Why Are Our Cars Getting Bigger?

Collaborative

There’s no getting away from the fact that our cars are getting bigger. The MINI now doesn’t really resemble its name, with a current three-door MINI hatchback approximately 800mm longer than the original model which was released in 1959. The same can be said about a host of cars that grace our roads today. The Honda Civic is another example, currently standing at 819mm longer and 560mm wider than the original product released in 1973.

There are many reasons as to why our cars are getting larger, so here we run through some of the main points.

Finance

It’s clear that in current times we have a lot more finance options available to us. This is allowing many of us to benefit by ‘purchasing’ cars that had previously been out of our reach. With the likes of personal loans (PL), hire purchases (HP), personal contract purchases (PCP), personal leasing/contract hire (PCH) all readily available, the British public have the option to significantly enhance their original budget. This means they can drive away with a better vehicle. Because of this, manufacturers are creating a larger number of bigger and higher spec models.

Nissan Qashqai - Photo by Bristol Street Motors

The SUV revolution

The SUV dates back to the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, but the Nissan Qashqai is said to be the mobile that  begun the SUV revolution. Before the Japanese manufacturer introduced the Qashqai to the public in 2007, we were happy to opt for an estate or hatchback. Now though, it has become a popular trait to plump for a product that resembles a 4×4 in look, even if it doesn’t have the exact capabilities as its lookalike.

Nissan’s Qashqai was named the best-selling medium-sized car in the UK in 2016. It represented almost one in seven sales in the class, and it was the fifth best-selling car overall in the country. The design’s popularity has encouraged other manufacturers to follow suit and create models that look suitable for off-road adventures, even if they aren’t actually built for this.

We expect more from our cars

It used to be the case that small cars were used to simply get from A to B. Short distances, like going to the shops, would be carried out in the family’s ‘runaround’. But nowadays it’s expected that even the smallest motor should be able to complete long distances at ease; it’s now a case of modern-day small cars being required to do ‘big car things.’

This has resulted in the usually smaller models continue to grow in stature while still offering the benefits provided by smaller models. The statement ‘bigger is better’ is often bandied about and because of that, manufacturers are slowly upping the size of their models.

Honda Civic - Photo by Car Magazine

Better suited for families

How big the boot is is important to many car owners. Typically, a UK household spends £4,635 on food throughout the year. In 2017, the average weekly food shop cost £89 – up 4% from the previous year. Transporting these goods from the shop to your home is much easier with a large boot, especially if you have your kids in tow. But it’s not just shopping trips that benefit from bigger cars. Those much-loved family trips out are made a lot easier when there is enough space in the back to allow the bigger kids to withstand long periods in the car without throwing a tantrum.

Tougher safety standards

There are intense laws and safety features for cars to pass these days. We are no longer able to drive about in a ‘shell’. Crash tests have shown that smaller cars aren’t as protective to its driver and passengers as the larger and heavier models. By creating larger vehicles, manufacturers are able to adhere to such changes. Other benefits include lower fuel economy and emissions targets.

It will be interesting to see what happens when driverless cars become more of a normality in the future.

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