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Cars used to be a lot smaller and lighter, these days finding something that weigh less than a tonne is pretty difficult. Fret not, here are some you can buy.

03 Aug 2022

Just not too long ago, cars were all rather lightweight, with most sedans weighing less than 1,500kg. In fact, the first generation Toyota Vios was only 940kg. These days, with safety requirements and the growing sizes of cars, even a 3-Door MINI Cooper S weighs almost 1,300kg - twice of what the original, zippy Mini Cooper S weighed.

While lightweight cars are getting pretty rare nowadays, you can still find cars that weigh under a tonne - just don't expect them to pack lots of power. Here are eight examples of such cars that you can still buy new from the showroom, most of them are compact runabouts, with the exception of one...

1. Suzuki Swift Mild Hybrid

The Swift Mild Hybrid weighs in at just under a tonne!
Price: $125,900
Weight: 999kg
Power: 82bhp
Fuel Consumption: 24.2km/L

Suzuki always had a knack for small, lightweight cars. Today, most of its offerings are made up of Kei cars (a Japanese category for the smallest highway-legal passenger cars). Hence, it isn't surprising that Suzuki cars made this list.

The Swift has always been a lightweight and sporty hatchback (especially so for the Swift Sport), and the current generation is offered in a mild hybrid form. Despite the electrically assisted drivetrain, it manages to clock in at just a kilogramme less than a tonne. With its small footprint and light weight, the Swift is a cheerful car that's effortless to drive and easy to place on the roads.

2. Perodua Myvi

Malaysia's favourite hatchback is one of the lightest cars you can buy new
Price: $104,999
Weight: 985kg
Power: 94bhp
Fuel Consumption: 21.1km/L

Malaysia's homegrown car manufacturer Perodua has always focused on minicars and superminis. Most of its cars shared designs with Daihatsu which, like Suzuki, is a Japanese brand focused on the production of small cars.

The Perodua Myvi is a popular hatchback that you will see all over Malaysia's roads. Thanks to its affordability and practicality, the Myvi is well loved, with owners ranging from families to youngsters who enjoy personalising it to suit their preferences.

3. Mitsubishi Attrage

With a tiny engine, this popular compact sedan from Mitsubishi manages to weigh just 945kg!
Price: $107,999
Weight: 945kg
Power: 79bhp
Fuel Consumption: 20.4km/L

Being one of the most affordable cars, the Mitsubishi Attrage is very popular in Singapore. Despite its small size, the Attrage manages to offer a reasonable amount of space inside.

While most credit its excellent fuel economy to the puny 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, credit should also go towards its lightness. Indeed, the Attrage is one of the lightest cars you can still buy new.

4. Fiat 500

Just look at it, how can this toy car weigh more than a tonne?
Price: $139,999
Weight: 930kg
Power: 84bhp
Fuel Consumption: 26.3km/L

Of course the Fiat 500's gonna make the list! Like the original Mini Cooper, the original Fiat 500 was a tiny little thing.

But unlike the former, the new (not exactly that new...) Fiat 500 manages to retain most of its cutesy charms without growing too much in size. The result is an adorable and tiny city car that weighs almost nothing when compared against other modern cars.

5. Lotus Elise

The special one in this list, a lightweight car that's built for performance!
Price: $250,000 (without COE)
Weight: 922kg
Power: 240bhp
Fuel Consumption: 12.8km/L

"Simplify, then add lightness". With such a quote from its founder, you can be sure that Lotus' cars will make this list.

At the moment, the only Lotus car that you can get from the showroom is the Lotus Elise Sport 240 Final Edition, and it only weighs 922kg. And unlike the rest of the cars on this list, the Elise is a sports car that produces 240bhp! If you want something that's light, agile and fun to pilot, you simply can't go wrong with it.

6. Perodua Bezza

Despite a larger engine, the Bezza is actually lighter than the Attrage!
Price: $103,999
Weight: 915kg
Power: 93bhp
Fuel Consumption: 21km/L

Yet another car from Perodua, the Bezza, unlike most of the manufacturer's lineup, is a compact sedan. Like the Attrage, the Bezza is one of the most affordable new cars you can buy here.

Though, unlike the Attrage, this is powered by a more conventional and slightly larger 1.3-litre four-cylinder engine which produces 93bhp. Despite having a marginally larger engine, the Bezza is actually 30kg lighter!

7. Mitsubishi Space Star

The hatchback variant of the Attrage is expectedly lighter than the latter
Price: $107,999
Weight: 910kg
Power: 79bhp
Fuel Consumption: 21.2km/L

Take the Attrage and lob off its rear end, and you'll get the Space Star. Expectedly, the hatchback version of the Attrage is lighter than it.

These two are practically the same car, with the same engine but of a different body style. Being a smaller and slightly lighter car, the Space Star is likely to be easier to drive, furthermore, it also achieves 0.8km/L more than the sedan version.

8. Suzuki Ignis Mild Hybrid

The champion of the day is the Ignis with its sub-900kg kerb weight!
Price: $125,900
Weight: 890kg
Power: 82bhp
Fuel Consumption: 18.5km/L

A Suzuki takes the crown for the lightest car in the room! And like the Swift, the Ignis is a Mild Hybrid as well, which makes it even more impressive to clock in under 900kg.

With just 82bhp, you shouldn't expect much performance out of the Ignis, though its 12V Mild hybrid system does helps with acceleration in the lower rev range. While it isn't a particularly quick or fun car to drive, it more than makes up for its shortcomings with its cute and quirky looks. And of course, the driving experience that only a lightweight car can offer.
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