A small car scene in 2017 is not like the old days aka 10-20 years ago. What I categorise as a small car is not a Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, Ford Focus, Honda Civic sized cars these are no longer small cars as they can easily carry 5 people in acceptable comfort. A small car in my view a car that can only take 4 in comfort.
In 2017 small cars can be as good as the larger models in the manufacturers range. They often have carry over tech from larger models too which is why they appeal to smarter folk. Carry over tech from larger models usually means reliability unless they don’t follow the small car blue print of course.
Genuine small cars are equipped with smaller engines because they have lighter bodies. These engines are rarely underpowered in real life although on paper they seem slow. Hence the motto of my website ‘it’s not just about power’. Lighter bodies do not mean they’re not safe either since they pass the same safety tests as larger cars.
All small cars have enough space for 2 adults and 2 small children, after all that’s their design brief. If it can fit more people than it’s a bonus, it’s a marketing thing you see, any bigger and they won’t be able to sell their larger cars.
In terms of comfort small cars are designed to be just above basic transportation and not for long distance travel hence comfortable enough and anything more is of course a bonus. Seats are often smaller but adequate and comfort is also adequate meaning economy class on a plane except with more legroom and lumber support. It’s not a lounge like environment to be in either but again adequate. Being stuck in traffic jam for over nearly 1 and half hours in my particular small car was not a problem in terms of comfort. On some models you may be lucky enough to get the same seats from larger models. I’ll go more into comfort when I do the small car reviews.
In terms of air-conditioning do not expect extreme cold, these are small engines have small air-con units. On a particular hot day 38’C it was acceptable on cooler days comfort levels where there same as any other larger car. Again this is subjective since everyone’s tolerance to heat and cold is different. Evidence? If you work in an office you will know exactly what I mean.
In terms of noise levels I used an App called DB Meter on an iPhone SE between all the cars and the results where surprising. Note that the dB measurements I produce here should not be taken as absolute fact as noise levels are affected by things like tyre choice, road type and so forth. The average noise level in my small car was 64 decibels on a normal freeway, around 56 dB around town and in the suburbs. Peak noise levels in my car was 72dB which is also acceptable when accelerating. The car is running on Eco tyres which are harder than normal ones. I would not describe the noise levels as loud or annoying since even with a passenger there was no need for raised voices – I describe this sort to dB reading as acceptable.