web analytics

Benefits and Safety of Subcompact Cars Such as the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris

“Sometimes big problems are best solved
using small solutions.”


Generally speaking, little tiny micro small mini cars have many advantages. They offer better maneuverability and easier parking. Better fuel efficiency, and fewer resources used in production make small cars environmentally friendly. Small cars are inexpensive to purchase, insure, and maintain. Finally, they look cute, happy, youthful, and are fun to drive. For these reasons and others, intelligent and thoughtful people are trading in their old cars, and purchasing small cars. Isn’t it time you considered a small car? For yourself. For the planet. Drive a small car.

The Best Cars At Any Price

Small cars are stylish and smart, and that’s why cars like the Smart Car are featured in movies such as DaVinci Code, Pink Panther, Scoop, A Good Year, Legally Blonde 2, Just Married, and Agent Cody Banks 2. When other larger and more expensive cars could have been featured, producers choose smart, small, and stylish instead. Why own a mundane and average large car when you could own a small car just like the Hollywood movie stars drive?


While misinformation about small car safety abounds, the fact is that small cars  actually offer many safety benefits.

  • Accident Prevention Technology. Many small cars offer anti-lock breaks and specialized handling packages that allow the driver to avoid accidents. Smaller cars are made with fewer materials, so more money can be invested in safety features. For example, the Chevy Aveo includes three separate traction and maneuvering safety technologies (antilock brake system, stabilitrak, and traction control). The Honda Fit features Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA®) with traction control (Fit Sport with Navigation).
  • Impact Countermeasures. The Honda Fit offers six airbags as well as other safety features. Most small cars utilize high strength materials that are light weight.
  • Improved Control Through Reduced Mass. Small cars are light and nimble which means they can maneuver quickly and easily. Large cars are sometimes referred to as boats because they handle sluggishly since they have so much mass and weight that nees to be navigated. There can be a delay in the response time from when you turn the wheel and when the car starts to turn — not so with a little car.
  • Improved Stop Distance. If you’re trying to stop a big heavy vehicle, you’ll need plenty of breaking power to slow down such a large and massive pile of metal. If you hit a patch of snow, ice, or wet pavement, your chances of slowing down in time to avoid an accident are minimal. Since many collisions are with objects such as railing, poles, cement, telephone poles, ligth posts, and similar road size hazards, safety isn’t a question of one car versus another. Instead, true safety is a matter of the effective maneuverability of your vehicle.
  • Safer For Everyone. If you’re simply concerned for your own safety and not that of anyone else, the above facts would be reason enough to get a small car. However, most of us are concerned about the well being and safety of others. For this reason, smaller cars make a good choice because they have a reduced likelihood of inflicting injury to other people (or property). Big cars present the most danger to everyone.


Because of the numerous advantages and safety features of small cars, forward thinking and progressive auto manufacturers are designing, building, and promoting them. Here are a few of the more popular tiny little micro small mini car models and their respective manufacturers.

  • Audi A3. Although the Audi A3 is among the most expensive of the tiny cars, and it’s top fuel economy is about 30 MPG, it’s one of the most powerful small cars available with up to 250 horsepower of propulsion.
  • Chevy Aveo. With an estimated 34 MPG highway fuel efficiency and plenty of included technology, the Chevy Aveo is an economical and enjoyable car to drive.
  • Ford Fiesta. The Ford Fiesta has long been a favorite among domestic tiny cars. The European ECOnetic Fiesta achieves fuel economy up to 65 MPG in some models.
  • Honda Fit. Offering up to 35 MPG fuel efficiency, six airbags, iPod audio interface, ten beverage holders, and Honda Satellite-Linked Navigation with voice recognition, you’ll feel like you’re flying in first class.
  • Mazda Miata MX-5. The Mazda Miata is one of the best known tiny convertible cars. The Mazda 3 offers greater fuel efficiency and a lower purchase price.
  • Mercedes SLK 300. If you don’t have the half-million dollars needed to purchase the Mercedes 617 horsepower McLaren Roadster, the Mercedes SLK 300 is a relatively economical alternative.
  • Mini Cooper. While the Mini Cooper isn’t the least expensive small car around, it may be one of the most stylish. With high performance and top speeds in excess of 120 MPH, the Mini Cooper still offers fuel efficiency of up to 37 MPG.
  • Smart Car. Small cars are definitely smart cars, and the Smart Car brand is one of the cutest and smallest available, and one of the most efficient by offering up to 41 MPG.
  • Tata Nano. “Tata Motors has won the Wall Street Journal Technology Innovation Award in the ‘Transportation’ category.” (source) [Tata Nano on Facebook]
  • Toyota Yaris. The excellent quality of Toyota vehicles is universally accepted and acknowledged even among their competition. The Toyota Yaris is no exception. With up to 36 MPG and a plentiful list of options, luxury and economy are combined in one.
  • Volkswagen VW Beetle Bug. The VW Bug is one of the cars that started the tiny car revolution back in the 1960s. Through innovation and creative design, VW impacted the automotive industry around the world. At 29 MPG, the VW Beetle isn’t the most fuel efficient. However, what it lacks in fuel efficiency it makes up for in style and quality.

Five Small Efficient Cars

Here is a list, courtesy of Bob B., of five inexpensive, small, fuel efficient cars. These are less than $15,000 and can get 35MPG or more. This list was compiled in May 2009.

  • Hyundai Accent – 26 city, 35 highway, 29 average – Starts at $9,970
  • Smart For Two Coupe – 33 city, 41 highway, 36 average – Starts at $11,990
  • Kia Rio – 26 city, 35 highway, 30 average – Starts at $12,145
  • Toyota Yaris – 29 city, 35 highway, 31 average- Starts at $12,205
  • Honda Fit – 28 city, 35 highway, 31 average – Starts at $14,705

Page Visitors

The maps below show recent visitors to this page as of 6 Apr 2020.

Document History

This document was originally posted on 27 May 2009 at 7:53 PM. It was updated on 6 Apr 2020 at 10:39 AM after a renewed interest. Because of renewed interest, this page has been upgraded with new formatting.

By Greg Johnson

Greg Johnson is a freelance writer and tech consultant in Iowa City. He is also the founder and Director of the ResourcesForLife.com website. Learn more at AboutGregJohnson.com