The Car Size Evolution

Do you struggle to squeeze your car into parking spaces? Dread driving down country lanes? Don’t worry, you aren’t the only one.

We analysed 14 popular car models, from when they were first launched, to present day to determine just how much they have evolved in size and style.

Looking at everything from weight, length and height to wheelbase and luggage capacity, nine out of the 14 models have either stayed the same or increased in size, whilst just five have seen minor decreases.

In fact, the top eight cars which have seen the biggest increase in total area size have expanded by up to 63%.

How much has car size has increased over time?

Use the slider below or click through the years to see how popular models have changed in size and design.

Which cars have increased the most in size overtime?

From the top eight models we analysed, we discovered that the Ford Mustang has increased the most overall, now a whopping 63% larger than the original model launched in 1964.

The not-so Mini Cooper has also evolved since the 1950’s when lorry drivers struggled to see the motor in their side view mirrors. Thanks to safety regulations it’s now 61% bigger than the original.

Weighing in at 865kg, the Fiat 500 has seen the biggest weight increase, up 73% on the 1957 model.

The only vehicle to see a decrease in size is the Land Rover Range Rover, which is 3% shorter and 2% lighter than the original.

To see how much each model has increased in size since it was first launched, click the arrows below and filter by category.

Brand and Model Weight % Length % Width % Area % Height % Wheelbase % Luggage Capacity %
Ford Mustang 36% 4% 57% 63% 7% -1% 70%
Mini Cooper 64% 22% 33% 61% N/A N/A N/A
Fiat 500 73% 19% 23% 47% 13% 25% N/A
Land Rover Range Rover -2% 16% 23% 43% -3% 8% 70%
Volkswagen Golf 63% 11% 26% 40% 6% 9% 3%
BMW 3 Series 5% 9% 27% 39% 1% 5% 9%
Ford Fiesta 20% 11% 23% 37% 8% -8% N/A
Porsche 911 Coupe 4% 5% 14% 20% 1% -2% 194%

Why are cars getting bigger?

Now we know how much cars are increasing in size, we wanted to find out exactly why is this happening and what it means for future design. We spoke to Automotive Design expert, Sam Livingstone, who revealed the key factors triggering expansion.

Now you know the specifications for each of the most popular car models, you’re well on your way to finding the motor that’s made for you.

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