In driving conditions like these, those of us who own small cars are seemingly invisible to a lot of folks in SUVs and big trucks.
We get blown past, buried, cut in on and more.
What cars are the most at risk from such drivers at times like these, even if they handle better on ice and snow than plenty of other larger vehicles?
Here are nine tiny examples, featuring excerpts from their Wikipedia pages.
The Fiat 500:
Launched as the Nuova (new) 500 in July 1957, it was a cheap and practical town car. Measuring only 2.97 metres (9 feet 9 inches) long, and originally powered by an appropriately sized 479 cc two-cylinder, air-cooled engine, the 500 redefined the term "small car" and is considered one of the first city cars.
In 2007, the 50th anniversary of the Nuova 500's launch, Fiat launched another new 500, stylistically inspired by the 1957 Nuova 500 but considerably heavier and larger, featuring a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive....
The Smart Fourtwo:
The Fortwo is noted for its 2.69 meter overall length, high H-point seating, offset passenger and driver seats (in the first and second generation, the passenger seat is 15 centimetres further rearward than the driver’s), automated manual transmission (1st and 2nd generation), De Dion tube rear suspension, low CO2 emissions (119 grams per kilometre, North America, 1.0 Liter), two-part rear hatch, interchangeable plastic body panels and prominent steel hemispherical safety-cell, which is marketed as the Tridion cell and is often provided in a contrasting color to the vehicle's body panels.
The Scion iQ: Designed at the Toyota European Design and Development (Toyota ED2) studio in Nice, France, the iQ is noted for its short overall length and specialized engineering to maximize passenger space. To accommodate three passengers == and a fourth passenger, under very tight conditions — the iQ features a transmissions differential housing located ahead of, rather than behind, the engine; a starter motor incorporated in the engine's flywheel, a high-mounted steering rack and a compact, high-located air conditioning unit behind the dashboard central area. The arrangement allows the front passenger to sit forward of the driver, giving increased rear passenger legroom. A shallow under-floor fuel tank reduces rear overhang.
The Mitsubishi Mirage:
Mitsubishi's powertrain choices were vast with this new platform. Front-wheel drive was most common, with all-wheel drive available for some models. Engines ranged from 1.3- to 1.8-liter naturally-aspirated gasoline inline-fours, 1.8 and 2.0-liter turbocharged versions of the same, plus 1.8 and 2.0-liter diesels. Notably, a gasoline V6 engine variant was also offered, displacing just 1.6-liters, making it the smallest mass-produced V6.
The Mini Cooper:
The original Mini was a line of iconic British small cars manufactured by the British Motor Corporation from 1959 until 2000. Its models included the Morris Mini-Minor and the Austin Seven, the Countryman, Moke, 1275GT and Clubman. Performance versions of these models used the name Cooper, due to a partnership with racing legend John Cooper. The original two-door Mini continued in production until 2000. Development of a successor began in 1995 and the new generation car was launched in 2001. The current Mini range includes the Hardtop/Hatch/Convertible (three-door hatchback), Clubman (estate), Countryman (five-door crossover), Coupe/Roadster and Paceman (three-door crossover based on the Countryman).
The BMW i3:
The i3 features four doors and seating for four occupants with dimensions being slightly larger than the Mini Cooper and the BMW 1 Series, but smaller than the BMW 3 Series. The i3 is powered by a newly developed powertrain consisting of a 130-kilowatt (170 hp) electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries and driving the rear axle. BMW aimed to achieve a range of 160 km (100 mi), the same range that was expected for the BMW ActiveE, but in order to reduce weight with a battery capacity of 16 kWh instead of the ActiveE's 30 kWh.
The Chevrolet Spark:
The Chevrolet Spark is a city car, today produced under the Chevrolet brand of General Motors, and originally as Daewoo Matiz. It has been available solely as a five-door hatchback.
The first generation of Daewoo Matiz was launched in 1998 by General Motors' South Korean division GM Korea, previously known as Daewoo Motors, replacing the Daewoo Tico. After the General Motors company took control over Daewoo Motors in 2002, it has increasingly been marketed under the Chevrolet badge. The second generation model was introduced in 2005, with the third generation launched in 2010.
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV:
The Mitsubishi i-MiEV (MiEV is an acronym for Mitsubishi innovative Electric Vehicle) is a five-door hatchback electric car produced by Mitsubishi Motors, and is the electric version of the Mitsubishi i. The i-MiEV is also sold in Europe by PSA Peugeot Citroën (PSA) as the Peugeot iOn and Citroën C-Zero.rebadged. The i-MiEV is the world's first modern highway-capable mass production electric car.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata:
The MX-5, released as the MX-5 Miata /mi???t?/ in North America and as the Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Manufactured by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, the model debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern and reliable. The MX-5 is conceptually an evolution of the small British and Italian sports roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Datsun 2000, Fiat 124 Sport Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider, and particularly the Lotus Elan.
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