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Big Vs Small Cars | Does Size Matter?


Does it Matter if Your Car is Big or Small?

Reading time: 3 mins

There are three types of car sizes – bigger SUVs, medium-sized sedans and smaller vehicles like the Volkswagen Polo or Mazda 2 that you see in Singapore. But, does the size of your car matter when driving? 

Most people may think that bigger is better. In terms of comfort, performance and safety, it may seem like bigger cars win. But, what about drivers who have smaller families or don’t want to spend as much money on petrol? A bigger vehicle just isn’t practical, right?

So, how much of this is true? Should you put vehicle size ahead of other considerations when buying your teenager their first car or when picking a vehicle for your family

Considerations when Comparing Car Size

Choosing between bigger and smaller cars involves multiple factors. You need to consider price differences, how much room you need, maneuverability, and of course, safety.

Bigger cars offer more seating, additional cargo space and tend to have more leg room – perfect for a family road-trip. By contrast, smaller vehicles tend to be more affordable, maneuverable, and efficient – making it the ideal option for a leisurely drive around Singapore island. 

So, how do you decide? Take some time to think about how you will use the car and what your overall budget is. If overall driving comfort, performance and safety is what you’re after, take note of other factors like weight, height and momentum. This next section should give you a better idea of what to look out for.

Factor #1: Weight 

No doubt small cars are compact and big cars are heavy. And although the weight of a small car means less fuel consumption, big cars have higher performance due to its engine size. In terms of overall safety, bigger cars have larger crush zones that give them an upper hand at the time of a crash.

Size and weight also play a massive role in the force the passengers feel inside the vehicle during an accident. In larger cars, the space from the front of the vehicle to the passenger compartment provides more protection in head-on collisions. With more distance and a bigger frame, it can protect its passengers from serious injury.

However, this does not mean that small cars are not safe. Cars today – big or small – come with several safety features, such as side, rear, and front airbags, back-up sensors and cameras, blind spot warnings, and electronic stability control to ensure the driver and passengers are kept safe.

Factor # 2: Height 

Cars are getting bigger – not just in width, but in height as well – to match our desire for more space. Without compromising on the stability of the car, it has evolved over the years, to create more carriage space and to give the driver a better view of traffic.

But of course, this highly depends on the height, and comfort of the driver. If you have a smaller frame, you may find that a smaller car gives you enough visibility and easy movement within the carriage. But if you are tall, movement inside a small car would be restricted – this may also interfere with your reactions when driving. This doesn’t mean that petite drivers can’t drive an SUV - it’s really a matter of personal choice!

Factor #3: Momentum

The heavier the vehicle, the higher the momentum. This means bigger cars take more time to slow down and come to a stop. It also means that if a big car collides into a small car, the energy of the bigger car will transfer to the smaller one, causing it more damage. The force of the impact could also cause serious injury to passengers in the smaller car – such as whiplash.

While larger vehicles can protect you better in front-end collisions, it has safety risks of its own.. For example, SUVs have a higher center of gravity than smaller cars, which increases the risk of the whole car rolling over when knocked from the side. 

So, big or small, it’s always best to go with a car that is equipped with important safety features, rather than solely deciding on size alone.

Your Car Size Matters!

If you’re buying a new car, don’t compromise on comfort, performance and safety. Take it for a test drive and choose what’s best for you and your lifestyle with these 3 factors in mind. 

No matter big or small, every car needs good car insurance. There are many factors to consider when choosing car insurance in Singapore, one of which is customisation. DirectAsia’s car and motorcycle insurance offers 3 cover types: Third-Party Only (TPO), Third-Party Fire & Theft (TPFT) and Comprehensive, which includes all third-party coverage and Optional Benefits to ensure you and your passengers are fully protected.