Piaggio Ape Calessino
Courtesy of piaggiocommercialvehicles.com

50 of the Smallest Cars Ever Made

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Piaggio Ape Calessino
Courtesy of piaggiocommercialvehicles.com

Small Wonders

Cars make no pretense of being small anymore. Since the last time gas prices hit $4 a gallon nationwide, the U.S. went from a hybrid- and electric-embracing market looking for any old Geo Metro it could find to a full-on retreat back to the biggest SUVs money could buy. Even "small" brands such as Mini and Fiat now have larger extended versions that scarcely resemble their cute, efficient Euro models. To give you some idea of how far we've sped away from small cars, here are just a few examples of the smallest vehicles ever offered.

Related:These Are the Least Expensive Cars to Own

Scion iQ (US)
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

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 buy it? For easy parallel parking and 37 mpg of both city and highway driving.

Smart Fortwo
Courtesy of smartusa.com

Smart Fortwo

First available in the U.S. in 2008, Smart's two-seater was just 106 inches long and 65 inches wide. That wasn't a particularly big draw when its $20,000-plus price tag and roughly 70 horsepower cost more than a Toyota Prius while delivering worse mileage. The gas-powered Smart was discontinued here in 2018, but the electric version (and its roughly 36 mpg equivalent) are still kicking around.

A Goggomobil 250 sedan car
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Goggomobil

Fewer than 67,000 of this 10-foot German pocket car were made between 1957 and 1969. The good news is that it got 55 mpg, but the bad news is that it 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.

Goggomobil T-300
Courtesy of classic-trader.com/uk

Goggomobil T-300

The incredibly tiny "four-passenger" T-300 was named after its 300 cc engine, which is roughly what you'd find in a low- to midrange motorcycle. Manufacturers were convinced that not only could you cram four people into it, but you could tow a trailer with it as well. You just couldn't go very far; its top speed was all of 53 mph.

Fuldamobil S-7
Courtesy of artsvalua.com

Fuldamobil S-7

The Fuldamobil N-2 looks like a car someone would build if they had some sheet metal and a lawnmower engine kicking around. The early entries in the Fuldamobil S series were cute and bulbous, but still not quite the perfect "bubble car." The S-7 and its fiberglass body and 10-foot body (a metal frame instead of the original wood), looked like a three-wheel car, but had a personality bigger than most tiny cars.

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

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.

1970 Fiat 500 photographed at the 2011 Washington (D.C.) Auto Show
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

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.

1959 Fiat 600 Multipla tipo 100.108
1959 Fiat 600 Multipla tipo 100.108 by Mr.choppers (CC BY-SA)

Fiat 600 Multipla

Minivans typically aren't all that much smaller than vans, but the Multipla took the term to heart. Only about 11 feet long and equipped with a 633 cc engine, it served as a taxi in Italy and an affordable family car elsewhere. It also topped out at 57 mph and took an exhausting 43 seconds to go from zero to 50 mph.

     Fiat 600 Eden Roc front.jpg More details 1958 Fiat 600 Eden Roc by Pininfarina at the 2011 Desert Classic, La Quinta, CA.
Fiat 600 Eden Roc front.jpg More details 1958 Fiat 600 Eden Roc by Pininfarina at the 2011 Desert Classic, La Quinta, CA. by Rex Gray (CC BY)

Fiat Marine Eden Rock

Built on a 600 Multipla chassis by Italian designer Pininfarina, the Eden Rock was built strictly so Fiat's founders would have a touring car for their French resort. Distinguished by its wood trim and wooden slat bench seating, the Eden Rock was an homage to Riva motorboats. Only three were made, and just two still exist.

1959 Fiat Jolly - yellow white - rvl
1959 Fiat Jolly - yellow white - rvl by Rex Gray (CC BY)

Fiat Jolly

A company called Ghia, perhaps best known for its work with Lamborghini (but now owned by Ford), had the idea to make little beach buggy versions of Fiat's 500, 600, Multipla, and Giardiniera. The Jolly — Italian for "joker" — stuck around from 1958 to 1966. Just 600 were made, and their fabric tops and wicker seats command more than $50,000 apiece today.

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

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.

Brütsch Mopetta 1957
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Brutsch Mopetta

Egon Brutsch built this one-seater small car for the 1956 International Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition and gave it a one-cylinder ILO two-stroke engine that produced just 2.3 horsepower. At just 5 feet, 9 inches long, 3 feet wide, and 196 pounds, the Mopetta had just a 50 cc engine and hit a top speed of 30 mph. There were only 14 of these made, which isn't such a shabby following for a three-wheeler with open seating.

Autobianchi Bianchina 500
Courtesy of classic-trader.com/uk

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.

Series III Hardtop
Series III Hardtop by Davidjohnaustin (CC BY-SA)

Hudson/Nash Metropolitan

At 12 feet long and 5 feet wide, the Metropolitan is bigger than most of the tiny cars on this list. But it's also one of the few tiny cars ever built by a U.S. company, though all production took place in England. Hanging in there from 1953 through 1961, the Metropolitan made fans of Elvis Presley, Princess Margaret, and Paul Newman while making cameos in "Clueless," "UHF" and "The Incredibles."

Subaru_360 Model K111
Subaru_360 Model K111 by Mytho88 (CC BY-SA)

Subaru 360

When businessman Malcolm Bricklin imported 10,000 of these vehicles from Japan during their 1958-71 run, he labeled them "cheap and ugly." He wasn't wrong. Looking like a Volkswagen Beetle that someone had smacked in the forehead with a cast-iron skillet, the 360 was less than 9 feet long and 4 feet wide and had a 356 cc two-stroke, two-cylinder engine. Though it had a top speed of 60 mph, it took about 37 seconds to reach that speed with its tiny 16 horsepower engine.

Daihatsu Fellow-Max
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

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)

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.

Suzuki Suzulight
Suzuki Suzulight by Mytho88 (CC BY-SA)

Suzuki Suzulight

Suzuki's first attempt at an automobile was this less than 10-foot, roughly 1,000-pound bubble of a car with a 360 cc engine. Fitting right into the country's "People's Car" program of small, inexpensive, efficient vehicles, the Suzulight enjoyed a run from 1954 to 1969, helped Japan embrace the car, and turned Suzuki into a multinational brand.

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

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)

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
Courtesy of piaggiocommercialvehicles.com

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.

Peel P50
Courtesy of p50cars.com

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 UK.

Peel Trident
Peel Trident by David Hunter (CC BY)

Peel Trident

What if you wanted a tiny car with two seats and two headlights instead of one? The bubble-domed beauty known as the Peel Trident had an initial run of only 82 when made from 1965 to 1966, but it was relaunched in 2011. One driver's sidecar is another's incredibly tiny car.

Renault Twizy
Courtesy of renault.es

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) is still being produced after debuting in 2012. It's no slouch: The Twizy gets 62 miles on one charge and is popular enough in Europe to make its way into David Guetta videos.

Heinkel Kabine
Heinkel Kabine by Thesupermat (CC BY-SA)

Heinkel Kabine

You're going to see a bit of overlap between German aircraft companies from World War II and some of the smallest cars ever made. Heinkel Flugzeugwerke, the same folks who made Luftwaffe bomber planes such as the Heinkel HE 111, made this funny three-wheeler that drivers had to open the front end to get into. This one-door sedan topped out at 56 mph, produced all of 9 horsepower, and lasted only from 1956 through 1966, when it died as the 200 cc Trojan 200.

Messerschmitt KR200
Courtesy of hemmings.com

Messerschmitt KR200

The Messerschmitt KR200, or Kabinenroller (Cabin Scooter), was a cute 10-foot three-wheeler made by the same company that built some of the most feared fighter planes of World War II. Banned from making aircraft, the company turned its attention to vehicles. It began making the KR175 in 1953, later improving the power rear-mounted 191 cc two-stroke, single-cylinder engine that helped the car hit a top speed of 56 mph. Not only was it produced from 1955 through 1964, but this odd little car with the fighter-canopy top sold more than 12,000 vehicles during its run.

Messerschmitt4wheel
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

FMR Tg500

It looks like a Messerschmitt KR because it's supposed to. But the Tg500 got better-handling four wheels instead of three, while keeping the acrylic bubble canopy and tandem seating. Less than 10 feet long, four feet wide and just 858 pounds, the TG500's 493 cc engine gave it a top speed of 78 mph. That's fast for a microcar, but it had plenty of competition during its brief run from 1958 to 1961.

Mia L "miAmore" special edition in Gironde, France.
Mia L "miAmore" special edition in Gironde, France. by JLPC (CC BY-SA)

Mia Electric

How do you make an electric vehicle more affordable? French manufacturer Mia Electric thought the answer was to make it smaller. This three-seat, all-electric vehicle was just 9 feet, 5 inches long with two sliding doors and a centrally positioned driver's seat. But even with a 56-mile driving radius and a 62 mph top speed, the roughly $16,000 starting price wasn't enough to keep the company in business. Production ended in 2013 after starting just two years earlier.

Related:25 Cars No One Wanted to Buy

Jurisch Motoplan
Courtesy of rmsothebys.com

Jurisch Motoplan

Carl Jurisch knew Germans weren't riding motorcycles anymore, but also weren't driving around with multiple passengers. In 1957, he created a three-wheeled car out of the body of a motorcycle sidecar and tried to sell a prototype in New York — but at the height of the big, tail-finned car era, misjudging the market terribly. Just two other Motoplans would be built, and the model never took off.

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

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.

Buddy Electric
Courtesy of buddyelectric.no

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 Cars Tango
Courtesy of commutercars.com

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 charge in 10 minutes on a supercharger and in three hours on a dryer outlet.

BMW Isetta; Panasonic G1 14-45 Lens
BMW Isetta; Panasonic G1 14-45 Lens by Mick (CC BY)

BMW Velam ISO Isetta

A single-cylinder car that could get 78 mpg, the Isetta asked drivers to get into the car by opening its entire hinged front end. If it got into a crash, the driver could climb out of the canvas roof. This 7.5- by 4.5-foot egg is what comes to mind when folks think of a "bubble car," and it was incredibly popular by microcar standards: Selling 161,728 from 1953 to 1961.

Related:12 Unique Cars That Should Be Resurrected

Austin Coulson's DIY Car
Courtesy of guinnessworldrecords.com

Austin Coulson's DIY Car

Custom carmaker Austin Coulson really wanted to see if a vehicle the size of a Power Wheels or Barbie kiddie cart could make it on the road. At 2 feet, 1 inch high, 2 feet, 1.75 inches wide and 4 feet, 1.75 inches long, this car is built from the body of a '57 Chevy Bel Air mockup and uses the drive train, transmission, and engine from a road-legal quad cycle. It has seatbelts, headlights, taillights, turn signals, a functional horn, rearview mirrors, and a custom 3-inch by 9-inch safety-glass windshield that make it drivable enough to be licensed and registered. In 2014, it earned Guinness recognition for world's smallest roadworthy car.

Cozy Coupe
Courtesy of attitudeautos.co.uk

Cozy Coupe

The Daewoo Matiz in its original form isn't all that tiny. At nearly 11.5 feet, it's subcompact to be sure, but the car now known as the Chevrolet Spark isn't small enough to be a toy. It took English mechanic John Bitmead to make it one — an adult-sized version of the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe toy car that can actually reach 60 mph.

Corbin Sparrow 'Pizza Butt'.

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."

Red NXR Intercity REVA model
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

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.

1970 Honda N600 (US)
1970 Honda N600 (US) by Rex Gray (CC BY-SA)

Honda N600

Like most Japanese Kei cars of its era, the N600 was a motorcycle disguised as full-sized car. (A Japan-only version, the N360, had an engine so small that a spare tire could be fit in with it.) The N600 was less than 10 feet long and little more than 4 feet wide, but its 599 cc engine made it viable for markets in North America and Europe.

Nissan Figaro E-FK10
Nissan Figaro E-FK10 by Nissan Figaro E-FK10 (CC BY)

Nissan Figaro

Only 20,000 were made in Tokyo in 1991, but this retro convertible has a strong and adoring following. Less than 12 feet long and 6 feet wide and weighing just under 1,800 pounds, the Figaro was a convertible with ivory leather seats, chrome and Bakelite-style knobs, chrome-trimmed speedometer and other gauges, as well as a CD player. As recently as 2018, roughly 3,000 Figaros were still on the road in England.

Austin-Healey Sprite
Courtesy of classic-trader.com/uk

Austin-Healey Sprite

Only about 11 feet long and 4 feet wide, the Sprite was built to be small enough to keep in a bike shed, but sporty enough to not stay there very long. A 948 cc, 1-liter engine was enough to give it a top speed of about 82 mph and make it a beast on the rally circuit. This convertible — and the similar MG Midget — were also convertibles stylish enough to go bounding down the backroads during a weekend getaway.

Citroen Prototype C
Courtesy of citroenorigins.co.uk/

Citroen Prototype C

Citroen spent more than 40 years making an iconic small car known as the 2CV. But Citroen knew it could go smaller. At a deceptive 12.6 feet long, 5 feet wide, and just 846 pounds, this tiny teardrop fit a driver and one passenger in its lightweight aluminum body's tandem seats. The 425 cc engine in the Prototype C produced 12 horsepower and hit a top speed of 68 mph.

Kleinschnittger F125
Courtesy of rmsothebys.com

Kleinschnittger F125

After World War II, just about every European country did what it could to get citizens into cars. In Belgium, that meant hammering aluminum over wooden frames and melting old army cook pots into fenders. The F125 went out to 22 countries, including the U.S., and its 9.5- by 4-foot frame and 388-pound heft remained popular enough to keep production going from 1950 to 1957. But the 123 cc engine and 46 mph top speed limited the potential of the Kleinschnittger F125.

1994 Reliant Robin Mk2 SLX
1994 Reliant Robin Mk2 SLX by Pazza328 (CC BY)

Reliant Robin

This tiny three-wheeler went through a few iterations during its run from 1973 through 2001, none especially safe. This was, after all, a 13-foot car with less than 5 feet of width that used a single wheel in front to turn. It got used as onscreen gags in films such as "Only Fools and Horses" and got victimized by "Mr. Bean," and the reputation of the fiberglass Reliant Robin took a bashing on "Top Gear" for being … tippy. (It was faked.)

Aixam Minauto
Courtesy of aixam-mega.com

Aixam Minauto

At just 9 feet long and less than 5 feet wide, the Minauto is more quadcycle than car and doesn't require a license to drive — but with a top speed of just 28 mph, is strictly a city car. Also, its maximum weight with cargo can't exceed 1,500 pounds, so you, your passenger, and your stuff will all have to weigh in at less than 600 pounds.

The Mini-El electric microcar. Photographed by me in Bristol, UK.
Courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org

Citycom CityEl

The New York Times fell in love with the CityEl 12 years ago, thanks largely to its three wheels, electric power, and plexiglas/fiberglass components. But it can go only about 39 mph and travel 56 miles at best before it needs to plug in. Also, at 460 to 617 pounds, the City El doesn't fare well against a stiff wind.

Mitsubishi Mirage
Courtesy of mitsubishicars.com

Mitsubishi Mirage

At roughly 12 feet long in hatchback form, it's pretty big for a car on this list, but minute for a subcompact in the United States. Its 1.2-liter engine and all of 74 horsepower are a bit underpowered. But the Mirage is still sold here, and its nearly 40 mpg combined is the best you're going to get out of a new gas-powered vehicle.

Mitsubishi i-MiEV
Courtesy of mitsubishi-motors.com

Mitsubishi i-MiEV

Despite the zombie website, the i-MiEV electric vehicle hasn't been sold in the U.S. since 2017, thanks to poor sales. At only about 11 feet long and less than 5 feet wide, it was the smallest vehicle Mitsubishi sold here. But it had a surprising 50.4 cubic feet cargo space with the seats down and got 66 horsepower and 62 miles of range out of its little motor.

Eshelman Sport Car Deluxe
Courtesy of rmsothebys.com

Eshelman Sport Car Deluxe

It looks like the ugly version of a child's jeep (and even came in a child-sized model), but Cheston Lee Eshelman — developer of functional wingless aircraft who became better known tractors and small cars — wanted to make it work. This one is just 2 feet wide and got 70 mpg when introduced in 1953. The Deluxe models had chrome-plated rocket side trim.

The back of the car.
The back of the car. by Rudolf Stricker (CC BY)

Suzuki Cappuccino

At less than 1,600 pounds, the Cappuccino didn't require much to get it moving during its initial run from 1991 through 1998. Just over 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, the two-seater Cappuccino roadster had a 657 cc three-cylinder engine that produced 63 horsepower and could get up to more than 80 mph. It was one of the hottest cars of Japan's Kei car era.

Honda Beat
Honda Beat by dave_7 (CC BY-SA)

Honda Beat

The last car approved by company founder Soichiro Honda, this was a fun one. Italian sports car designer Pininfarina gave this little roadster some Ferrari-like lines and venting, while Honda dropped in a 656 cc engine that fit right into its Kei car category. Little more than 10 feet long and 5 feet wide, it's a zippy little cart that produces 63 horsepower and can go 84 mph. Even with the S660 replacing it, the Beat is beloved among the tuners who embrace its 1991-95 aesthetic.