SA)

16. Reva G-Wiz

Less than 9 feet long and 4 feet wide, this Indian-built electric car claimed it could fit two adults and two children and hold a cargo weight of up to 600 pounds. Though more a heavy quadcycle than a car, it could reach 50 mph, travel 48 miles on one charge, and sold about 4,600 vehicles during its run from 2001 through 2012. The folks at TV show "Top Gear" hated the G-Wiz, considering it underpowered, ugly and unsafe — but the Reva has evolved a bit.

Buddy Electric Vehicle, 2010 Model
Buddy Electric Vehicle, 2010 Model by Detectandpreserve (CC BY-SA)

17. Buddy Electric

Produced and sold largely in Norway, this 8-foot electric car has been on sale since the 1990s and sits three people across on a bench seat. While it may not be the most popular vehicle in its home country, the Buddy Electric has a range of up to 49 miles and recharge time of at least six hours.

Commuter Tango Cars
Commuter Cars

18. Commuter Cars Tango

At just 3 feet wide, the Tango is as slim as some motorcycles. At just 8 feet long, it's able to fit into most parking spaces sideways and take up just one quarter of a space. George Clooney bought one and, for his money, he got a car that can power up in 10 minutes on a supercharger and in three hours on a dryer outlet.

Related: Strange and Expensive Celebrity Purchases

Corbin Sparrow 'Pizza Butt'.
Corbin Sparrow 'Pizza Butt'. by Jason Sullivan (CC BY-SA)

19. Myers Sparrow

It had a two-door hatchback version known as the "Pizza Butt" (commissioned by Domino's), an electric motor that can be charged in a standard outlet, and a body just 8 feet long that looked like a duck's head. This three-wheeler had a top speed of 70 mph and a driving range of nearly 60 miles, but the fact that it was still more of a motorcycle than a car led Myers to develop a similarly diminutive "half car," the "Point 5." 

Mahindra e2o
Wikimedia Commons

20. Mahindra e2o

After relentless mocking over the electric G-Wiz, the company behind it decided to go back and develop a more robust electric vehicle. The Mahindra e2o measures just 129 inches long by 59 inches wide, and can simply be plugged into a normal electrical outlet. It has an app that allows you to unlock and pre-warm your car.