Why are our cars getting bigger?
Our cars are growing — it’s a fact. Nowadays, cars which are redesigned come back slightly bigger. A prime example is the MINI. No longer can this car resemble its name. The current three-door MINI hatchback is around 800mm longer than the original model from 1959. It’s a similar situation for many cars that are on our roads today. Another example is the Honda Civic. Currently, it stands at 819mm longer and 560mm wider than the original design which was released in 1973.
Of course, the reason they are growing could be linked to several reasons and here we take a look at the main points:
It’s notable that there are a host of finance deals for drivers to choose from. Many of us are benefiting 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.
The SUV revolution
SUVs may date back to the 1963 Jeep Wagoneer, but the Nissan Qashqai can lay claim to beginning the 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.
The Qashqai was the UK’s best-selling medium-sized car in 2016. It represented almost one in seven sales in the class, and 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 a small car was simply used to 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’.
Because of this, models which were typically smaller have grown 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.
Better suited for families
Boot space is vital for a lot of 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 nowadays which cars and automobiles face. 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.
With driverless cars said to be on the horizon, it will be interesting to see whether or not cars continue to increase in size in the future.