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Lightest cars on sale

Lightweight cars have some key advantages but what are the lightest cars on sale today?

The rising popularity of SUVs accelerated the general expansion in car size and weight we’d been seeing across the car market for decades. Now it’s electric and hybrid cars with their bulky batteries that are further pushing up average kerb weights across the market. There are still light cars on sale though, and we’ve listed the lightest below.

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The lightest cars on sale today broadly fall into two categories: you have your stripped-back lightweight sports cars designed with more than half an eye on delivering performance and driver thrills on a race circuit. Then you have your traditional small city runabouts – cheap little cars that are becoming increasingly rare in the modern marketplace. 

There are also various models from specialist manufacturers designed almost exclusively for track use, such as the BAC Mono (575kg) or Radical’s range of track machinery (490kg for the SR1) and tiny quadricycles such as the electric Ark One (489kg), but we’ve tried to stick to road-biased cars from mainstream brands to keep it simple. In most cases it’s the entry-level models that deliver the lowest weight, because adding extra features tends to pile on the pounds.

Lightest cars on sale

Below is our list of the 10 lightest road legal cars on sale in the UK today by official kerb weight.  

10. Kia Picanto - from 974kg

Kia’s city car is a well-rounded package. In the entry level (but well-kitted) ‘1’ spec, with the 1.0-litre engine, it makes the top 10 lightest cars. 

9. Toyota Aygo X - from 950kg

Who says all SUVs are heavy? The Toyota Aygo X brings the tough looks of the SUV class to the city car sector and there’s even a canvas roof option that adds nothing to the feather-like kerb weight. 

8. Hyundai i10 - from 921kg

A small car with big car qualities, the Hyundai i10 is a top contender in the city car class and actually undercuts its Kia Picanto sister car on kerb weight; 921kg for the 1.0-litre model is pretty good going. 

7. VW Up! - from 916kg

With its Skoda Citigo and SEAT Mii sister models having departed the new car scene, the VW Up! soldiers on. The design has stood the test of time extremely well, city car dimensions and a 916kg minimum kerb weight hide a roomy cabin and belie a polished, enjoyable driving experience.

6. Suzuki Swift - from 911kg

The Swift has often been touted as a supermini-sized car for city car money but these days the price isn’t quite as bijou. The kerb weight remains tiny for a roomy, 1.2-litre mild hybrid model with a lengthy equipment list.  

5. Suzuki Ignis - from 895kg

The Suzuki Ignis is more evidence that SUVs can be compact, efficient and light. Dipping under the 900kg barrier with its 1.2-litre Dualjet engine, the little Suzuki has more interior space than you might expect and the rugged styling helps it stand out next to other city cars.  

4. Morgan Super 3 - from 635kg

A good way to save weight in a car is to remove extraneous features, although most manufacturers would stop short of shedding a wheel. Not Morgan. The latest version of the British brand’s iconic three-wheeler is the Super 3 and the eccentric, minimalist sports car comes in at a mere 635kg with its 1.5-litre 3-cylinder Ford engine. 

3. Ariel Atom - from 595kg

We excluded a lot of track-special machinery from low volume manufacturers in this list but the Ariel Atom squeezed in by dint of being such a long-standing popular choice for road and and track driving. Nothing else gives quite the same experience as an Atom with its unique steel tube chassis and high-revving, turbo-supported Honda i-VTEC engine with less than 600kg to shift. 

2. Citroen Ami - from 483kg

Citroen’s super-cute, super-small Ami is also extremely light. At under 2.5m long and limited by a 28mph top speed, not to mention a 47-mile maximum range, it’s an urban electric vehicle that does the job for which it was designed and not a lot more. Even those who wouldn’t really want to drive one have to admire its clarity of purpose. 
 

1. Caterham 7 - from 440kg

Lotus founder Colin Chapman is well known for his ‘simplify, then add lightness’ maxim so it’s fitting that the Lotus 7 he designed in the late 1950s is still the lightest car on sale in the UK today, albeit under its new Caterham 7 moniker. Nothing drives quite like a Caterham and the compact sports car’s miniscule kerb weight is perhaps the biggest reason why. 

Lightest cars on sale 2023

1Caterham Seven440kg
2Citroen Ami483kg
3Ariel Atom595kg
4Morgan Super 3635kg
5Suzuki Ignis 1.2 Dualjet SZ-T895kg
6Suzuki Swift 1.2 Dualjet SZ-L911kg
7VW Up 1.0916kg
8Hyundai i10 1.0 MPi921kg
9Toyota Aygo X 1.0 VVT-i Exclusive950kg
10Kia Picanto 1.0 DPi iSG974kg

Now take a look at the heaviest cars on sale...

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Head of digital content

Steve looks after the Auto Express website; planning new content, growing online traffic and managing the web team. He’s been a motoring journalist, road tester and editor for over 20 years, contributing to titles including MSN Cars, Auto Trader, The Scotsman and The Wall Street Journal.

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