Lithuanians value cars for the city the most: don’t look for favorites among BMW and Volkswagen

This time, let’s explore which cars in the mass sector are best valued in Lithuania. Let’s limit ourselves to small city cars, because these are the most popular in Europe and of course popular with us. We do not include crossovers in this review – we will give a separate review to this extremely popular and subtle class.

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 many compact cars such as the Volkswagen Golf or even smaller ones such as the Renault Clio are now quite popular and have been used as a station wagon 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 that the top twenty 9-13-year-old hatchbacks have as many as five Toyota cars, three Seat, two Volkswagen, Ford and Fiat, and several other brands in one position. The general trend of Lithuanian drivers’ evaluations is more or less logical.

We choose the C1 class – the so-called “Golf” class, which is known to be among the best we are going to see in Volkswagen Golf cars. But in the first place we see the Seat Toledo 2004-2009, in the second surprise the position of the Fiat Bravo 2006-2014, in the third the Subaru Impreza 2007-2011, followed by three Toyota cars – the Toyota Auris 2006-2013, the Toyota Prius 2009 – 2015, Toyota Prius 2003 – 2009, then the Honda Civic 2005 – 2011 and the top ten are completed by the Golf cars – the seventh generation Volkswagen Golf 2012 – 2019, the sixth generation Volkswagen Golf 2008 – 2012 and Spanish version of the Golf Seat Leon 2005 – 2012.

“It simply came to our notice then Fiat Bravo position, but let’s not forget that it’s a pretty unique car. On the one hand, it is not a representative of our favorite brand and therefore tempting at a low price, on the other hand, the hatchback has a more prestigious interior and materials. These two reasons lead to the fact that Fiat Bravo exceeds driver 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. Interestingly, we see two of the top ten cars Citroën brand cars and, surprisingly, two Volkswagen. One is “Volkswagen Jetta 2010 – 2018”, the other is “Volkswagen New Beetle 1998 – 2010” – Lithuanians really did not like the latter car, “says Nerijus Paketūras, website manager of Autoasas.lt.

The best small cars in town

Let’s travel in the class below – to the B1 even smaller city car segment. In the first place, we meet the representative of the newly criticized French car – Renault Clio 2005 – 2014.

In the second Toyota Yaris 2005 – 2011, in the third Seat Ibiza 2008 – 2017, in the fourth Ford Fiesta 2008 – 2017, in the fifth Suzuki Swift 2004 – 2010, in the sixth Mitsubishi Colt 2003 – 2009, in 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’s also interesting that we don’t see any of all these brands in the top ten Volkswagen brand of car. Let’s see where he is … aha, here he is in the penultimate 16th place in the Volkswagen Polo 2005-2009. Hence Volkswagen the name does not guarantee a good rating even in the compact car market.

In this segment, less attention is paid to the image, the prestige of the brand, there are no myths that are important in other segments. What gives practical value is valued, 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 monovolume 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 Peugeot 3008 model.

In this niche segment, the Honda Jazz 2008 – 2014 car is the best, followed by 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.

We see that drivers ’ratings correlate with car model sales figures and ultimately determine whether a model will continue or end its career. Although very niche, this market is best rated Honda Jazz model has been sold quite successfully so far, but many others are Renault Mode, Volkswagen Golf Plus (later produced as Golf Sportsvan), Seat experiment Altea and sympathetic Opel Meriva finally reached the end of production. The era of compact crossovers has come, and we will try to understand them in the next review.

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