Let’s first look at the market share of compact but practical mass-sector cars. We can see from the advertising sites that hatchbacks are not the most popular car body type in Lithuania. They occupy less and large – 18 percent. share of all used cars currently on sale. If we reject prestigious hatchbacks, the percentage would drop to 14 percent. By comparison, the most popular SUV body makes up as much as 24 percent, and the second-place wagon type accounts for 22 percent.
Interestingly, the sedan body type, which had been the most popular for many years, has now become out of demand – only 17% of them. Even more interesting is that the sedans are less than universal although the latter has always been like the sedan version. This is because there are now many compact cars such as Volkswagen Golf or even lower-end dealers such as the Renault Clio are quite popular and have bodywork that has not been available before. In turn, this shows the strong popularity of compact cars compared to mid-range sedans. And this is due to the fact that compact cars have increased and reached a size when the family no longer needs medium-sized cars.
But let’s go back to the best cars in the city, which Lithuanians rate the best?
The best compact cars in town
As the average age of cars registered in Lithuania is 11 years old, let’s see which 9-13 year old compact hatchbacks and station wagons are best valued in our country. The best statistics of the most popular car review sites in Lithuania Autoasas.lt confirm some beliefs, but also deny some. We see the best rated In the twenties of 9-13 year old hatchbacks there are even five Toyota brand cars, three Seat, two Volkswagen, Ford and Fiat and several other brands occupying one position. The general trend of Lithuanian drivers’ evaluations is more or less logical.
We choose the C1 class – the so-called “golf” class, where we are going to be among the best we are going to see Volkswagen Golf cars. But in the first place we see Seat Toledo 2004 – 2009, the second surprises Fiat Bravo 2006 – 2014, the third Subaru Impreza 2007 – 2011, followed by three Toyota cars – Toyota Auris 2006 – 2013, Toyota Prius 2009 – 2015, Toyota Prius 2003 – 2009, then Honda Civic 2005 – 2011 and the top ten are completed by Golf cars – the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf 2012 – 2019, the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf 2008 – 2012 and the Spanish Golf version Seat Leon 2005 – 2012 “.
“The high position of the Fiat Bravo is surprising, but let’s not forget that it is quite a unique car. On the one hand, we do not have a representative of our favorite brand and therefore a low price, on the other hand – a hatchback with a salon and material finish typical of more prestigious cars. These two reasons make Fiat Bravo exceed drivers ’expectations. It should be noted that there are not a single French car in the top ten, although French cars are extremely popular in this sector. The Citroën C4 2010-2018 is only the thirteenth in France. It is interesting that we see two Citroën cars among the top ten and surprisingly two Volkswagen. One is the Volkswagen Jetta 2010-2018, the other ” Volkswagen New Beetle 1998 – 2010 “- Lithuanians really didn’t like the last car,” he says Autoasas.lt website manager Nerijus Paketūras.
The best small cars in town
Let’s travel in the class below – to the B1 even smaller city car segment. Here in the first place we meet a representative of the newly criticized French cars – Renault Clio 2005 – 2014, second Toyota Yaris 2005 – 2011, third Seat Ibiza 2008 – 2017, fourth Ford Fiesta 2008 – 2017, fifth Suzuki Swift 2004 – 2010 “, the sixth Mitsubishi Colt 2003 – 2009, the seventh Hyundai Getz 2002 – 2011, the eighth Citroën C2 2003 – 2010, the ninth Toyota Yaris 2011 – 2020 and the top ten Nissan Micra 2003 – 2010. Among the most reliable cars, the first two places are occupied by the mentioned Toyota Yaris cars.
“Interestingly, with the exception of two Toyota, all the other participants in the top ten are different brands of cars. Consequently, in this sector, trust in the manufacturer is not as important as in the larger car classes, where the dominance of certain brands is easily noticeable. It is also interesting that among all the representatives of these brands in the top ten we do not see a single Volkswagen brand car. Let’s see where it is … aha, here it is in the penultimate 16th place in the Volkswagen Polo 2005-2009. This means that the Volkswagen name does not guarantee a good rating even in the compact car market. which operate in other segments. In terms of what provides practical value, the price factor is also more important than in other car classes. ” – says Nerijus Paketūras.
What other cars can we classify as practical city cars?
When it comes to city cars, next to the compact hatchbacks, it is necessary to mention the compact minivans, which were extremely popular 10-15 years ago. These are cars that are technically and dimensionally very close to the above-mentioned hatchbacks, simply their higher body is designed to make the most of the space of the one-piece body. Passenger seating is also a bit higher, making it easier to drive such a car on the city’s narrow streets. This type of car was very popular at the time, but later buyers ’sympathies shifted towards small crossovers and this segment was forgotten. Some models are still in production, some have evolved into SUVs, as happened with the Peugeot 3008.
In this niche segment the best rated is the Honda Jazz 2008 – 2014 car, in second place is the “Renault Modus 2004 – 2012 “. This is followed by senior representatives – Volkswagen Golf Plus 2003 – 2014 in the third, fourth Seat Altea 2004 – 2015 and fifth Toyota Corolla Verso 2004 – 2009.
As we can see, drivers ’ratings correlate with car model sales figures and ultimately determine whether a model will continue or end its career. Although very niche in this market, the best-selling Honda Jazz model has been sold quite successfully so far, but many others – the Renault Modus, the Volkswagen Golf Plus (later produced as the Golf Sportsvan), the Seat experiment Altea and the sympathetic Opel Meriva have finally come to an end. The era of compact crossovers has come and we will try to understand them in our next review.
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