Last updated on February 9th, 2024 at 11:03 pm
Light cars are a perfect option for first-time buyers and car experts alike. For starters, lightweight cars tend to be faster and more affordable.
Contrary to popular belief, light cars are no longer for racing purposes only. Nowadays, you can get a light car for everyday use and even off-roading.
In this article, we’ve prepared a list of the lightest cars in 2023. So, whether you’re a curious car fan or a potential buyer, you’ll find all the information you need. Let’s dive in!
The Lightest Cars in 2023
The average car weighs a little over 4,000 lbs, while a subcompact car weighs 2,600.
Typically, these vehicles have a smaller engine and a compact fuel tank. For this reason, there are very few city cars that have a reduced weight and maintain excellent performance.
Fortunately, you can still find a lightweight car with plenty of interior space, a hatchback, or a super-lightweight sports car.
So, here’s a list of the lightest cars on today’s market:
Mini Cooper JCW
Weight: 2,892 lbs
The first car that comes to mind when mentioning compact, lightweight vehicles is the Mini Cooper.
The JCW is probably the best-performing lightweight car you can get. The best part is that the JCW is comfortable, modern, and stylish.
That’s only natural, considering the vehicle’s top-notch 228-horsepower engine. You can go up to 150 miles with this miniature car. Its 0 – 60 time is an astonishing five seconds.
Weight: 2,815 lbs
Who says compact cars aren’t stylish? The Subaru BRZ is an attractive vehicle, inside out! You won’t just be getting a small, pretty car with the BRZ. Instead, its performance is comparable to that of the Mini Cooper JCW.
It’s hard to find exceptional steering and handling in such a small car. Yet, Subaru BRZ managed to top expectations due to its seamless ride quality.
Weight: 2,633 lbs
Though the auto market is pretty competitive, the Hyundai Accent tops the list as one of the most popular choices.
Well, the main reason this car is so sought-after is that it’s super lightweight.
Accordingly, the Hyundai Accent is perfect if you’re looking for economical fuel consumption. Moreover, this vehicle might be light, but it still has a comfortable, spacious interior space, cargo space, and a 120-horsepower engine.
Mazda MX-5 Miata
Weight: 2,341 lbs
With an engine of 181 horsepower, Mazda MX-5 Miata is one of the most impressive and fun cars you can drive. The lightweight vehicle provides dynamic, tactile steering that makes each turn as smooth as butter.
Not only is this car extremely affordable, but its weight, speed, and fuel consumption can help you save money in the long run.
Weight: 2,246 lbs
So, you want the style of a hatchback without having to deal with driving a gigantic car? The Chevy Spark is the option for you.
This tiny vehicle has all the technology of larger cars, at a fraction of the price and fuel needs.
Spark has a 100-horsepower engine, which can perform magnificently on highways, city streets, and country roads.
The only problem you might have with the Chevrolet Spark is the frugal interior.
Weight: 2,147 lbs
The Kia Picanto is the ideal starter car for anyone. Not only is it easy on the pockets, but it’s simple to drive while still being fun.
Additionally, Kia offers a seven-year warranty and roadside assistance. It doesn’t get better than that.
Don’t be fooled by the Picanto’s compact size, the vehicle has a roomy interior for a 12-foot car. Performance-wise, the 67-horsepower engine is surprisingly efficient, making for a smooth driving experience.
Weight: 2,095 lbs
The Mitsubishi Mirage is one of the most affordable, lightweight cars you can get. While this car offers great fuel efficiency and speed, its five-year cost to own is pretty high.
Unfortunately, you shouldn’t expect much from Mitsubishi Mirage, apart from an affordable starting price. This car performs rather poorly, with an engine of only 78 horsepower.
Weight: 1,975 lbs
SUVs can be compact too, as proven by the tiny, but almighty, Suzuki Ignis. Despite its weight and small size, the inside of the Ignis is pretty spacious.
That’s because the vehicle has a boxy design, offering plenty of head space.
As for performance, Suzuki Ignis is remarkable for its size and capabilities. Its top speed is 103 mph, and its 0 – 60 mph time is 12 seconds.
You can take this car on a city road or highway without feeling outclassed.
Weight: 1,477 lbs
It can be hard to believe that an off-road vehicle can be light. Well, Ariel Nomad managed to achieve this nearly impossible combination.
Still, the Nomad offers superior performance, with a 235-horsepower engine. It can go up to 60 mph in only three seconds.
Most of this vehicle’s weight is concentrated on the chunky tires, which is why it’s a versatile choice for off-road racing, beach-buggying, or green-laning.
Morgan Super 3
Weight: 1,200 lbs
If you want to reduce the weight of a car, why not just remove a wheel? Well, that’s exactly what Morgan Super 3 did. Surprisingly, a vehicle can work great with just three, super wheels!
Morgan has been manufacturing three-wheeled cars for over a century. Accordingly, they have plenty of expertise in that area.
What sets the 2023 Super 3 apart, though, is the superb top speed of 130, thanks to a powerful 118-horsepower engine.
Weight: 1,070 lbs
Citroën Ami is one of the most compact cars out there, with only two seats. Naturally, it also tops the list of the lightest cars.
While electric cars are typically heavier than their gas counterparts, this isn’t the case for the Citroën Ami. That’s because the car is as tiny as can be, with its dimensions being about 8 × 4 × 5.
Unfortunately, this size has its limitations. The top speed of Citroën Ami is less than 30 mph.
Weight: 970 lbs
The lightest of the light cars is the Caterham Seven. Though the car has been around for ages, it still offers modern driving features.
Though Caterham Seven has a tiny, 84-horsepower engine, the vehicle doesn’t need a larger engine to go fast. It has a top speed of 100 mph and an astonishing 0 – 60 mph time of only seven seconds.
Why Car Weight Matters
If you’re buying a car, you might check its performance, horsepower, tank size, or cargo space. However, most car buyers rarely check the vehicle’s weight.
That said, a car’s weight is crucial for the following reasons:
There’s a reason why lighter cars are more valued in motorsports. In fact, F1 has set regulations regarding the minimum weight of a vehicle.
Lightweight cars require less force to accelerate. Consequently, they can go faster at a smaller horsepower.
That’s not all. Lightweight cars are easier to maneuver, which means you can go through narrower roads without the speed being influenced.
Knowing your car’s weight is crucial for your safety. Heavier cars can easily damage light cars, even by slightly bumping them. Therefore, you need to be more careful when driving lighter cars.
Furthermore, lighter cars are more prone to swerving if you’re driving at high speed. So, you must maintain control of your vehicle, especially when turning.
Lastly, some bridges have a weight limit. This usually shouldn’t be a concern unless you’re driving a giant pickup truck.
Compact cars have smaller gas tanks for a reason. It’s not to save up space, though. Instead, small cars don’t consume as much fuel.
This is only natural, as small cars are typically faster. Additionally, the heavier the vehicle, the more energy required to move it. In fact, a car that’s only 100 lbs lighter can save $300 worth of fuel.
Maintenance and Upkeep
A lighter car carries less weight, regardless of its dimensions. For this reason, you must consider your car’s weight before hauling heavy items or cramming your friends in the vehicle!
Moreover, if you want to regularly maintain your car without the need for a mechanic, estimating its weight is crucial. This way, you’ll use the proper tools that can handle your car’s weight.
If there’s one thing our list of the lightest cars in 2023 proves, it’s that no matter what you’re looking for in a vehicle, you’ll find a lightweight car that matches that criteria.
For instance, the Mini Cooper JCW is the best compact car if you’re looking for exceptional performance.
However, for a spacious interior and a reduced weight, there’s no better option than the Hyundai Accent.
The lightest car for city use by far is the Citroën Ami. However, don’t think about taking this tiny vehicle on the highway, as its top speed is only 30 mph.
If you’re a more adventurous driver, the Ariel Nomad and Caterham Seven are spectacular options.